InfoUpdate 2016(8) - South Africa

22 December 2016

This professional service draws attention to current and important items of news.
are directed to the hosts' websites

South Africa Survey Online 2016
South African Institute of Race Relations website


See : Accounting Standards Board [Government Gazette Update]

African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) -

African National Congress (ANC) -

20 March 2016
ANC statement following the National Executive Committee Meeting held 18-20 March 2016
ANC website

ANC meets with stalwarts' foundations - 22 March
The ANC met representatives of three stalwarts' foundations on Tuesday after they asked the party's NEC to take responsibility and implement urgent corrective action in the interests of all South Africans. The engagement was "cordial, frank and robust" and both parties agreed that a follow-up meeting was needed, ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said. The foundations expressed their concerns in a letter handed to party secretary general Gwede Mantashe at the ANC's national executive committee meeting in Pretoria on Saturday. Its signatories are Frene Ginwala, chairperson of the Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation ; Professor Njabulo Ndebele, chairperson of the board of trustees of the Nelson Mandela Foundation ; and Tourism Minister and NEC member Derek Hanekom, on behalf of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation. - News24 website

20 March 2016
Letter from Stalwarts' foundations to ANC NEC
News24 website

Calls for the ANC to elect new leadership - 23 March
A collective of former African National Congress (ANC) military commanders have called on the ANC to convene a special national congress to elect new leadership. In a letter, generals of the ANC's Umkhonto we Sizwe movement also call on the ANC to deal directly with the alleged Gupta family's influence over its leadership. - Eye Witness News website

See also :

ANC stalwarts join civil society coalition to call for Zuma's removal below

Stalwarts calling on Zuma to go are 'very bitter so and so's' below

101 ANC stalwarts pen open letter backing Gordhan below

Jacob Zuma to face ANC's integrity commission - 25 November
President Jacob Zuma will be questioned next week by the ANC's integrity commission following persistent allegations of corruption and poor election results, the party said on Friday. Zuma's meeting with the commission is expected to be held on December 3 behind closed doors. Members of the ANC have been removed from their posts as a result of the commission's recommendation. - Business Live website

Zuma survives NEC meeting : now his fate may rest with ANC top six - 29 November
President Jacob Zuma has survived an attempt to remove him from office after a dramatic three-day ANC national executive committee meeting. The ANC NEC was divided on Zuma's future, with both his detractors and supporters pushing to win the day, after his recall as state president was raised at the meeting on Saturday. In an unprecedented debate, which most analysts see as the waning of Zuma's political clout, some members called for him to step down and those close to him came to his defence. - Times Live website

Ministers : we will quit if Zuma stays - 29 November
A group of ministers threatened to resign on Sunday if President Jacob Zuma remained as the country's president. The ministers made the dramatic threat on the sidelines of a tense extended national executive (NEC) committee meeting. The threat can be viewed as a pre-emptive strike against Zuma, who has been planning a Cabinet reshuffle to purge his political opponents. One of the ministers said : "It's a malicious rumour, we are fighting within ANC processes". - Times Live website

Lines drawn at heated NEC meeting : who stood up to Zuma and who stood up for him - 29 November
As the African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee (NEC) meeting extended into a third day on Monday‚ the names of those who want President Jacob Zuma to step down and those who oppose the call emerged. - Times Live website

The enemy wants to jail me, Zuma tells NEC - 29 November
News24 website

No assurances Jacob Zuma will not remove rivals - 30 November
President Jacob Zuma did not have to give any re-assurances that he will not remove rogue ministers from his Cabinet, following strident calls by them for his removal as head of state. The attempt to remove Zuma was defeated and ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said the matter had been exhausted and was now closed. Cabinet appointments remain Zuma's prerogative, but ministers had spoken out despite serving at his pleasure. At the same time Mantashe on Tuesday assured members that there would be no reprisals for those who called for Zuma to be removed. The ANC was not expecting any mass resignations of Cabinet members following the dramatic meeting, in which Zuma claimed there was a plot against him by foreign governments ; that he was poisoned three times as well as that he had to defend his relationship with the Gupta family. - Business Live website

ANC's post-truth : brutal NEC gambit initiates Zuma's slow, messy demise - 30 November
There have been many heated national executive committee (NEC) meetings in the ANC's nearly 105-year existence. It is rare, however, for NEC members to openly accuse each other of being "counter-revolutionaries" and "acting on behalf of your handlers". The debate over the call for President Jacob Zuma to step down was so intense that two NEC members reportedly nearly came to blows. Compared to the surgical strike against Thabo Mbeki in 2008, Zuma appears to be invincible. In truth, the rebellion against Mbeki began years before his recall. Now that the revolt against Zuma has gone to the highest level of the ANC, he is in for a hell ride as his term inelegantly disintegrates. - Daily Maverick website

Excerpt :
"Zuma . . . said there was a sinister plot to discredit him and remove him from office driven by Western powers working through various parties and organisations in South Africa. This evil plot was manifesting in various ways and was the source of all his troubles, according to Zuma. This is the caveat for anyone hoping to appeal to reason or Zuma's conscience. In Zuma's echo chamber of allies and flunkies, that is the prevailing belief – Nkandla, state capture, South Africa's economic woes, Fees Must Fall, the SABC commotion are all being orchestrated to shame Zuma and his government"

ANC leaders to review candidate selection in KZN - 13 September
The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has called for an assessment of the process by which the party selects candidates for elections. This follows the tumultuous nomination process which marred the ANC's campaign for the local government elections. Many ANC members in the province and the Pietermaritzburg region have lodged appeals against the selection of councillors they say were "imposed" on them. Addressing the media on Monday following the party's Lekgotla, provincial secretary Super Zuma said the party needed to review the entire selection process. - News24 website

ANC rebels in KwaZulu Natal face disciplinary action - 28 March
Two ANC councillors and two party activists are among several party members who have been charged by the party following their protest against the election of the new ANC leadership in KwaZulu-Natal. The quartet organised and led several protest marches to the ANC provincial headquarters in November last year and lodged complaints with Luthuli House the national headquarters of the ANC. Ring leader Sthenjwa Nyawose‚ a Ward 79 councillor in eThekwini‚ Ward 22 councillor Sbongiseni Mkhize‚ party activists Nada Ngcobo and Simphiwe Zondo of Ward 15 and 47 respectively‚ appeared before the party's disciplinary committee on Monday afternoon. They are facing charges of bringing the party into disrepute‚ sowing division and marching against the party‚ among others. The members protested the ousting of Premier Senzo Mchunu as provincial chair and the election of the new executive now led by Sihle Zikalala. They lodged a complaint saying the processes leading up the provincial conference held in Pietermaritzburg late last year and during the conference were flawed. They said the outcome had already been determined. - Times Live website

Mantashe 'was warned' about KZN chaos - 28 July
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe was warned in April that the party would face legal action if it failed to address grievances over the party's provincial conference, which saw the KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu ousted as provincial leader. While ANC provincial leaders have questioned the timing over the application brought last Friday that seeks to have any resolutions from the conference set aside as unlawful and invalid, they have refused to comment on the application until after the local government elections next Wednesday. The letter, a copy of which is in ANA's possession, was sent to Mantashe on April 28 by a Durban-based attorney who has since distanced himself from the action because of concerns over his safety. Mantashe confirmed in June that he had received the letter and replied to it. "We don't have structures in the ANC called attorney. There is no such structure in the ANC. I replied to the letter and said I can't deal with branches through an attorney", he said at the time. According to a party member, who spoke on condition of anonymity and who has been involved in the legal action behind the scenes, it is "do or die" for the applicants and those encouraging them to proceed with the case. - The Citizen website

After victory in eThekwini, ANC faces an internal revolt - 6 August
The ANC won an outright majority in eThekwini in the local government elections, but it faces an internal revolt in the city once the election fanfare is over. ANC members in eThekwini, the party's biggest region in the country, are gathering information to bring a court action to nullify the result of the party's elective conference. Zandile Gumede, the ANC's mayoral candidate for eThekwini municipality, was elected as eThekwini ANC regional chairperson at the conference at Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium in December. An earlier eThekwini regional conference, won by rival James Nxumalo, was nullified by Luthuli House and two subsequent attempts to hold the conference failed. Those proposing the court action appear to be emboldened by a High Court application last month by five ANC members - all believed to be supporters of former KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu - to have the provincial elective conference results set aside. Now, Thabi Nzimande, an ANC leader in KwaMashu's Ward 40, says she is part of a group that is collating information from other wards to lodge their own court application to nullify the eThekwini ANC regional conference's results. "There were many irregularities before and during that conference", she says. "There were members in good standing who were excluded from the branches' voters roll. The ANC's constitution was violated in that people whose membership was less than a year were allowed to vote. Our appeal within the structures of the ANC, even to secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, were ignored. We are left with no option but to approach the court because we cannot surrender our organisation to people who want to use it for their own selfish ends". - Business Day Live website

Top Tshwane official expelled from ANC - 12 April
ANC regional deputy secretary and Tshwane Transport MMC George Matjila has been expelled from the ruling party. The ANC provincial disciplinary committee on Monday kicked Matjila out of the party for destabilising and disrupting the Tshwane ANC Youth League conference in August 2014. He was found guilty of contravening several rules and the constitution of the ANC, as the mastermind behind the plan to disrupt the conference. In accordance with the decision, Matjila must vacate his council post as political head of roads and transport, as well as his position in the ANC regional structure. He sits on the party's highest structure in the region with mayor and regional chairman Kgosientso Ramokgopa, deputy chairman Mapiti Matsena, regional secretary Paul Mojapelo and treasurer Dolly Ledwaba. Ramokgopa's spokesman, Blessing Manale, said the mayor would await the prescribed council process to unfold. He said : "The process entails a formal interaction between the chief whip and Speaker of council and the Independent Electoral Commission, as prescribed in the various legislations, electoral code and Municipal Structures Act, regarding the vacation of office by councillors". - IOL website

ANC lawyer's rates questioned - 10 April
When premier Supra Mahumapelo's advisor, advocate Raphepheng Mataka, is seen at the offices of the ANC's chief whip in the North West legislature, chances are that someone is going to get fired. For years it has been his job to prosecute disciplinary cases for the ANC, as well as advising on policy and new laws. However, a forensic firm in 2010 found that Mataka had no contractual agreement with the Office of the Chief Whip. It concluded that Mataka's law firm submitted "seemingly fraudulent" invoices to the Office of the Chief Whip during the period under review, totaling more than R300 000. This was in contravention of "the stipulations of the Law Society Rules and good accounting practices" said the report. His contract was subsequently terminated in September 2009, according to the report. But the return of Mahumapelo as ANC provincial chairperson in 2011 saw Mataka later making a comeback at the legislature. Mataka said this week that forensic firm KNT's investigation was "shallow and opened up the firm to litigation". The KNT forensic report was subsequently ignored, City Press heard. - City Press website

See also : South Africa : the power of the family business below

Dlamini-Zuma to step down from AU in July, linked to ANC leadership - 7 April
African Union Commission head Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who is tipped to take over the ANC leadership, will step down at the end of her four-year term in July. Dlamini-Zuma did not submit an application to remain as chairperson for a second term before the deadline for candidates closed last week, her spokesperson Jacob Enoh Eben said yesterday. - City Press website

2016 Local Government Manifesto
ANC website

Hawks find evidence of sabotage of ANC launch - 22 April
Recriminations continue in the African National Congress (ANC), following poor attendance at its manifesto launch in Port Elizabeth last weekend. ANC Eastern Cape secretary Oscar Mabuyane made light of the issue, attributing low turnout to transport complications, balmy weather, and the attractiveness of nearby beaches. But the ANC's elections team, headed by Nomvula Mokonyane, refused to believe that poor organisation, leadership corruption and the virtual absence of Eastern Cape politicians in national government explained local disaffection. ANC insiders hinted that the low turnout resulted from efforts to embarrass President Jacob Zuma or local mayor, Danny Jordaan. Now an explosive secret dossier from the reputable Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks) provides compelling evidence that the event was "sabotaged". - Business Day Live website

