A Decision to Undo

Authors Leo Boonzaier

ISSN: 1996-2177
Affiliations: DPhil candidate, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford
Source: South African Law Journal, Volume 135 Number 4, p. 642 – 677


In several recent judgments the Constitutional Court has dealt with the problem of state officials seeking the judicial review of their own prior decisions. Its judgment in State Information Technology Agency Soc Limited v Gijima Holdings (Pty) Ltd 2018 (2) SA 23 (CC) raises the same issue. The court held, in particular, that the state applicant in these situations may not rely on the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act 3 of 2000, but must rely on the principle of legality. I argue that the court’s reasoning contains very serious errors and flouts its own jurisprudence. In addition, the court’s glib disposal of the review application reflects an objectionable approach to procedure, evidence, and remedy. All this is symptomatic of a worrying general decline in the quality of the Contitutional Court’s judgments.