Sharing status of Cabinet meetings unlawful - law expert

On Sunday, two print media publications revealed a correspondence of leaked emails between the Gupta family and their employees which expose how they supposedly obtained business from government.

The Sunday Times reported that Faith Muthambi, minister in charge of the public service, corresponded directly with Tony Gupta, as well as his staff, on government policy.

Cathy Powell, senior lecturer at the department of public law, University of Cape Town, explains that it is by law prohibited for the status of cabinet meetings, both verbal or written memoranda to be forwarded to non-cabinet members.

Read: Gupta lawyer to probe legitimacy of leaked emails

There are two aspects of the problem. One is actual access to the deliberations and the other one is, who's making the decisions.

Cathy Powell, senior lecturer in Public Law at the University of Cape Town

Interestingly the actual access of deliberations has so far only come up when cabinets claim the right to not share information.

Cathleen Powell, senior lecturer in Public Law at the University of Cape Town

Powell adds that cabinet ministers have to be sure that they do not anything that will benefit a private person or themselves.

Powell says the leaking of Cabinet information is a break in Cabinet confidentiality, secrecy and the influence of a decision making process. She says this is highly unconstitutional.

It is extremely serious because it means that the decisions are being made by a group of people that are not responsible to the electorate. Which means South African's are not running the country. Which means we are not a democracy.

Cathleen Powell, senior lecturer in Public Law at the University of Cape Town

Listen to the full legal analysis here:


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