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 47

October 13 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Mon Oct 13 2014, 10:36:10

Afriforum, an organisation that fights for the preservation of white privilege, is threatening to go to court to have the song of a Cape Town based hip-hop collective called Dookoom declared hate speech. The song (deploying Afrikaans in all its exquisite richness) is entitled "Larney, jou poes". The threat by Afriforum raises several interesting questions [...]

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October 8 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Wed Oct 8 2014, 01:32:26

Extracts from the so-called "spy tapes" (for some inexplicable reason the complete version has not yet been made available) reveal that former Scorpions head Leonard McCarthy is both an inveterate gossip and a staunch Thabo Mbeki supporter. What the tapes do not provide are credible legal reasons for dropping more than 700 criminal charges against [...]

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September 29 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Mon Sep 29 2014, 08:30:35

The ad hoc committee of the National Assembly (NA) formed to deal with the fall-out from the Nkandla scandal has all but collapsed after all opposition parties withdrew from it at the end of last week. But why was it set up at all if - as all committee members agree - the committee has [...]

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September 19 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Fri Sep 19 2014, 01:15:41

The raucous, often childish and rude, and somewhat chaotic debate on the motion of no confidence introduced by some opposition parties against the current speaker of parliament failed to engage in any meaningful manner with principled questions about the proper role of a speaker in a Constitutional democracy like our own. Leaving aside the question [...]

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September 16 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Tue Sep 16 2014, 01:22:25

In response to a letter written to him by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela about his failure to respond appropriately to her findings regarding the renovations at state expense of his private home at Nkandla, President Jacob Zuma questioned the Public Protector's interpretation of the scope of her powers. Although no South African court has given [...]

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September 11 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Thu Sep 11 2014, 13:02:24

The acquittal of Oscar Pistorius on a murder charge on Thursday (he may yet be convicted of culpable homicide) has puzzled some lawyers. This is why. It did not come as a big surprise that Judge Thokozile Masipa found that the state had not produced sufficient evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Oscar Pistorius [...]

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September 9 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Tue Sep 9 2014, 01:42:13

It is not easy to have a reasoned and intelligent discussion about the legal scope of affirmative action measures. The many agitated (but completely uninformed) responses to the recent affirmative action judgment of the Constitutional Court illustrate this point. Perhaps it may be helpful to begin to dissect the judgment and to analyse the fascinating [...]

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September 2 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Tue Sep 2 2014, 07:27:04

Can members of National Assembly (NA) who belong to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) be suspended from Parliament for breaching the rules of the National Assembly? And if they "disrupt" proceedings by insisting that the speaker acts impartially and that the President answers the questions validly posed to him, can they be arrested - as [...]

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August 28 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Thu Aug 28 2014, 09:06:25

There is not enough laughter in our politics. Thank goodness for the team at ZANews.

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August 27 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Wed Aug 27 2014, 01:15:53

Over the past week the governing party released a veritable sea of red herrings into the political pond (more like a cesspit) in an attempt to avoid confronting the embarrassing but incontrovertible fact that President Jacob Zuma violated the Executive Ethics Code and improperly benefited when taxpayers funded the building of a swimming pool, a [...]

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