ANC bus crash horror - 18 April
The accident claimed the lives of 11 people and left at least 59 ANC volunteers injured. The bus was ferrying ANC volunteers from Ekurhuleni home from the party's 2016 local government election manifesto launch in Port Elizabeth. It was travelling along the N1 between Winburg and Kroonstad on Sunday when it rolled several times. It is believed the driver lost control of the bus. According to the Free State Department of Health, a cursory investigation attended by Free State MEC for Health Benny Malakoane indicated driver fatigue as the suspected cause of the incident, as all of the vehicle's tyres were still intact. "The driver is not divulging any info about the cause. However, fatigue is strongly suspected as the bus went off the road . . . and rolled", the department's Facebook page said. However, unconfirmed reports suggested that drivers were taking turns operating the bus while it was moving. The Road Traffic Management Corporation has sent accident reconstruction experts to the scene to conduct an in-depth investigation with other law enforcement agencies to determine the cause of the crash. - IOL website

ANC crash : bus company confirms co-driver "intervention" - 19 April
The company whose bus was involved in the crash that killed 10 ANC volunteers on Sunday in the Free State, says it will be launching its own private investigation into what caused the accident. Kabati Transport Services' spokesperson Wesley Maringa told eNCA that one of the two drivers "intervened" when he noticed the bus veering off the road. He said the driver at the wheel at the time of the accident was still hospitalised and had no recollection of what happened moments before the crash. "What our co-driver has confirmed to us is that he saw the bus moving slowly off the road, (so) he jumped from his own space to get the attention of the driver, to bring the bus back into line. This is a normal occurrence", said Maringa. Maringa said there were no reports of the driver falling asleep at the wheel. - eNCA website

5 December 2016
Keynote Address at the Nelson Mandela Memorial Dialogue, Nelson Mandela Foundation, Johannesburg / Cyril Ramaphosa
Daily Maverick website

See :

White control of business will end, says Cyril Ramaphosa below

Minister and SABC board are duty bound to uphold rule of law below

SANEF calls on SABC to review new policy on violent protests below

SABC row at full volume below

ANC refuses to comment on axing of SABC journalists below

Parliament left to deal with SABC below

We will take law into own hands if Hani killer is released : MK veterans below

'Oscar got away with murder' below

South Africa's Julius Malema warns Zuma government below

State capture investigation : 'kill Zuma's deal' below

Student disruption of the fee commission and the destruction of university property below

Gwede Mantashe : 'I would shut down universities to teach student protesters a lesson' below

Mantashe tackles question of 'free' education below

ANC veteran pocketed R10 million from Guptas, says Mentor below

Guptas and Zuma arranged R6 billion drop off in Dubai : Malema below

Jacob Zuma 'dares' the ANC to fire him below

ANC only got 1 written complaint on state capture : Mantashe below

'Wrong advice' : but Zuma stands by legal adviser below

ANC calls for certain points to be in Sparrow's apology below

ANC weighs in on RMF activist tip saga below

The ANC is anti-black : Qwabe below

Judge under fire over black rape culture comments below

Hout Bay woman in trouble over Facebook post below

Kohler Barnard's Facebook post 'hate speech' : court papers below

Sexual harassment charges dropped against Fransman : NPA below

Marius Fransman faces the axe (Integrity Commission) below

Fransman suffers another blow in the high court (Integrity Commission) below

Mokonyane could be disciplined for comments on ANC's R1bn campaign below

ANC welcomes IEC's dismissal of DA complaint against Parks Tau below

Sachs slates corruption at municipalities below

Why Premier Mchunu will resign today below

The politics of the lists, or, Why the parliamentary ship is listing below

Ramaphosa challenged to live on R3 500 below

Parliament's labour committee chair is the madam from hell above

Questions mount over SA's planned nuclear power deal below

Drama over eThekwini exco list below

PMB manager's suspension shrouded in secrecy below

Party members exchange blows in court over ANC councilor [sic] candidate list below

Economic Freedom Fighters v Speaker of the National Assembly and Others ; Democratic Alliance v Speaker of the National Assembly and Others (Constitutional Court) ('Nkandla' judgment) below

Zuma dares ANC below

Why Stone Sizani had to go below

Zuma must go or face disciplinary : ANC branch below

Mantashe says decision not to remove Zuma due to lessons from Mbeki's removal below

ANC appoints CDE Jackson Mthembu as Chief Whip below

Malema may face same fate as Boeremag treason trialists : ANC chief whip below

ANC wants new rule to protect president below

No Confidence : ANC's diversion-spin goes into overdrive for Zuma, again below

South Africa's political crisis : an expert explains why it's happening and what it means below

Process to replace Madonsela gets under way below

ANC's favourite for top intelligence post fails to make shortlist below

ANC implicated in Prasa 'bribes' below

Gwede Mantashe says Hawks are humiliating Pravin Gordhan below

ANC distances itself from Godongwana statement on Gordhan below

ANC veterans seek consultative forum below

Statement on dropped charges against Cde Pravin Gordhan below

Human Settlement MEC's snub committee hearings [Government and Legislation]

Broadcasting Amendment Bill [Government and Legislation]

ANC supports signing FICA Bill into law [Government and Legislation]

African National Congress Women's League (ANCWL) -

ANC to meet ANCWL over 'ill-discipline- 23 March
The African National Congress says it will first meet with the presidents of its Women's and Youth leagues before deciding whether to take disciplinary action against them for comments made about the National Executive Committee (NEC) and the deputy finance minister. The party's Secretary General Gwede Mantashe on Sunday described Bathabile Dlamini and Collen Maine as being ill-disciplined. Dlamini said all members of the NEC have secrets, and should they be exposed all hell will break loose, while Maine called for Mcebisi Jonas to be redeployed after he revealed the Gupta family offered him the top finance minister post before Nhlanhla Nene was fired. - Eye Witness News website

Modern men must change : ANCWL on Zuma's 'harassment' comment - 6 March
There is no such thing as being "too sensitive" when it comes to harassment, the ANC Women's League said on Sunday. This comes after President Jacob Zuma told a group of female journalists that modern women were too quick to say they were being harassed when men were innocently complimenting them. "This is not being too sensitive . . . women have been subjected to lots of harassment which has made them feel uncomfortable, but that was quoted under the pretext of culture", ANCWL spokesperson Toko Xasa told News24. "In a modern age men need to change whether they like it or not". While checking his voter registration details on Saturday in Nkandla, Zuma said, "It's a pity we live in a white man's world ; you can't even say 'Gqezu, Gqezu ntomazane! Nongenazo izinkomo uyayidla inyama' ". This was a Zulu saying loosely meaning that even if you don't have enough money to pay lobola, you can still get married. Zuma said if men could compliment women the way they did in the past, his bodyguards would compliment the journalists. "But when men compliment you innocently, you say it's harassment. You will miss out on good men and marriage", said Zuma, laughing. - News24 website

See also : We stand firmly behind Zuma : ANC Women's League below

African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) -

ANC MPs are too old and sleep in Parliament, says youth league's Moela - 13 November
ANC Youth League Deputy President Desmond Moela on Sunday called for the ANC to integrate "young blood" into relevant structures of the ruling party. "We need energy. You can see they are very old [and] cannot speak properly. We are saying gradually integrate us into structures of the ANC". Moela was speaking at the Youth League eThekwini Regional conference in Durban. He said structures of the ANC assumed the youth league aimed to take over the organisation completely. "We want to come in over a period of time, not overnight. We do not want old, tired people. We want young blood". Moela said Parliament was in crisis, along with provincial legislatures. - News24 website

Jackson Mthembu is always drunk : ANCYL deputy launches scathing attacks - 13 November
ANC Youth League Deputy President Desmond Moela on Sunday attacked a member of the ANC as well as former public protector Thuli Madonsela. His first victim was ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu whom he called a drunk. Moela went on to criticise former public protector Thuli Madonsela saying she needed to leave the ANC alone. "Can she leave in peace? Why can't she shut up? Can she get a boyfriend please?" He also called for anarchy with discipline. "Anarchy must be the order of the day at some stage. They must see that young people are alive. We must try to organise ourselves and give them anarchy – but anarchy with discipline". - News24 website

See also :

Top Tshwane official expelled from ANC above

ANC to meet ANCWL over 'ill-discipline above

Zuma painting is 'not art' : ANCYL below

Another 'racist' Facebook rant over crowded Durban beach below

ANCYL calls for court petition over land appropriation without compensation below

ANC Women's League mounts personal attack on Manuel and Ramos below

Madonsela sorry for 'Oros' comment below

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries - 

See also :

Land Affairs and Property below

Trade and Industry below

Animal Attacks

Mother of eight-year-old victim still seeking justice for son's death - 28 April
Estelle Sinkins, the mother of eight-year-old James Sinkins, who was mauled to death four months ago when their neighbour's two Alsations leapt over the garden fence and mauled the little boy was he was playing in his garden, says she and her husband will continue to fight for justice. - Maritzburg Sun website

Parents' fight for justice - 29 August
The traumatised parents of James Sinkins (8), a child with special needs are on a quest to get justice for their little boy, but are afraid the justice system is letting them down. Estelle Sinkins confirmed on Friday that she had made representations to the office of the KZN director of prosecutions after a "really horrible experience" with the senior public prosecutor assigned to the case. Sinkins said she had requested a meeting with chief prosecutor Nonhlanhla Dlamini to discuss the "prosecutor's behaviour". She had also written to the office of the KZN prosecutions director. Sinkins has also gone to the media and given a radio interview to publicise her pain and concerns. Sinkins alleges that the prosecutor who visited them told her husband he was "concerned" that she would not make a good witness, that they could not prove the fence was unsafe, that Sinkins was "somehow negligent in the care of my son", and that they could not prove that it was their neighbour's dogs that attacked James. He also allegedly discouraged them from pursuing a civil case, saying it would cost a lot and allegedly "hinted" it would impact on the couple's reputation if they lost. Sinkins said they were left with the "distinct impression" that the prosecutor was not keen to take the case to court. NPA spokesperson Natasha Kara confirmed the prosecutions director's office had received Sinkins’ representations and said the director would study them together with a report by the chief prosecutor regarding the allegations against the prosecutor concerned. Kara added that the chief prosecutor had sent the family an e-mail and intended to discuss the matter with them. She would also deal with the case in future. - News24 website

Woman killed by her family's pet dogs - 26 April
Neighbours have told how they watched helplessly, unable to prevent the killing of a 32-year-old woman who was "almost ripped apart" by her father's pet dogs in Pietermaritzburg. Mpho Mokoena was attacked by two adult Rottweilers and a bull mastiff in her backyard in Braithwaite Road, Montrose, just after 11am on Monday. ER24's Russel Meiring said paramedics were unable to immediately come to Mokoena's aid as the dogs refused to move away from her bloodied body. "Efforts were made in removing the dogs as well as chasing them away. Unfortunately, all of these efforts proved unsuccessful and two of the three dogs had to be put down by the police in order to get her (Mokoena) medical assistance", he said. Emergency personnel eventually climbed over the palisade fence to help her, but she had already died from extensive injuries. Neighbours on Monday told of their shock at the incident, and described the dogs as "aggressive and troublesome". One neighbour revealed that the dogs had killed another dog in the area recently, and had also attacked their owner's gardener a few weeks before Monday's tragedy. An inquest docket has been opened at the Townhill police station. - IOL website

