Constitutional Court dismisses Communications minister’s request

The Constitutional Court dismissed an application by Communications Minister Yunus Carrim on Thursday for an extension of a court deadline to remedy the SA Post Office Act.

Carrim filed an urgent application for the deadline to be extended for six months. This was because former communications minister Dina Pule failed to present the required statutory amendment of the act to Cabinet and the deadline was not met.

In March, the court upheld a woman’s challenge involving her divorced husband’s pension fund. Phumla Ngewu brought an application relating to the SA Post Office retirement fund.

The Constitutional Court declared provisions of the act unconstitutional because it afforded divorced spouses the same rights granted to divorced spouses who fell under the Pensions Funds Act and Government Employees Pension Law Amendment Act.

However the declaration of invalidity of the provisions was suspended and Parliament was given eight months to cure the defect.

If this did not happen the relevant sections of the Government Employees Pension Law would be read into the Post Office Act.

Carrim argued that the reading-in was problematic because the parliamentary process would have to start again.

He argued that should the reading-in become effective, the Constitutional Court would have intervened in an area of exclusive legislative power and infringed on the separation of powers.

The Constitutional Court on Thursday dismissed the application with costs. Reasons for the order would follow in due course.

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Constitutional Court dismisses Communications minister’s request