Blog entries from: Constitutionally Speaking

This blog deals with political and social issues in South Africa, mostly from the perspective of Constitutional Law. Written by Pierre de Vos

1 to 10 of 49

April 23 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Wed Apr 23 2014, 16:28:41

In a constitutional democracy, a representative institution (like a legislature) is said to gain its legitimacy through a free and fair election (and the election campaign, which precedes it) that ultimately determines the composition of the legislature. However, it is far from clear that an election in a modern democracy in a capitalist state can [...]

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From Constitutionally Speaking Wed Apr 23 2014, 08:10:31

_________________________________________________________________ SUBMISSION TO PARLIAMENT  BY THE COUNCIL FOR THE ADVANCEMENT  OF THE SOUTH AFRICA CONSTITUTION (CASAC)  23 APRIL 2014  _________________________________________________________________ INTRODUCTION  1. On 9 April 2014 the Speaker of the National Assembly made the following Announcement: On 2 April 2014, the President of the Republic of South Africa submitted the following documents which were tabled [...]

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April 15 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Tue Apr 15 2014, 15:04:15

Gerrie Nel this week accused Oscar Pistorius of changing his legal defence from "putative self-defence" to one of "involuntary action". This was because Pistorius seemed to suggest that he could not remember pulling the trigger of his gun and pumping four shots into his toilet door. Instead he suggested that the discharge of his firearm [...]

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April 9 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Wed Apr 9 2014, 01:50:47

Courts are often not well placed to act as mediators in highly charged political disputes. The ANC's attempt to use the court to deal with the DA's claim that the Public Protector's Report "showed that Zuma stole your money to build his R246 home" is a case in point. Election campaigns tend to get extremely [...]

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April 2 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Wed Apr 2 2014, 01:03:18

Like any judgment in a court of law, a report of the Public Protector is not above criticism. Although it is a criminal offence to insult the Public Protector or to say anything about an investigation that would have constituted contempt of court if it had been said of court proceedings, criticism of the findings [...]

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March 26 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Wed Mar 26 2014, 00:56:19

The Report of the Public Protector on the use of public funds on lavish construction at President Jacob Zuma's private home near Nkandla found that there was no legal authority for the spending of R246 million on the Nkandla Project. Despite suggestions to the contrary, neither the applicable Cabinet Policy nor the National Key Points [...]

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March 22 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Sat Mar 22 2014, 04:13:12

This is an extract from the Public Protector Report on the Nkandla scandal, setting out in detail how President Jacob Zuma delayed the investigation and failed to answer many of the questions posed to him. It seems that it is partly because of this failure that the Public Protector, being cautious to a fault, found [...]

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March 20 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Thu Mar 20 2014, 08:32:35

President Jacob Zuma has consistently claimed to know little about the taxpayer-funded aspects of the construction at his homestead near Nkandla. As the Public Protector Report on Nkandla makes abundantly clear, the President was intimately involved in (and had extensive knowledge of) the state-sponsored aspects of the construction at his private home. Claims to the [...]

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March 18 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Tue Mar 18 2014, 11:42:19

The Public Protector is about to release the long awaited Report investigating the alleged "security upgrades" at President Jacob Zuma's private homestead near Nkandla as well as whether the President was truthful when he claimed to the National Assembly that he and his family had paid for all non-security related upgrades of his home. But [...]

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March 14 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Fri Mar 14 2014, 00:31:30

This week the North Gauteng High Court dismissed an urgent application by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) to remove (or greatly reduce) the requirement for political parties to pay a sizeable deposit before they could contest the election. This requirement limits the number of political parties who are entitled to contest the election and thus [...]

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