"We will never own dogs again" says grieving dad - 29 April
Shadrack Mokoena who is an official at the department of education said he was driving to Impendle when he got a call to rush back home, Maritzburg Sun reported. He said his daughter who was the mother of a young child, had helped raise the three dogs ever since they were puppies and that she was responsible for feeding them every day. "Mpho had special needs. She went to Peterpan for 18 years and as a family we decided she stayed at home and looked after the house while we provide everything for her. We had the dogs as puppies and she fed them always. We've owned three sets of dogs in the past including a set of female Rottweilers. These dogs were no threat to the family and we always made sure that dogs were secured especially when the gardeners are around", he said. The father believes that the dogs turned on the Mpho after she shouted at them for their aggressiveness towards the neighbour. - The Citizen website

Man in critical condition after dogs attack - 29 April
A man in his 60s was left critically injured this morning after he was attacked by two dogs at a residence in Longmarket Road in Pietermaritzburg. It is understood that the man had heard a loud barking outside and went to inspect. Outside he found two "pitbulls" attacking some chickens. The dogs then apparently turned their attention on the man. On assessment, paramedics found that the man had sustained a number of serious bite wounds over his head, chest and arms. It is believed that the dogs were scared off when the police fired a warning shot. - The South Africa website

Elderly man savaged by pit bulls - 30 April
The latest person savaged in the past week in KwaZulu-Natal by dogs of breeds known to be aggressive, a man in his sixties, fell victim to two pit bull terriers that strayed into his garden from their owner's home a few properties away in Pietermaritzburg's Langilalibele (Longmarket) Street yesterday. It is believed he was airlifted to a Durban hospital after medics took him to Grey's Hospital in the provincial capital. Last weekend, two pit bulls mauled 89-year-old Shaik Adam Hoosen on his way home from mosque in Phoenix. He was treated at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital. - IOL website

Brave dog saves owner from Pit Bull attack - 13 May
A dog saved his teenage owner when a Pit Bull attacked him in Glen Anil on Wednesday. Cameron Grindell, who spoke exclusively to News24, said he had been walking his dogs around the neighbourhood. He noticed his neighbour's gate was open. He saw the neighbour pulling out of her driveway and heard her screaming for her dog not to run o
ut of the yard. "It bit me on my backside and it shook and then when it bit me again, our dog managed to knock it off me", he said. Grindell's dog is an Africanis. The woman managed to take control of the animal and got it back inside the house. She let the teen use her cellphone to call his mother before leaving him, bleeding, at the roadside. "The same dog had almost attacked my gardener and he managed to run away a couple of days earlier. What was more of a concern to me was that she just got in her car and left", his mother, Adrienne Wulfsohn, a trauma doctor, said. - News24 website

Inquest opened after Outdshoorn boy (4) killed by family dog - 18 August
An inquest has been opened after a four-year-old boy died when he was attached by the family dog in Oudtshoorn. The young boy sustained injuries to his face and neck and died in hospital. The incident occurred at the weekend and the dog, a Labrador Retriever, was put down. - Cape Talk website

'There's still a long road ahead for my son' : two years after horror dog attack, widower sues for thousands to cover extensive medical bills - 10 November
Even though it happened two years ago, his child still carries the scars of that fateful day and he is still horribly traumatised, says Marius Barnard, a single father from Pretoria. A bull terrier bit his four-year-old son Eli in the face, a matter which is currently being settled in court. If the court finds the dog's owner, Nico Ras is found liable for the incident he will possibly have to pay R322 000 to cover amongst other things, Eli's (now 7) medical expenses, trauma counselling as well as future medical expenses like plastic surgery. Louw Erasmus, Nico's attorney, told YOU that the question which the court is determining is simple : did the four-year-old boy tease the dog with a chicken bone thereby leading the dog to attack him, as was maintained, or not? Three days last week were set aside for the parties respective legal teams to get witnesses on record and prepare their cases for the Pretoria high court. Judge Johan Louw reserved his judgement, which means that it can be a few months before a verdict is reached. - YOU website

Dog fight has owners snarling - 11 November
A lawyer says she is living in fear after a beach fight between her dog and two others led to verbal assaults and threats. Francoise Lempereur has laid charges of harassment, intimidation and crimen injuria against Shaun Hoddy, accusing him of calling her a "f**king b*tch" and threatening to "break her f**king neck". Lempereur's pitbull, Jude, attacked Hoddy's two dogs at Sea Point beach on Sunday. Hoddy wrote about the incident on the Atlantic Seaboard Crime Watch Facebook page, where a number of group members criticised Lempereur, calling for the dog to be taken away from her. Group member Francoise Brand claimed there had been more than 10 similar incidents involving Lempereur and her dog. - Times Live website

See Facebook post at :

Animal Rights

No exceptions to cosmetics animal testing ban : top EU court - 21 September
The EU's top court on Wednesday ruled that there can be no exceptions to a ban on animal testing by cosmetics manufacturers in the bloc. The case arose in Britain after three companies sought to market cosmetics that were developed for sale in China and Japan using animal tests outside the European Union. The European Court of Justice said EU law bars any cosmetic product containing ingredients which have been tested on animals, wherever that may occur. - Times Live website

Two in court for 'freeing' Buddy the penguin - 3 October
Two men appeared in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court accused of stealing a penguin called "Buddy" from a marine park and releasing him into the sea, police said on Friday. Adrian Donian, 22, and Emile du Plessis, 24, made a brief appearance on Thursday on charges of theft and malicious damage to property. Buddy, an endangered African black-footed penguin, was taken from Bayworld Oceanarium in Port Elizabeth in a nighttime raid two weeks ago, triggering international concern over his fate as he is likely to die in the wild. Bayworld manager Dylan Bailey told AFP that they had confessed to the crime and said it was a demonstration against animals being kept in captivity. Buddy, who was born in captivity, has also been separated from his mate Frances at the marine park, and one of their two chicks has since died, the local Herald newspaper reported. The newspaper said that the two suspects looked remorseful and were "too traumatised" to speak to the media after the court appearance where they were supported by family and friends. - IOL website

Brian Boswell Circus fights laws that protect elephants - 10 December
Circus owner Brian Boswell is challenging the legality of elephant protection laws after wildlife authorities blocked his attempt to sell African elephants to a zoo in the United Arab Emirates. Boswell has refused to accept the denial of a permit application to sell five circus-trained elephants to a Dubai zoo for R3 million each. He is bringing a high court challenge to the validity of the 2008 Elephant Norms and Standards (ENS), which he claims are "policy and cannot be enforced", the Conservation Action Trust reported. - News24 website

See also :

A legal conundrum in a dog eat dog world below

National Environmental Management : Biodiversity Act 10 of 2004 [Government Gazette Update]

NCOP : Land and Mineral Resources (Parliamentary Monitoring Group) (Performing Animals Protection Amendment Bill [B9B-15]) [Government and Legislation]

Arms and Ammunition

Silencer put on grave salutes - 12 December
If you are a gangster bidding farewell to a fallen comrade with a 21-gun salute, the police will be there to catch you. In a warning to gangsters, police said they would be cracking down on the practice. - Times Live website

See also : Firearms Control Act 60 of 2000 [Government Gazette Update]

Arts and Culture -

Minstrels take money battle to high court - 14 December
The Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association (CTMCA) has approached the Western Cape High Court after the permit for its Voorsmakie parade was declined and they failed to secure funding for festive season minstrel events. The R4m allocation has instead been handed to the Kaapse Klopse Karnival Assosiasie, despite the CTMCA running the event for the past 19 years. The permit for the Voorsmakie, which is a practice run for the Tweede Nuwe Jaar celebrations, was declined on Wednesday due to non-compliance. - News24 website

Court rules against CT Voorsmakie this weekend - 17 December
A spat between the Minstrel Carnival Association and the City of Cape Town means there will be no Voorsmakie event this weekend. The parade is usually held at this time of the year, as a dress rehearsal for the big Tweede Nuwe Jaar carnival. But, it seems the association still owes the city money for last year's event and has been unable to pay the R1.1-million for this year's parade. The city has not granted the association a permit, and Judge Anton Veldhuizen agreed with authorities, citing safety and security concerns. - eNCA website

Mabulu : I have no limits in exercising my right to freedom of expression - 14 July
Controversial artist, Ayanda Mabulu, says there's no limit to how far he's allowed to go when exercising his right to freedom of expression. Mabulu launched another controversial display of his work at Constitution Hill in Braamfontein yesterday. In one of the paintings President Jacob Zuma is seen performing a sexual act on a naked Atul Gupta in the cockpit of an aircraft, adorned with the flags of the governing party. - News24 website

Zuma painting is 'not art' : ANCYL - 13 July
The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) issued a veiled warning to Ayanda Mabulu on Wednesday as word spread of the controversial artist's latest work depicting President Jacob Zuma. "We call upon the ANCYL structures where Ayanda resides to engage the fellow on this matter", said spokesperson Mlondi Mkhize. "We want to caution all that such pictures create anger in some quarters, thus this might create confrontational relations between those that continue to create such pictures. We call on Ayanda to halt such pictures regardless of who is involved. These pictures are not only demeaning, but also offensive". As far as the ANCYL was concerned, Mabulu's latest, which depicts likenesses of Zuma and Atul Gupta engaged in a sexual act, "is no art work". It stressed that it was committed to freedom of speech in South Africa, and to the protection of constitutional rights. But this was no more than an insult to Zuma, the league said. - Polity website

Kenny Kunene has naked Zille and Maimane in his bedroom - 29 July
Outspoken businessman Kenny Kunene has strongly defended his purchase of a controversial painting insisting that it depicts the "true nature" of the DA. Kunene has ruffled feathers with his purchase of a painting by artist Iven Amali‚ which depicts Helen Zille‚ Mmusi Maimane and James Selfe naked. In the painting‚ Maimane is depicted as a slave‚ pulling the Western Cape premier, Zille, and the chairperson of the party's federal council, Selfe, in a wagon. - Business Day Live website

DA responds to Kenny Kunene's painting - 29 July
Party spokesperson Phumzile van Damme says they do not agree with the message of the painting revealed on Twitter by businessman, Kenny Kunene. Van Damme says artistic freedom of expression is protected by the Constitution. She says they're more concerned about the last few days ahead of the elections. - East Coast Radio website

'Who cares' : Zille unbothered by painting of her in the buff - 29 July
"Who cares?" That's how Western Cape Premier Helen Zille reacted to the prospect of her naked body hanging on Kenny Kunene's bedroom wall. Maimane's spokesperson Mabine Seabe had on Thursday brushed the painting off‚ saying it is of little consequence to the party. - Times Live website

Zapiro 'confused' by public outrage over Abrahams's monkey cartoon - 25 May
Cartoonist Zapiro says he thought the South African public would understand the context of a cartoon where he depicted National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Shaun Abrahams as a monkey. In the cartoon, Abrahams is depicted as a monkey dancing to a tune being played by President Jacob Zuma. - Eye Witness News website

See also :

Scientists and lawyers save archaeological site from mining below

Millions allocated for annual Cape Town minstrel events below

National Environmental Management : Biodiversity Act 10 of 2004 (Traditional knowledge) [Government Gazette Update]

National Heritage Resources Act 25 of 1999 (Declaration of national heritage sites) [Government Gazette Update]

Auditor-General -

Scopa warns departments taking A-G to court - 3 November
The Standing Committee on Public Accounts has warned government departments and entities that South Africa was not a mafia state. Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu on Wednesday told Scopa of a growing trend by departments and provinces threatening him with legal action on his findings. This elicited anger from Scopa members who questioned the motive of departments in blocking the findings of the auditor-general. Makwetu said they had seen the pushback trend in recent times. - IOL website

