Dina Pule in trouble with Constitutional Court

Former communications minister Dina Pule has been taken to task by the Constitutional Court for failing to meet a court deadline to remedy the SA Post Office Act, the SABC reported on Thursday.

The court was reacting to a request by Pule’s successor Yunus Carrim for an extension to the Thursday deadline, the broadcaster reported.

In March, the court upheld a woman’s challenge involving her divorced husband’s pension fund.

Phumla Ngewu and the Women’s Legal Centre Trust brought an application relating to the SA Post Office retirement fund.

Ngewu was married to SA Post Office worker Mawethu Ngewu until July 27, 2007. He is a member of the fund.

In their divorce decree, Phumla was awarded a 50 percent share of her ex-husband’s pension interest.

However, under the rules of the fund, this did not accrue upon divorce, but when her husband terminated his membership of the fund.

She and the trust challenged the provisions of the rules of the fund, alternatively the Divorce Act and the Pension Funds Act, contending that they violated her constitutional right to equality.

The court found that a section of the act dealing with the administrative and financial matters of the fund was unconstitutional and did not provide for the payment of the pension interest at the time of divorce.

It declared the section invalid and suspended the declaration for eight months for the legislature to “cure the defect”.

The fund admitted there was a constitutional defect in its rules.

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Dina Pule in trouble with Constitutional Court