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 46

August 11 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Mon Aug 11 2014, 07:42:46

During this women's month, platitudes about how we all respect and admire women (especially if they are our mothers, girlfriends, wives or sisters) will trip off the tongues of even the most zealous sexist. But until we begin to disturb and dismantle some of the most deeply entrenched assumptions and practices regarding gender roles, these [...]

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July 28 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Mon Jul 28 2014, 11:11:50

South Africans do not all agree on the meaning of freedom. Whenever there is talk of the need to achieve economic freedom or the need to protect the freedom to be different, it becomes evident that we do not all mean the same thing when we talk about "freedom". Maybe it is time to reflect [...]

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July 22 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Tue Jul 22 2014, 10:47:59

The right to a fair trial - protected by section 35(3) of the South African Constitution - can only be safeguarded if the state refrains from harassing and intimidating lawyers and if lawyers are not indirectly punished for standing up for the rights of ordinary citizens. Where paranoid government officials target lawyers who dare to [...]

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July 16 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Wed Jul 16 2014, 01:37:42

The appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as the SABC's Chief Operating Officer (COO) despite his dishonest and prima facie criminal behaviour raises serious questions about the willingness of public institutions and our government to respect constitutional institutions and to obey the law. It suggests that instead of viewing the public protector as an ally who can [...]

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July 8 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Tue Jul 8 2014, 07:36:46

The public protector is increasingly coming under attack from governing party politicians who fear that maladministration, misspending of public funds, disrespect to voters and outright corruption will be investigated and exposed. This is to be expected. No one wishes to be called to account for "eating" public funds or for acting in ways that completely [...]

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July 4 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Fri Jul 4 2014, 01:21:06

The damning independent report on the various dehumanising initiation practices that still occur at the Potchefstroom campus of North West University (NWU), and the response of many members of the Afrikaner establishment to criticism about these practices, again raise the question of whether there is a legitimate place in South Africa for a publicly funded [...]

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June 27 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Fri Jun 27 2014, 00:58:56

Politically the appointment by President Jacob Zuma of Mxolisi Nxasana as National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) - and the subsequent eruption of open warfare between various factions inside the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) - has been a monumental embarrassment for our government. But the instruction allegedly subsequently issued by Justice Minister Michael Masutha to [...]

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June 24 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Tue Jun 24 2014, 01:12:44

Last week Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema was ordered to withdraw an "unparliamentary" remark made in the National Assembly (NA) and was then ordered to leave the NA when he refused to withdraw a remark accusing the ANC of murdering mineworkers in Marikana. It is unclear whether the ruling by the presiding officer [...]

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June 19 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Thu Jun 19 2014, 08:00:17

The findings of the Electoral Court that the Chairperson of South Africa's Electoral Commission Pansy Tlakula had acted unlawfully and is hence guilty of misconduct warranting removal from office, leave the National Assembly with a stark choice. Either it ignores the damning findings of impropriety on the part of Tlakula made by three different independent [...]

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June 10 2014

From Constitutionally Speaking Tue Jun 10 2014, 00:39:06

The debate sparked by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng after he stated in a speech in Stellenbosch that it would be a good thing if religion influenced "the laws that govern our daily lives starting with the Constitution", has been both frustrating and misinformed. Instead of focusing on the veracity and desirability of the arguments advanced [...]

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