Presidency failing to lead by example : AG - 16 November
Auditor General Kimi Makwetu criticised the Presidency on Wednesday for failing to set an example on good governance. It regressed from a clean audit outcome in the 2014/15 financial year to an unqualified audit opinion in the 2015/16 financial year, he said in his report on national and provincial audit outcomes for the 2015/16 financial year. "The inability of the Presidency to have sustained their clean audit outcome is of particular concern given the expectation for the Presidency to lead by example and set the tone when it comes to exemplary financial and performance management and good governance". According to the report, the Presidency failed to comply with government policies such as paying suppliers within 30 days, and supply chain management policies. - News24 website

See also :

Exposed : the deep rot inside the broadcaster below

R378m prisons tender scandal below

Staff shortage stifles police watchdog's role below

Presidency censured for late payments below


See :

KPMG cuts ties with Gupta business empire below

Second draft of retirement funds default regulations released below

Excerpt :
"Meanwhile, the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors has published amendments to the code of professional conduct for registered auditors relating to non-compliance with laws and regulations. Published in Gazette 40480, the amendments will come into force on 15 July 2017"
BN 188/GG 40480/09-12-2016

Auditing Profession Act 26 of 2005 [Government Gazette Update]

Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors [Government Gazette Update]


Banks to scrutinise exposed clients - 12 April
Banks and other accountable institutions will be obliged to conduct more in-depth investigations of their clients once amendments to the Financial Intelligence Centre Act become law - which will probably be the new normal this year. - Business Day Live website

Push for debt relief laws for SA's banks - 21 November
The willingness of banks to find ways to relieve the financial burden of indebted clients is evident, but the jury is still out as to whether this needs to be backed up by enforcement measures. These comments by National Credit Regulator CEO Nomsa Motshegare came after presentations by banks on their approach to debt relief to Parliament's trade and industry portfolio committee. The committee is investigating whether debt relief is necessary and if provision for it should be embodied in an act. Nedbank, Standard Bank, Absa, First Rand, Capitec and African Bank made submissions to the committee. - Business Live website
Keyphrase :
National Credit Act

Retailers oppose debt-relief plan - 28 November
Retailers have joined the banks in opposing prescriptive "one-size-fits-all" debt-relief measures, arguing that debt review and debt counselling provide a "robust framework" for consumers to seek voluntary debt relief. The argument was made in a submission by the National Clothing Retail Federation of SA to Parliament's trade and industry portfolio committee which is considering whether legislation on debt relief is necessary. The committee expects to reach a decision before Parliament goes into recess in two weeks' time. - Business Live website

Expert claims reversing payments to creditors threatens debt review process - 5 December
Payment distribution agents (PDA) will be affected by consumers who request banks to reverse legitimate payments to credit providers. While the new developments apply to consumers under debt review, PDAs might be out of business due to the disruption to payment distributions to creditors. 702's Stephen Grootes spoke to CEO of Debt Rescue, Neil Roets, who said that this would cause further problems for consumers under credit stress. - 702 website

See also : Trade and Industry (Parliamentary Monitoring Group) [Government and Legislation]

The full Myburgh report - 12 May
Fin24 website

African Bank directors failed, business was reckless : Myburgh report - 13 May
The directors of African Bank Investments Limited (Abil) and its subsidiary, African Bank, breached their fiduciary duties to the bank, and the business of the bank was conducted negligently and recklessly, Advocate John Myburgh SC has found. Were it not for a successful rights issue that raised R5.5 billion, the bank would have collapsed by late 2013, a year sooner than it actually did, Myburgh says in his report on the circumstances that led to the August 2014 curatorship of African Bank, which had a loan book of roughly R60 billion at the time and three million customers. Submitted to the registrar of banks, Rene van Wyk in February 2015, Myburgh's report was made public on Thursday at market close. - Moneyweb website

24 May 2016
African Bank and the Myburgh Report : SARB briefing
Parliamentary Monitoring Group website

Capitec accused of 'reckless' lending - 4 May
Banker Capitec has been hauled to court for alleged abuse of short-term credit facilities it offered to customers. The complainant, Summit Financial Partners, has claimed in papers filed in the Stellenbosch magistrate's court that the bank's practices amounted to reckless lending and brought in "unjustified profits". - Business Day Live website

Most banking ombud complaints are about Standard Bank - 13 April
Standard Bank attracts more complaints to the banking ombudsman than any of its competitors. The ombudsman's annual report‚ released on Wednesday‚ said it opened just over 5 000 cases in 2015. Most of the cases were solved by banks, but the ombudsman closed 1 468 after investigation. Standard Bank‚ with 11.6-million clients‚ received 1 530 complaints‚ the top amount across all the major banks. It was followed by FNB‚ Nedbank‚ Absa and Capitec. ATMs dominated the ombudsman's caseload‚ accounting for 1 530 complaints‚ but only one in five was resolved in favour of the consumer. The ombudsman said this suggested ATM users were still not protecting PINs and passwords properly. - Business Day Live website

See also :

Bank's Gupta actions open a PIP of worms below

KPMG cuts ties with Gupta business empire below

Guptas' blacklisting pushes Cabinet to seek judicial inquiry into banks below

Zwane wanted Sarb role changed after Gupta blacklisting : report below

Gordhan's Gupta application : banks 'need order over ministers' (Ministers' intervention in relationship between banks and clients) below

Absa entitled to stop Hlongwane service, says judge below

Politically connected face loans expose below

Court sets aside caps on interest rates and fees for short-term credit below

Black Economic Empowerment

BBBEE Commission regulations published - 8 June
Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Regulations setting out how the Commission is to function have been published in Government Gazette 40053. The regulations were drawn up in terms of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act. - SabinetLaw website

It's make or break for industrialist policy - 6 March
The Black Business Council (BBC) has warned that the government's much-vaunted black industrialist programme may be at risk of turning into a "pie in the sky" scheme. The programme had to result in a situation where industrialists who were supported through the scheme became catalysts for other black businesses to grow in various sectors, BBC president Mohale Ralebitso told City Press. The shortcomings observed in the state's much-criticised broad-based BEE initiatives might also befall the black industrialist programme unless it was carefully implemented, Ralebitso said. - City Press website

White control of business will end, says Cyril Ramaphosa - 24 March
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised black business that government will spend billions on Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) in the coming years. "We are going to intensify BBBEE. We are going to sharpen our teeth and determination when it comes to unemployment. We expect that our black industrialists will have up to R24 billion made available to them to redefine the way business is done in our country", he said at an ANC summit for academics and professionals in Johannesburg on Wednesday night. Ramaphosa encouraged black business to bring their ideas to the ANC. He then asked them to open their wallets to support the party's local government elections campaign. - Times Live website

BEE doesn't work, but EED would - 7 April
It remains vitally important to find effective ways to increase opportunities for the disadvantaged. This cannot be done without overcoming key barriers to upward mobility, which include a meagre economic growth rate, one of the worst public education systems in the world, stubbornly high unemployment, and a limited and struggling small business sector. 'Intensifying' BEE and other transformation policies, as the ANC urges, will not help to overcome these problems. The answer lies in shifting away from BEE and other race-based policies and embracing a new system of 'economic empowerment for the disadvantaged' or 'EED'. - Anthea Jeffery, Head of Policy Research at the IRR, on the BizNews blog

BEE fronting holds SA back, forum told - 30 March
The government, the financial services industry, industry charters in general and verification agencies are all contributing to the continuation of fronting, delegates at the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Commission conference on fronting say. Fronting refers to misrepresenting a business as black-owned and run in order to secure contracts, although the real decision-making is done by white people, who also reap the financial benefits. Fronting is a criminal offence under the recently amended Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Act. - Business Day Live website

New BEE codes : a double-edged sword - 13 April
Newly implemented broad-based BEE codes stipulate that an affidavit is the only documentation necessary for small, black-owned companies to prove their status. While this has been a welcome development for black-owned companies, who previously had to spend thousands to get their status verified, things will now also be easier for companies looking to cheat the system. Amended codes allow the use of sworn affidavits for all companies with annual turnover of less than R10 million. For companies with at least 51% black ownership, the limit is R50 million in annual turnover. Deon Oberholzer, the CEO and co-founder of BEE verification company Veri-Com, says this could have catastrophic consequences for transformation as verification certificates that companies like his were once mandated to supply, provided an element of oversight. - Moneyweb website

Oliphant issues final warning for non-EE compliant companies - 25 April
With the transformation of the top companies in the private sector significantly less advanced than in the public sector, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant on Monday warned companies to pull up their socks or face penalties under the Employment Equity Act. The sixteenth Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) report, released on Monday, showed what can only be described as snail's pace transformation in the top and senior management positions of private sector companies. - Creamer Media's Engineering News website

Is it time to rethink Black Economic Empowerment? - 9 November
Changes to the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) model - the government policy geared toward including previously disadvantaged people in the mainstream economy - may lessen the extent to which post-Apartheid South Africa’s economy remains divided across racial lines. "Capital in this country is still white and male, and the face of poverty is black, African and female", said former Pubic Protector Thuli Madonsela. Addressing delegates at an Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (ABSIP) conference in Johannesburg, she said that BEE has been confused with political economic empowerment. - Moneyweb website

See also :

SA's chief justice roasts business below

Mining companies' black shareholder case in court below

State tenders will have to meet 'pre-qualifying criteria' below

Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Amendment Act 53 of 2003 [Government Gazette Update]

Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act 53 of 2003, as amended by B-BBEE Act 46 of 2013 [Government Gazette Update]

Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Amendment Act 46 of 2013 [Government Gazette Update]

Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998 [Government Gazette Update]

Prohibition on the use of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Commission logo [Government Gazette Update]

Reviewed Broad Based Black-Economic Empowerment Charter for the South African Mining and Minerals Industry, 2016 [Government Gazette Update]

Invitation for the public to comment on the prohibition on the use of the Broadbased Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Commission Logo [Government Gazette Update]

Trade and International Relations (Parliamentary Monitoring Group) (BBBEE Commissioner on work of Commission) [Government and Legislation]


A review of the King IV Report on Corporate Governance
Werksmans Attorneys website

SA's chief justice roasts business - 2 November
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng yesterday came down hard on business for lack of transformation and fronting practices. In an address at a conference to launch the King IV Report on Corporate Governance (King IV) in Johannesburg, Mogoeng zoomed in on some of the shortcomings of the business sector. These, he said, limited its ability to criticise the government. Mogoeng's comments come as South African business leaders are increasingly becoming assertive about current affairs in the country. Approximately 81 chief executives of listed and unlisted companies recently pledged their support for Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Mogoeng questioned pay disparities based on race and gender. He also urged the business community to deal with cartel conduct. Mogoeng urged companies to confront fronting. - IOL website

See : Named : the 81 CEOs who pledged support for Gordhan below

Court bid to overturn Sacci board - 8 November
Four affiliate chambers of the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) have made an urgent application in the High Court in Pretoria for Sacci's annual general meeting held on October 19 to be declared invalid and set aside. The chambers say the election of the Sacci board of directors was irregular, invalid and not in accordance with the body's memorandum of incorporation, amid allegations of financial impropriety, following the tabling of Sacci's audited financial statements. Sacci represents about 20 000 small, medium and large enterprises across all economic sectors in SA. The application - intended to be heard on November 15 - asks that the court direct that the board revert to its previous make-up by no later than February 28 2017 in terms of Sacci's memorandum of incorporation. The application by the Ekurhuleni North, Border-Kei and Pietermaritzburg chambers of commerce and industry and also the Northern Cape chamber in Kimberley, dated November 1, wants it ordered that the new board members be interdicted and restrained from acting as board directors and that some are interdicted as acting as Sacci office bearers until a new annual general meeting is convened. Chamber CEO Alan Mukoki said on Monday that court papers had been filed by parties unhappy with the way the board had been elected. There are also allegations that over the past six to nine months, Sacci management has been instrumental in "extensive emotional harassment" of two key employees - Peggy Drodskie, former Sacci acting CEO and chief operating officer, now retired, and Albertha Franken, Sacci accountant and company secretary, who is serving notice. The application said a large number of Sacci members had threatened to leave should the new board be permitted to act. - Business Live website

