Gert Nel Inc’s application to the Constitutional Court, filed on 14 December 2022, is one of direct access to the apex court in terms of section 167(6)(a) of the Constitution and is governed by rule 18 of the Rules of the Constitutional Court.
In terms of rule 18(3), respondents had until 25 January 2023 to notify the applicants as well as the Registrar of their intention to oppose the application. Only four of the ten respondents elected to do so.
After such a notice has been received or where the time for the lodging of such notice has expired, a matter shall be disposed of in accordance with directions given by the Chief Justice, which may include –
a) a direction calling upon the respondents to make written submissions to the Court within a specified time as to whether or not direct access should be granted; or
b) a direction indicating that no written submissions or affidavits need be filed.
In addition to the relevant directions given by the Chief Justice, provision is made in rule 18(5) for such an application to be dealt with summarily, without hearing oral or written argument. However, where a respondent has indicated an intention to oppose, such an application shall be granted only after paragraph (a) above has been complied with.