FMF NEWSLETTER 25 July 2018    
FEATURE article  

Recklessly throwing taxpayer funds at court cases is unconstitutional – MARTIN VAN STADEN

With unemployment and social welfare at crisis levels and an actively shrinking economy, one would expect government to spend the little funds it forcefully extracts from taxpayers on comparatively important things, like grants, the police, or giving title deeds to emerging black farmers who lease State land. Instead, our wise rulers try to out-compete one another in wasting precious, scarce resources. The intuitive feeling that this is probably illegal, is correct.

As can be expected from a developing country like South Africa, our constitutional jurisprudence is not as mature and sophisticated as that of, say, Germany or the United States. Many of the cases that reach the Constitutional Court are relatively straightforward and deal with superficial legal questions mostly surrounding the rights in the Bill of Rights. It comes as no surprise, then, that there are various sections in the Constitution which are, at least, under-emphasised, and at worst, completely ignored.

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