SMEs get R1.5bn boost - 10 May
The private sector has set aside R1.5bn to help small and medium enterprises survive the tough economic climate. The announcement was made by Discovery CEO Adrian Gore during a briefing at the Union Buildings on Monday where government, labour and business shared the progress made by the work streams established by President Jacob Zuma to assist the country to avoid a credit downgrade. "The fund is a private sector initiative but we are hoping that government contributes . . . we are focusing on what business can provide. We have injected R1.5bn into the fund but ultimately we are hoping to raise R3bn", Gore told reporters. Support has been "overwhelming" and this "bodes well for the future", said Gore. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said government wants  to see the fund increased to double digits to ensure small businesses can be assisted to create jobs. - Fin24 website

Letter to Gordhan : National Jobs fund : funding unemployment - 15 June
This is powerful stuff and highlights where the problem lies in South Africa. There are people wanting to make a difference, yet roadblock after roadblock from government institutions are put in the way. - BizNews website

Alleged SA Ponzi scheme MMM's global pyramid collapses - 12 April
Sergey Mavrodi's Bitcoin-based MMM Global Republic of Bitcoin scheme has collapsed, affecting the local branch of MMM Global. MMM Global South Africa – its local branch - is one of nine companies being investigated for being an alleged Ponzi scheme by the South African Police Service's Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit, after the National Consumer Commission's initial probe in 2015. The South African "community" has been growing in numbers over the years, as South Africans seek ways to escape debt and poverty. It has even been described as a stokvel by some, and has become an emotive topic for those who buy into it. Officially, the SA platform said its members are encouraged to donate money to others by rewarding them with the bitcoin-linked virtual currency - Mavros - in return, and can apparently get 30% return on their rand investment by doing so. A Ponzi scheme occurs when a return is 20% higher than the repo rate, which in SA is 7%. BehindMLM said Mavrodi "executed his exit strategy a few weeks ago. On March 20th Mavrodi informed investors there would be no more news updates published to the MMM Global website". "Mavrodi has not been heard from or seen since, and is presumed to be on the run. It's highly likely he withdrew and/or transferred out as much of the money he stole from investors before fleeing". However, a Youtube video dated April 11 has been seen of Mavrodi giving his usual update in Russian, although the date on the video cannot be verified. - Fin24 website

MMM : pyramid scheme, stokvel or wealth revolution? - 13 April
If MMM Global SA is a stokvel and not a pyramid scheme, as claimed by some of its members on Tuesday, then it needs to be a member of the National Stokvel Association of South Africa (Nasasa) or a similar body and conform to its rules. That's the message from the National Consumer Commission's (NCC) Trevor Hattingh, who investigated the alleged pyramid scheme in 2015. "In 2015 the NCC conducted an assessment of the business models and practices of MMM together with that of eight other savings or investment schemes", Hattingh told Fin24. "The purpose of this assessment was to establish if any of the schemes were contravening the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act. The NCC has been working with the South African Police Service on this matter and therefore on completion of its initial role (assessment), handed it over to the SAPS (Hawks) for further assessment". - Fin24 website

A brief history of MMM - 13 April
Financial websites have reported that MMM's bitcoin exchange has collapsed - here is what we know about the company so far. - Times Live website

Internet-based nature of MMM scheme 'makes it tricky to investigate' - 13 April
The internet-based nature of MMM‚ SA’s latest alleged Ponzi scheme‚ is posing difficulties for authorities seeking to prosecute the perpetrators. The Reserve Bank‚ which is mandated to investigate these schemes and order the repayment of investors' money if breaches of the Banks Act are found‚ would struggle to conduct an inspection and prove that the scheme was carrying on the business of a bank through accepting monetary deposits from the public without registering as a bank. - Times Live website

'Ponzi' MMM still strong after Bitcoin collapse - 13 April
While MMM confirmed that its electronic currency Bitcoin exchange had collapsed, South African participants, in what has been dubbed a Ponzi scheme, said they would continue to invest their money, confident they would receive a 30 percent return. MMM was started by convicted Russian scammer Sergey Mavrodi in the former Soviet Union in the late 1980s. He would replicate the formula in other countries, moving his operation online and eventually launching in South Africa in August last year. - IOL website

MMM SA seeks court clarity over Ponzi claims - 15 April
People representing South Africa's MMM community said on Friday they applied to the Pretoria High Court on Thursday to get clarity on whether its donation-based network of users is a Ponzi and or pyramid scheme. The high court could not confirm the case on Friday, as it said its system has crashed. The members said in a statement that it is "absolutely confident that the court will declare that the MMM community is not a multiplication or pyramid scheme as defined by the Consumer Protection Act". MMM is currently part of an investigation by the electronic crime unit of the cybercrime and digital forensic laboratory within the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks). - Fin24 website

Hawks probe MMM 'pyramid' scheme - 16  April
The Hawks have set their sights on the local arm of an international investment scheme which has already collapsed in Russia and is apparently on shaky ground here after luring millions of South African investors. A Russian fraudster is allegedly the mastermind of the operation, suspected to be a pyramid scheme. It left millions of Russian investors bankrupt. But the probe by the Hawks, which also involves crime intelligence police officers, is being hampered by the magnitude of the scheme. - IOL website

MMM members may be liable for donations tax - 18 April
Members of the global 'social financial network' MMM may find themselves in trouble with tax authorities if the so-called 'donations' they make to one another exceed R100 000 in a given tax year. - Moneyweb website

News24 demands MMM website to remove fake apology - 22 April
News24 has ordered a website linked to alleged pyramid scheme MMM to remove a fake apology that seeks forgiveness for publishing stories about the Russian-created scheme. Lawyers representing Media24 and News24 editor Adriaan Basson sent a letter to MMM demanding the fake post – published around April 17 – be removed immediately. "The publication is false and constitutes a fraudulent misrepresentation", they said. "At no stage did our client or anyone of its reporters apologise for their reportage concerning MMM. In fact, the person referred to in your publication as 'Rodolf van der Merve' from News24 is unknown to our clients. It appears that you have fabricated the false apology to counter the negative publicity your establishment has received in recent times. It is a deliberate misrepresentation calculated to mislead the public and to cast doubt upon the veracity of News24's reportage on the matter". - Fin24 website

The trouble with MMM - 25 April
Social financial network, MMM needs a continuous stream of new members to join the system in order to provide existing members with financial assistance. And herein lies its number one problem. If no new members join the so-called "mutual financial aid scheme" then the flow of money between members – described as "donations" by those on the inside – will simply dry up. This is because MMM relies on new capital entering the system to pay its members, rather than actual profits earned from selling goods and services. - Moneyweb website

MMM 'donations' are free gifts - 28 April
You cannot lose what you freely give away. In the case of the self-proclaimed mutual financial aid scheme, MMM, members "donate" money to one another and so presumably must be content to not get anything in return. If they are not comfortable with that notion, they contradict the very essence of a donation (a gift freely given) and therefore of the scheme itself. Deon van Rensburg – who on behalf of MMM members is seeking a ruling from the High Court on whether or not MMM is a ponzi or pyramid scheme – explains that there are no returns earned in the MMM system. - Moneyweb website

MMM : Media and banks trying to help consumers : Asisa - 28 April
While many MMM subscribers believe banks, the Hawks and the media are out to get them, the truth is that the investment sector genuinely wants to protect people from products that are likely to wipe out their savings. The message from Peter Dempsey, deputy CEO of the Association for Savings and Investment (Asisa), is that the media as well as the savings and investment industry has a duty to help consumers distinguish between legitimate products and those that are likely to cause financial losses. - Fin24 website

Tax implications of investing in a pyramid scheme - 10 May
Investors are constantly misled into investing in pyramid schemes promising double-digit monthly returns with no traceable underlying asset. For the majority who are left to deal with the ramifications of losing their capital investment, they are further adversely affected by the income tax payable from the income derived from the scheme and for the amount received from the investors by the scheme. The income derived from the investment must first be subject to income tax in the hands of the scheme, even though there was a fraudulent intention. This reduces the amount recoverable by the investor, resulting in a direct tax burden. - Moneyweb website

Fidentia investors who lost savings to receive some cash - 2 December
A co-curator of the Fidentia companies says investors who lost savings will receive some cash within the next few months. On Thursday, convicted fraudster J Arthur Brown's last asset, the Sante Hotel, Conference Centre and Spa was auctioned for R25.1 million. Four villas on the property were also sold for between R2.6 million and R4.6 million. There were gasps as the hammer came down and the last of Fidentia's assets were auctioned off. In total, the hotel and villas raked in just under R40 million. - Eye Witness News website

For a history of this topic in InfoUpdate, click here

Huka Lodge owner Alex van Heeren in Court of Appeal - 11 April
Huka Lodge owner Alex van Heeren​ is challenging a multimillion dollar judgment in the Court of Appeal. In April last year the High Court ordered Dutch-born investor and Honorary Consul, van Heeren, to repay at least US$25 million (NZ$32m) to Michael Kidd - a business partner of more than 20 years ago. The High Court ruling followed up a previous judgment in South Africa by ordering van Heeren to pay the money into the court as an interim accounting of the sum owing to Kidd. Van Heeren's appeal was heard on Monday, where his lawyer, David Goddard, QC, argued defining the 'partnership' could give way to issue of "issue estoppels". Van Heeren had been prevented from denying a formal business relationship with Kidd, which he said was a "trust" relationship. The pair had been feuding since the mid-1990s after Kidd claimed van Heeren had hidden millions of dollars worth of assets from him when their partnership was supposedly terminated in 1991. Goddard said partnership issues and matters necessary for a decision in relation to claims in South African court were not properly understood. The High Court had taken a broad approach to estoppel and there were "asymmetric consequences". "In my submission it must be clear the issue was necessary for the decision in the foreign court". The High Court judge had erred in rejecting an objective approach in the assessment of what was necessary when applying the test, he said. - Stuff website

Huka Lodge owner appeal dismissed, Court of Appeal orders $US25m payment to ex business partner - 22 August
Alex Van Heeren has failed his Court of Appeal bid to overturn a ruling that he pay $US25 million as an interim measure to former business partner Michael Kidd until they can agree on the full amount owed. The order, made by Auckland's High Court last April, prevents Mr van Heeren from denying he is in formal partnership with Kidd and that they accumulated assets worldwide, as was found in the South Gauteng High Court of South Africa in 2013. - NBR website

See also :

South Africa case to be heard first [NZ] - 25 March [2006]
A multimillion-dollar claim from the now defunct business partnership that owned Taupo's exclusive Huka Lodge will remain stayed till a case in South Africa has been heard. Honorary Dutch consul and multi-millionaire Alex van Heeren is being sued by his former business partner Michael Kidd for half the empire the pair built in the 1970s and 80s.
[Words and Deeds. 26 March 2006]

Millions at stake in Huka Lodge asset row - 11 April [2014]
The New Zealand Herald website
InfoUpdate 12 of 2014]

Huka Lodge owner loses multimillion dollar lawsuit - 17 April [2015]
Stuff website
InfoUpdate 1 of 2015]

