Disappointed Ndlovu Pens Letter
1 August 2023
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The inherent nature and often a weakness of law is that justice is predicated upon raw rules and time frames. The rules and time periods have not in them the advantage of facts and scenarios, they are just raw and divorced from the ” real” issues that cause ” real ” human beings to seek to find recourse in courts of law.

These rules of procedures and their time limits are essentially meant to achieve in aiding justice, but in most of times the whole judiciary process collapses into a tribunal of ” time keepers”.

While the issue of the ( CCC – 12) is about timekeeping and a plausible explanation by them is pending on appeal, an eye fixated beyond the cursory time keepers glance to the watch wonders-should it really be about minutes?

An election is about the ” people ” giving a mandate to their government. It takes a good five years for the ” we ” the people to decisively speak on issues of who must be the carrier of their message to government. The right to vote, and the right to contest an election are the fundamental issues that concern an election in it’s practical and jurisprudential context.

An election is not about ” short time ” or ” longest time ” . It is not about seconds and split seconds,it is the sacred exercise that bestows the right of governance to the elected.

Life is an enigma and it’s exigencies are difficult to fathom, it manifests in diverse ways. In a day are a thousand ” ifs” ,” but’s” and ” maybe”. At times it’s a car breakdown, at times it’s unexpected vomiting and at times it’s a wave of an unending congestion that determine availability or it’s lack in certain places at certain times. In all of this,the spirit of law must be to seek to achieve resolution of ” real ” issues and avoid the petty trap into the dungeon of ” timekeepers”.

The child in a ” towel” is more important and cannot compare to the towel. The towel is for the comfort of the child and the child is not for the towel. The references to court procedures and time frames must never be equated to the deep live issues of human existence embedded in Constitutional provisions like the right to vote and be voted into office.

The recent events if at all we must learn, teach us that provisions of legislation are not of the same value. There are some of a superior nature known as the ” essential features “.

The ” essential features ” doctrine also known as the basic structure doctrine is recognized in India,Bangladesh and Uganda amongst other jurisdictions. Developed in India in the 1960s and 1970s, it found expression in the famous case of Kesavananda Bharati v State of Kerala wherein then Justice Hans Raj Khanna noted correctly that in the reading of laws,some sections must essentially be viewed as superior.

Notwithstanding the fact that i understand and appreciate that the CCC-12 candidates were on time, the reasons to deny them presence in the ballot box ( even if ) we were to say they were late by some minutes ( of which they were not) would still not make proper legal sense.

It appears quite clear that what is essential far above these ” short time ” disputes of merely the clock is the right to vote and contest. Our courts must rise and see the rational and objective rhythm of the essential features doctrine.

Ephraim Ndlovu ( Disappointed)