Item 885 - Press statement by the Office of the President: Respect for the Judicial Process

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Press statement by the Office of the President: Respect for the Judicial Process


  • 1996-10-11 (Creation)

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Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

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South African Government Information Website (

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On respecting the judicial process

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  • English

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The President wishes to state that he has acted in the past, and will continue to do so in the future, with great respect for the judicial process, the role of the judiciary, and the fundamental due process rights of the citizens enshrined in the Constitution.

He does so with good reason. The framework of civil rights and the courts that uphold and enforce them are this country's stated route of dealing with conflicts and anti-social behaviour. Without confidence in the courts, this society will degenerate into private vengeance and extra-legal activities. The President believes he must give a lead in expressing this confidence. To be sure, as he is aware, these judicial processes themselves are affected by the de facto capacity of the state and private parties to collect and put evidence before the courts, to attract and reward judicial officers, and to maintain a judicial infrastructure. Nonetheless the President re-affirms that the courts are the institutions to determine the guilt of the accused, and indeed that judicial findings, based on cold and dispassionate analysis of the evidence put before it must be respected, even, or especially, by those who are aggrieved by these findings.

The approach does not mean that the government will not continue to pursue justice and truth. We give the assurance that where persons have died as a result of atrocities, we will continue to investigate who was responsible and who, in regard to alleged third force activities, was responsible for directing these activities. The court's judgement of the accused in the "Malan" trial leaves the country, and the government, with the task of finding those who were responsible for the massacre of 13 children and women in KwaMakutha.

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Acquisition method: From website ; Source: South African Government Information Website. Accessioned on 21/12/06 by Helen Joannides




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