Court rules Tigon duo must face charges - 28 April
The High Court has ruled that Gary Porritt and Sue Bennett should stand trial for 3 160 charges including fraud and tax offences, linked to their management of the once-listed Tigon in the 1990s and early 2000s. The ruling draws to a close a decade-long series of pre-trial legal skirmishes initiated by the two. There have been 47 judgments by various courts, but the duo has yet to plead to the charges. - Business Day Live website

Judge to Porritt : do not raise your hand to me - 8 September
Shortly after 10am on Wednesday
, the third day of the trial, Judge Brian Spilg made a ruling regarding the admission of certain documents. Porritt – who is unrepresented and has been raising his hand regularly over the previous two days to indicate to prosecutor Advocate Etienne Coetzee and first witness Jack Milne to slow down, as he painstakingly makes notes of everything said in court – tried to stop Spilg. "Please do not stop me", Spilg told Porritt. Porritt complained that he needed "an opportunity to write this down" and said he has a problem in that he cannot read or write fast". Spilg explained to him that he was making a ruling and Porritt need not write everything down. He won't be prejudiced, Spilg said. He advised him to rely on his co-accused Bennett who apparently makes notes on her computer and has not complained of falling behind. When Spilg continued, Porritt raised his hand as he does to slow down Coetzee and Milne. "Be sure that you do not raise your hand to me when I'm speaking", Spilg said and repeated that Porritt was not being prejudiced. As Porritt tried to get up to respond, Spilg said : "Sit down, Mr Porrit. I'm speaking". When Coetzee later during the proceedings also tried to assert himself against Porritt slowing him down, Spilg reprimanded Coetzee, saying "That is for me, not for you". - Moneyweb website

Day three of Porritt, Bennet trial focuses on fraudulent investment scheme - 8 September
The fraud, theft and racketeering trial of Gary Porritt and Sue Bennet entered its third day on Wednesday, with the prosecution painstakingly admitting some of the documents that will make up the many volumes to be used as evidence against the former directors of now defunct JSE-listed financial services company Tigon. Porritt and Bennet face more than 3 000 counts of fraud, theft and racketeering. The trial, supposed to begin in 2006, only got under way in earnest this week after years of delays and intervening litigation and is expected to run for many months. This week's portion of the trial is focused on counts 99 to 3 067, which deal with what the state claims was a fraudulent investment scheme involving PSC Guaranteed Growth. When this company collapsed almost 3 000 investors lost more than R162m. - Business Live website

Who are Tigon's Porritt and Bennett - 12 September
During the first week of their long-awaited criminal trial last week Tigon kingpins Gary Porritt and Sue Bennett presented a curious picture. The two face more than 3 000 counts of fraud, racketeering, and contraventions of the Income Tax Act, Companies Act and Stock Exchange Control Act. The are unrepresented in the South Gauteng High Court after judge Brian Spilg refused to grant the postponement they requested until March next year, when they said their legal team would be available. - Moneyweb website

Porritt : State to produce illusive document or explain - 18 October
The State has to produce the charge sheet its first witness in the criminal trial of Tigon kingpins Gary Porritt and Sue Bennett pleaded guilty to years ago. If it cannot, it will have to explain why not. This follows after Porritt brought an application to that effect on Monday morning in the North Gauteng High Court, when the trial resumed after a postponement in September. The State earlier presented what it purported to be partial copy and later a full copy of the charge sheet that Jack Milne, the first witness and former MD of PSCGG pleaded guilty to years ago, saying the source document was not available. Milne was sentenced and served a jail term as a result of his guilty plea. This related to the same events that are before the court in Porritt and Bennett's trial. - Moneyweb website

Porritt trial : Milne investment results 'possibly once-off' - 7 December
A single good investment result cannot be taken as the norm. The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) was warned of this in 2000, with a consultant weighing in on complaints that the failed Progressive Systems College Guaranteed Growth (PSCGG) could be misrepresenting the facts. In the ongoing criminal trial of Tigon kingpins Gary Porritt and Sue Bennett, it emerged that there had been complaints by the Life Offices' Association and the Association of Unit Trusts that PSCGG's advertisement was misleading. This was according to testimony from state witness Jack Milne, who testified about a report to a directorate of the ASA by consultant Louis Botes. - Moneyweb website

See also :

Law Matters : When preliminary litigation obstructs justice below

Panama leaks shed light on Porritt's secret web below

For a history of this topic in InfoUpdate, click here

See also :

Politically connected face loans expose below

Trade and Industry below

Business red tape to be cut to up ranking below


See : Vodacom asked to withhold 'Please Call Me' settlement money below

Children's Rights

Baby Jamie : mom faces murder rap - 5 July
The mother of baby Jamie has been charged with murder. The mother and the maternal grandmother of the little Chatsworth girl - who died from abuse, allegedly at the hands of relatives - were brought to the Durban High Court on Monday and served with an amended indictment. This follows the outcome of a private psychiatric assessment of the mother. - IOL website

For a history of this topic in InfoUpdate, click here

Young siblings to testify about little sister's death - 26 July
Details of the cruel life and death of a 3-year-old will be told by her brother and sister - themselves now only 12 and 9 - when they testify in the Durban High Court this week in the trial of their mother and grandmother, who are accused of their little sister's murder, and also of physically and sexually assaulting them. The three had been placed in the care of their grandmother by the Children's Court after their mother, for financial reasons, wanted to put them up for adoption. - IOL website

I was a bad granny : evidence - 26 July
A Chatsworth grandmother accused of abusing, raping and killing her 3-year-old grandchild had confessed to a police officer soon after her arrest to being "a bad granny". This police statement was admitted into evidence by the State on Monday at the start of the Durban High Court trial. According to the November 2014 statement, the grandmother admitted to tying the child to the bed at night. The mother and granny had also pleaded not guilty to charges of child abuse, assault and sexually assaulting the child's older siblings, who are now 12 and 9 years old. However, the grandmother had initially pleaded guilty to abusing and killing her grandchild and began to explain her reason, but then stopped. After a short consultation with her Legal Aid attorney, Theyagaraj Pillay, she said she had made a mistake and wanted to change her plea to not guilty. Senior State advocate, Cheryl Naidu, then had to read these two charges again to her so that she could correctly plead. - IOL website

Baby X's mom pins death on gran - 16 August
Baby X's mother testified on Monday that her children were her life and that she had loved the little girl. She pinned all the blame on her mother for Baby X's death. Baby X's mother and her grandmother are on trial for the murder of the infant on November 19, 2014 in their Chatsworth home. The women have pleaded not guilty to the murder as well as charges of child abuse, assault and sexual assault against the little girl's two older siblings, who are now 9 and 12 years old. The grandmother also pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting and raping the little girl who died from a blunt head trauma after fatal child abuse. The women nor the little girl can be named, to protect the identity of the dead girl's surviving siblings who are the complainants in the matter. On Monday, Baby X's mom confidently told Durban High Court Judge Mohini Moodley about her troubled childhood. She testified to having been in a motor car collision in 2001. In her statement made to the court at the start of the trial, she had said that since this accident she suffered a mental defect where she could not distinguish right from wrong. However, under cross-examination, the State pointed to various examples illustrating that Baby X's mom did in fact understand the difference between right and wrong. She moved out with Baby X when the little girl was three months old. She told the court that a metro policewoman had taken Baby X away from her and taken her to a place of safety. Under cross-examination, she told the court the policewoman had accused her of trying to sell Baby X. The night of Baby X's death she told the court she had stayed at a shelter with her two daughters and only learnt about Baby X's death from a woman in town who was talking about the Chatsworth murder. She never identified Baby X's body and said the first time she saw her daughter's dead body was when post-mortem pictures were shown to the court. Neither woman reacted to these photographs. - IOL website

Baby X was rubbed with chillies, court hears - 17 August
A self-confessed drug addict, on trial with her Chatsworth mother for the alleged rape and murder of her 3-year-old daughter, has testified that she had twice witnessed the older woman rubbing chillies into the girl. The 31-year-old mother appeared emotionless as she was taken to task by state advocate Cheryl Naidu for apparently doing nothing to stop her. The punishment, meted out because the child had messed herself, left the girl highly traumatised, the Durban High Court heard on Monday. The two women have pleaded not guilty before Judge Mohini Moodley to all charges. When she was questioned by Naidu whether she had tried to soothe the burning sensation by rubbing Vaseline or other ointments, the mother said she had not. It emerged during evidence that the child was separated from her mother and granny for about two months when she was under a year old. The removal was triggered by a concerned policewoman, Captain Reena Naidoo, who before having the girl sent to a place of safety, warned the mother not to use the child as a pawn while begging on the streets of Durban and the beachfront. The metro policewoman had warned her that she would report her to child welfare authorities, the court heard. However, the child's granny obtained the green light from the Durban Magistrate's Court to become the foster parent of not only the girl, but also her other siblings, including a 4-year-old. The mother said that because she lived at a shelter near the beachfront she was forced to hand over the guardianship rights of her children to her mother. - IOL website

Mother who tried to sell baby online sentenced to house arrest - 4 May
A 20-year-old mother who tried to sell her baby online has been sentenced to house arrest for three years and a five-year suspended jail term. Pietermaritzburg Regional Court magistrate Rose Mogwera on Wednesday further sentenced the woman to community service without remuneration. The woman has to also attend life skills programmes and other courses determined by the Mental Health Society. - Times Live website

Concourt's landmark ruling for children's rights - 15 August
In a victory for children's rights, the Constitutional Court has confirmed the principle that the best interests of children should always prevail, and that the arrest and detention of a child by the police should be done as a measure of absolute last resort. Eleven judges of the Constitutional Court last week confirmed that any SAPS officer who has a run-in with a child must comply with the Bill of Rights regarding children's rights and they must thus think twice before they arrest and detain a child (under 18). - IOL website

Constitutional Court
11 August 2016
CCT151/15 [2016] ZACC 24 ; 2016 (10) BCLR 1326 (CC) ; 2016 (2) SACR 540 (CC)
Raduvha v Minister of Safety and Security and Another
Arrest and detention of a child - arrest under section 40(1)(j) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 - rights of a child in section 28(1)(g) and 28(2) of the Constitution - police discretion police did not consider child's best interests - discretion to arrest must comply with the Bill of Rights - detention of a child must be a measure of last resort - appeal upheld with costs

Constitutional Court scathing about arrest and detention of child - 18 August
AllAfrica website

When justice forgets to be blind : lessons from the 'latrine baby' case - 14 September
At the time of Judge Mabel Jansen's remarks, the government was quick to emphasise that "the judiciary should be beyond reproach because the fate of a number of people lies in their hands". It is perhaps ironic then that at the same time, another case of judicial partiality has been playing out in a courtroom in KwaZulu-Natal. What happens to a judicial officer who refuses to uphold the law or to suspend his subjectivity when making decisions? . . . [A media report's] probable intent was to bring into question social work practices in adoption. In reality, it raised a lot of even more troubling questions, specifically related to judicial neutrality, the power of Children's Court magistrates and why some are permitted to exercise such enormous discretion in deciding the fate of children. The Sunday Times article ostensibly focuses on the fate of Baby S (the so-called "latrine baby" from the title). This two-year-old boy was abandoned shortly after birth, and appeared in Children's Court in the hope of placement in a family. - Daily Maverick website

Shock over proposed Philippine law to jail nine-year-olds - 21 November
Children as young as nine could be jailed in the Philippines for certain crimes under a proposed law backed by the president, sparking concern from the United Nations and rights groups. President Rodrigo Duterte's allies have been pushing to pass laws by December that would restore the death penalty and lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 15 to 9. Duterte won May elections largely because of a vow to kill tens of thousands of drug dealers, also promising on the campaign trail to close a loophole in the juvenile justice system that he said allowed traffickers to use minors as narcotic couriers. - East Coast Radio website

See also :

Determining the age of criminal capacity : acting in the best interest of children in conflict with the law below

Madonsela : SA court system not designed for children below

Home Affairs below

AB and Another v Minister of Social Development (Constitutional Court) (Surrogate motherhood) below

Child Justice Act 75 of 2008 [Government Gazette Update]

Children's Act 38 of 2005 [Government Gazette Update]

Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction [Government Gazette Update]


ICT White Paper on track - 11 May
An Integrated ICT White Paper is in its final stages of consultation. The telecommunications and postal services minister, Siyabonga Cwele, announced this during his budget vote speech in parliament. The minister added that the White Paper would be finalised within the next few months. He described the policy as informed by the "developments, innovation and convergence of technologies in the ICT sector". The aim is for all South Africans to benefit from participation in the digital society. - SabinetLaw website

New era dawns for ICT sector - 3 October
South Africa's government has finally moved ahead with a long-awaited information telecoms policy, catching up on tech that has substantially advanced in the two decades since the last policy. Yesterday morning, Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele had a media briefing at which he said a National Integrated Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Policy White Paper had been approved by the cabinet. - IOL website

See also :

ICT White Paper to see the light in August - 3 March [2014]
Polity website
InfoUpdate 9 of 2014]

National Integrated ICT Policy White Paper
GenN 1212/GG 40325/03-10-2016
[Government Gazette Update]

A tale of six ministers - 22 July
Shortened version of a speech that TechCentral editor Duncan McLeod delivered on Thursday at the Future of Media Conference in Johannesburg. - Moneyweb website

22 November 2016
ICASA Councillor interviews
Parliamentary Monitoring Group website

Parliament grills telecoms department on broadband - 16 March
MPs expressed concerns over the department of telecommunications and postal services' broadband plans in Parliament on Tuesday. The department, in presenting its broadband plans to the telecommunications and postal services committee, outlined its aim to model e-government services on "leading countries" that displayed integration on services. Department representative Tinyeko Ngobeni further told the committee that the department was accelerating the implementation of the SA Connect policy which seeks to ensure universal broadband in SA. However, members questioned the financial details of the broadband plans. - Fin24 website

Cwele to fight Icasa spectrum decision - 26 July
Minister Siyabonga Cwele is taking the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) to court to challenge its decision to invite applications for spectrum licences from companies wishing to provide mobile broadband wireless access services. On July 15, Icasa invited interested companies to apply for spectrum within the 700MHz, 800MHz and 2 600MHz bands. The spectrum will be auctioned, with the minimum bidding price set at R3bn, which Icasa said was in line with international benchmarks. Cwele on Monday said the decision to turn to the courts came after two meetings held with Icasa in a bid to resolve the matter had not reached the desired outcome. The government was concerned that Icasa's invitation to apply for the auctioning of the spectrum was issued without consultation and prior notification to it as the policy maker. "The position of the government is that it is the custodian of spectrum, which is a national and public resource and whose utilisation must benefit all the people of SA", said Cwele. - Business Day Live website

Don't set ICT policy in the courts : Kumalo - 1 September
The courts are the last place South Africans should be negotiating the future of the ICT sector, yet that is exactly what is happening, a prominent businessman warned on Thursday. Romeo Kumalo, who until last year headed up Vodacom's international operations - and who has now struck out on his own with a new venture capital business called Washirika - has bemoaned the fact that communications regulator Icasa and telecommunications & postal services minister Siyabonga Cwele are headed to court over the allocation of broadband spectrum. As a result of this – and other policy failures – South Africa is being left behind other African countries, such as Kenya and Rwanda, Kumalo said. - TechCentral blog

ANC policy bungling keeps data costs high - 18 September
The effects of perpetual policy bungling, which has become the hallmark of the ANC government's communications ministries, will be laid bare during a two-day public hearing into the cost of communications held in Parliament this week. The lack of availability of spectrum for wireless broadband services is the major cause of high prices. Increased competition, coupled with effective and independent regulation, will drive down communication costs. - Marian Shinn, Democratic Alliance's Shadow Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, on the allAfrica website

Parliament may take #DataMustFall debate further - 22 September
Members of Parliament could the take the debate on allegedly high South African mobile data prices one step further than just a portfolio committee hearing. Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Telecommunications and Postal Services conducted a two-day hearing this week on South Africa's mobile data costs. - Creamer Media's Engineering News website

Icasa overshot limits, says Cwele's counsel - 28 September
The Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) had a legal duty to wait for the publication of the government’s white paper on information and communications technology before it auctioned off high-speed broadband spectrum, counsel for Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele said on Tuesday. The company or companies that are to obtain the licences over the rare spectrum that Icasa plans to auction off will be able to provide superfast 4G data download, giving them a huge competitive edge in the mobile market. Despite objections by Cwele, Icasa is pressing ahead with the auction, setting a date for May 2017. - Business Day Live website

White paper will ensure rollout of broadband for all, Cwele says - 29 September
The Cabinet has approved the long-awaited information and communications technology (ICT) white paper dealing with policy on spectrum and other issues on the eve of the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) finding out whether it will be allowed to go ahead with its contested spectrum auction. Telecommunications Minister Siyabonga Cwele, who initiated the case against Icasa, on Thursday welcomed the announcement, and said the white paper would ensure the universal rollout of quality broadband infrastructure and services. It also promotes open access to enable new entrants. The paper, said Cwele, replaced the separate papers on telecommunications published in 1996 and the 1998 paper on postal services. - Business Day Live website

Icasa ordered to stop spectrum auction - 30 September
Communications minister Siyabonga Cwele has secured an urgent court interdict preventing communications regulator Icasa from going ahead with its plan to license radio frequency spectrum for 4G/LTE broadband through an auction. - TechCentral website

30 September 2016
ICASA Accepts the Judgement as Handed Down by Judge Sutherland in the Matter Brought before Court by the Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services
ICASA website

Cwele victorious as court rules against ICASA - 3 October
The Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Siyabonga Cwele, emerged the victor after the North Gauteng High Court ruled on Friday to halt the R12 billion spectrum auction of the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA). Cwele had argued that ICASA should have waited for his department, as the policymaker, to finalise its ICT White Paper before proceeding with spectrum auction for high frequency broadband in South Africa. - IOL website

See also :

Communications (Parliamentary Monitoring Group) [Government and Legislation]

Telecommunications and Postal Services (Parliamentary Monitoring Group) [Government and Legislation]

Icasa turns down all five free-to-air TV applications - 16 March
The Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) will reissue an invitation to apply for a free-to-air licence after it rejected all five applications including the Gupta family's Infinity Media Networks, because of noncompliance with the requirements. In 2014 five companies - Medo Investments, Levoca 565 trading as Hola Media, Infinity Media Networks, Rubicon Investments, and Change TV Network - responded to Icasa's invitation to apply, known as an ITA, for free-to-air licences to rival existing player etv. The regulator aims to open the market to more competition. As the country's only-free-to-air broadcaster, etv has urged the regulator not to issue new licences, saying a market study to determine the viability of new broadcasters and a review of the regulations to protect existing players was necessary. - Business Day Live website

Constitutional Court
26 April 2016
CCT52/15 [2016] ZACC 13
Makate v Vodacom (Pty) Ltd
Contract - breach - oral agreement to negotiate in good faith
Pleadings - Ostensible authority - Distinct from estoppel - Not necessary to plead ostensible authority in replication
Prescription Act 68 of 1969 - Sections 10(1), 11(d), 129(d) - interpretation of "debt"
Constitution - Section 39(2) - Narrow interpretation of "debt" - claim not prescribed
["Please call me" judgment]

Vodacom must negotiate with 'please call me' creator in good faith - 26 April
The Constitutional Court on Tuesday ordered Vodacom to negotiate in good faith with Nkosana Makate to determine "reasonable compensation" for his "please call me" idea. The innovation has generated billions of rand for the cellular giant. The judgment - the final word in a protracted eight-year David and Goliath legal battle - was scathingly critical of Vodacom's conduct, saying it left a "sour taste in the mouth". Vodacom said it was studying the judgment. In his majority judgment, Justice Chris Jafta said the way Vodacom had defended its case - through legal, technical defences - was "not the kind of conduct to be expected from an ethical corporate entity". - Franny Rabkin on the Business Day Live website

Knott-Craig under fire in concourt judgment - 26 April
The constitutional court has slammed former Vodacom executives' version of how the company's "please call me" product. The constitutional court on Tuesday morning found Vodacom was bound by an agreement with Nkosana Makate, the inventor of the "please call me" concept. Vodacom now has to negotiate with Makate about compensation for the multibillion-rand idea. The court, in its judgment, said that "despite the product being a success, Vodacom did not negotiate compensation for the use of the applicant's idea". And the judgment had harsh words for former Vodacom CEO Alan Knott-Craig and its ex-head of product development, Philip Geissler. - TechCentral blog

How Nkosana Makate won the Please Call Me case - 28 April
The case, which was before the South Gauteng High Court, later appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) and now the Constitutional Court, has dragged on for nearly ten years in compensating Makate for the innovation. However, the nub of the case was a dispute between two parties with an unequal bargaining power – typical of an underdog taking a telecommunications giant to task. The back story on the case is important to unpack. - Moneyweb website

'Please Call Me' ruling : David can defeat Goliath - 28 April
Sometimes the formalistic application of technical legal rules by courts stands in the way of achieving a just and fair outcome in a dispute between parties who have unequal bargaining power. But as the Constitutional Court demonstrated this week in its judgment on the "Please Call Me" dispute between Kenneth Nkosana Makate and Vodacom, this need not always be so. With a little resourcefulness and a strong sense of justice, courts will often be able to interpret and apply technical legal rules in a manner that will produce a reasonably just outcome. - Daily Maverick website

News Analysis : a hollow ringing down Vodacom's technical line - 28 April
The message from the Constitutional Court in the "please call me" case is that courts will take a dim view of technical legal defences as a way to avoid justice. There was something unsettling in the High Court in Johannesburg's judgment. It gave Mr Makate the moral victory, but simultaneously snatched compensation from under his nose. The court found that the "please call me" concept was Mr Makate's brainchild and that Vodacom's Philip Geissler had agreed that, if the idea turned out to be a money-spinner, Mr Makate would be paid for it. But, said the court, Vodacom had not authorised Mr Geissler to contract on its behalf and so, could not be bound by the agreement. The court said that Mr Makate had erred because he had not made out a case of "ostensible authority" - to show that even if Vodacom did not authorise the contract, it was still bound by it because of how it had acted and behaved. Finally, Mr Makate had waited too long to make his claim and it had prescribed, it said. The judgment was unsettling because the law is not supposed to pull in the opposite direction to justice. On a proper application of the law, justice should be the inevitable result. More significantly than castigating Vodacom, the court applied the law on ostensible authority and developed the law on prescription to ensure that justice is done. On prescription, both the majority and the minority agreed that the Prescription Act has to be interpreted in line with the Bill of Rights, in particular the right of access to court. - Franny Rabkin on the Business Day Live website

How I invented Vodacom's Please Call Me : Nkosana Makate - 4 May
Nkosana Makate is asking for 15c of every rand of revenue that the Please Call Me generated, which amounts to around R10.5 billion. "The concept came about with my battles with my girlfriend, who is now my wife", said Makate. "I had to make sure that I guarantee calls, or the initiation of calls coming from her, and that is how the penny dropped", he said. - mybroadband website

Vodacom asked to withhold 'Please Call Me' settlement money - 26 May
Potential disputes around the share of any settlement agreement could further prolong the 8-year legal battle. Vodafone Group's South African unit has been told to delay full payment to a former employee credited with the idea for a popular calling service, pending the outcome of a dispute between the person and the company that helped fund his eight-year legal battle. Sterling Rand, which found financial backers for Kenneth Makate as he pursued Vodacom for compensation for "Please Call Me", has told the Johannesburg-based wireless operator to withhold at least 50% of any settlement, a letter sent on behalf of Sterling Rand by lawyers Fairbridges Wertheim Becker shows. Sterling Rand is concerned that Makate and his lawyers, Stemela & Lubbe, will agree to a deal that excludes the company. Makate may be entitled to as much as R10.5-billion. According to the letter, Makate had agreed that the litigation financiers must give written consent to any settlement reached, unless it exceeded R650-million. The dispute surrounds whether or not Makate validly canceled this agreement with Sterling Rand. If Vodacom does not agree to the request, an urgent application will be asked for by the courts. - Mail & Guardian website

Lawyers, investors fight over Please Call Me billions - 3 June
Kenneth Makate's Please Call Me victory barely six weeks ago has disintegrated into a clash between lawyers and investors who financed his case in a plot to hijack the billions owed to him by Vodacom. The Mail and Guardian reported on Friday that a company is applying for an urgent court interdict to stop the cellphone giant from paying a cent to Makate. Alternatively‚ the company‚ called Raining Men Trade‚ wants the courts to make Vodacom pay him no more than 50% of the settlement reached on what he should be paid for coming up with the hugely successful Please Call Me service. Raining Men Trade claims it was the legally appointed firm for the contract with Makate‚ in line with his deal with litigation-funding company Stirling Rand‚ which picked up his case in 2013. But in a bizarre turn of events‚ Raining Men and Chris Schoeman‚ who found investors to fight the case against Vodacom‚ claim that an attorney on their own legal team conspired with another law firm to oust the company. The attorney‚ Wilna Lubbe‚ allegedly told Makate that the funders were not paying his legal fees and he could become liable for the costs. A new attorney was then introduced to Makate. The row involves false letters of demand being sent out‚ grossly inflated legal fees and some of the investors who backed the case being described as "nothing less than leeches". - Times Live website

Please Call Me takes another court twist - 9 June
After a herculean victory over telecommunications giant Vodacom for being the rightful inventor of Please Call Me, Nkosna Makate has yet again been dragged back to court. A fresh legal battle has emerged between Makate's lawyers, Stemela & Lubbe Incorporation, and a company called Raining Men Trade, purporting to be the early litigation funders of Makate's nearly decade-long case against Vodacom. An urgent interdict was filed at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria last week by Raining Men Trade (which is the first applicant in the matter) to delay Vodacom from negotiating with Makate and his lawyers on compensation for Please Call Me. The urgent interdict is also supported by Chris Schoeman (the second applicant), who was also involved in raising funds for Makate's litigation costs against Vodacom. But Moneyweb has learned on Wednesday that Schoeman and Raining Men Trade are looking to withdraw from the legal action and revert back to an arbitration process it launched last year. It is unclear if both applicants will have to pay the costs of the interim interdict application. - Moneyweb website

See also : Champerty [InfoUpdate 17 of 2014]

Stalled negotiations send Please Call Me inventor to court (again) - 8 December
A fresh battle between Nkosana Makate and Vodacom is heading to the Constitutional Court again as compensation negotiations between both parties for his Please Call Me service have deadlocked. The latest court application seeks clarity on the groundbreaking Constitutional Court order in April this year that compelled the telecommunications company to enter into in good faith compensation negotiations. Makate also wants Vodacom to give experts, appointed by him, access to its records to determine the revenue that the service generated since its inception in 2001. Analysts have estimated that Please Call Me  has generated billions for Vodacom and Makate wants a 15% cut of the profits. Vodacom has to respond to the application by January 23 next year. - Moneyweb website

Cell C drops termination rates court case - 8 March
Cell C has dropped its drawn-out court case against the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) over mobile termination rates (MTRs). The regulator has welcomed Cell C's decision to withdraw its application to review ICASA's 2014 Call Termination Regulations. "It vindicates ICASA's view that the regulations were both lawful and procedurally fair", ICASA told ITWeb in a statement. - ITWeb website

MTN must allow departing customers to keep numbers : court - 6 September
MTN Group has been ordered by a Johannesburg court to allow customers to keep their phone numbers when leaving for South African telecommunications competitors. The policy of Africa's biggest wireless operator by sales to block subscribers from retaining numbers if they did not apply to transfer them within a certain time frame was challenged in the city's High Court by Cell C, South Africa’s third-biggest mobile-phone company. The court ruled in Cell C's favor on Tuesday, according to legal documents. - Moneyweb website

Former MTN CEO paid R23.7m for loss of office - 25 April
MTN Group former CEO Sifiso Dabengwa was paid R23.7m for loss of office after he resigned from Africa's biggest wireless operator following a record $5.2bn fine levied by Nigerian regulators. The payout took Mr Dabengwa's total 2015 remuneration to R40.6m, Johannesburg-based MTN said in the company's annual report published on Monday. - Business Day Live website

How MultiChoice trapped South Africa's first convicted pirate TV box seller - 2 May
On 1 October 2014, a Cyber Piracy Investigator in the Broadcast Risk Division of MultiChoice found an imported Android set-top box listed on the website of AVSupply. Called the "DroidTv Box MXiii", the online advertisement stated that media-streaming add-ons for XBMC came bundled with the device. - mybroadband website

Court saga puts set-top box production on ice - 16 September
Another delay has hit South Africa's digital broadcast migration project as the agency behind the rollout of set-top boxes has temporarily halted production of these devices. Set-top boxes decode digital signals for analogue television sets and government plans to distribute these devices to around 5 million poorer households. - allAfrica website

Encryption battle headed to SA's top court - 23 June
Communications minister Faith Muthambi's spokesman, Mish Molakeng, has confirmed that government on Wednesday lodged papers at the constitutional court in its battle with etv over encryption of digital TV signals. - TechCentral blog

Hlaudi Motsoeneng : another court defeat, but still fighting - 23 May
SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng has been running the legal gauntlet for years and on Monday he took another heavy blow. Still, he always seems to survive and will keep fighting his opponents in court. But if he keeps on losing like this, he won't be in charge for much longer. Western Cape High Court Judge Dennis Davis dismissed the SABC's and Muthambi's application for leave to appeal a judgment that found Motsoeneng's appointment from acting to permanent COO was unlawful and irrational. According to a report, the SABC said it will now petition the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) directly. - Daily Maverick website

See also : High Court rules Hlaudi Motsoeneng must be removed from position below

SABC chief still at helm despite denial of appeal - 23 May
South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng is not going anywhere despite losing a string of court challenges, the latest one delivered by the High Court in Cape Town on Monday. But SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said the broadcaster would "definitely" petition the Supreme Court of Appeal. "Mr Motsoeneng is still the COO (chief operating officer) until all court processes have been concluded". The saga has dragged on for two years with no resolution in sight. It has played out in the high court, the Supreme Court of Appeal and in the Constitutional Court, where it had an abortive stint. - Business Day Live website

SABC Acting Group CEO Jimi Matthews quits - 27 June
Acting CEO Jimi Matthews has resigned from the SABC, saying recent changes at the broadcaster are "wrong" and he has compromised his values under the current leadership. Matthews posted a picture of his resignation letter on Twitter on Monday morning, indicating his decision to leave following widespread changes under COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng. "For many months I have compromised the values that I hold dear under the mistaken belief that I could be more effective inside the SABC than outside, passing comment from the side-lines". Matthews said the 'corrosive atmosphere" had impacted negatively on his moral judgement, and made him complicit in decisions he "was not proud of". - News24 website

Statement at

SABC journalists threaten news blackout - 28 June
Senior journalists at the SABC on Tuesday threatened to down tools following the resignation of acting CEO Jimi Matthews from the public broadcaster. - News24 website

Muthambi slams Matthews over SABC resignation - 29 June
The Department of Communications has slammed former acting South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) chief executive Jimi Matthews over the timing of his resignation, labelling it "suspect". Matthews resigned suddenly on Monday, citing a "corrosive atmosphere" at the broadcaster and describing his "compromised values". However, in a statement released on Tuesday, the ministry expressed its surprise at the public disclosure of the resignation. - Polity website

SABC row at full volume - 29 June
The ANC has ordered Communications Minister Faith Muthambi to sort out the mess at the SABC before the broadcaster implodes. Those close to the ANC plan said the party is concerned at a staff revolt and how this might influence coverage of the local government elections in August. It is not clear what the ANC wants and whether it still backs the embattled SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng. - Times Live website

There is more to the SABC crisis than meets the eye - 7 July
The flip-flopping by the ANC that went from defending SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng last week, to giving him a tongue lashing on Tuesday, forms part of a simmering war between the party and Communications Minister Faith Muthambi, who - like Motsoeneng - enjoys President Jacob Zuma's protection. This battle, which has been going on for more than a year, is further evidence that the ANC is no longer the political driving force behind the government. Power is firmly vested in the president and his acolytes, who are in strategic positions in government and state institutions. - Business Day Live website

DA asks SCA to deny petitions from 'Hlaudi and his band of protectors' - 12 July
Hlaudi Motsoeneng "and his band of protectors now need to abandon this abuse of our judicial system and taxpayers' money"‚ the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Tuesday. The party said it will pen an affidavit asking the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) to deny petitions for leave to appeal the Western Cape High Court's setting aside of the appointment Motsoeneng as South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) chief operating officer. Theses petitions were expected from Motsoeneng‚ the SABC board and Communications Minister Faith Muthambi following Judge Dennis Davis' dismissal earlier this year of their application for leave to appeal his judgment that found Motsoeneng's appointment from acting to permanent COO was unlawful and irrational. - Times Live website

Supreme Court of Appeal
14 September 2016
Application for leave to appeal : Hlaudi Motsoeneng: the Chief Operating Officer of the SA Broadcasting Corporation Soc Ltd v the Democratic Alliance

See also :

Western Cape High Court
27 November 2015
12497/2014 [2015] ZAWCHC 182 ; [2016] 1 All SA 504 (WCC) ; 2016 (3) SA 468 (WCC)
Democratic Alliance v South African Broadcasting Corporation Soc Ltd and Others

Whether appointment of Mr Motsoeneng as COO of the SABC was made in terms of principle of legality

Excerpt :
"Lawfare, the use of law as a replacement for political warfare, has become common place in South Africa"

Communications (Parliamentary Monitoring Group) (including SABC Report by Public Protector, Board inquiry, appointment of former COO) [Government and Legislation]

Court rejects Motsoeneng appeal - 19 September
SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng's attempt to appeal a court order against his appointment has been flatly rejected by the supreme court of appeal in Bloemfontein. - TechCentral website

Motsoeneng still has room to manoeuvre - 20 September
SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng still has some lives left in the prolonged legal battle fending off those in pursuit of his scalp. Motsoeneng, the SABC or Communications Minister Faith Muthambi could still appeal to the Constitutional Court. Just lodging such an appeal would keep him at the helm a little longer, at least until the highest court were to reject it. Motsoeneng's attorney, Zola Majavu, on Monday said he had written to the public broadcaster asking what its position was on the appellate court's decision. Majavu added that he and his client respected the decision. The SABC could not be reached for comment. - Franny Rabkin on the Business Day Live website

DoC studying Motsoeneng's SCA ruling - 20 September
The Ministry of Communications says it has noted the court judgment regarding the Chief Operating Officer of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), Hlaudi Motsoeneng. "The ministry is studying the judgment and is confident that the board of the SABC will make an informed decision on how it intends to handle this ruling", the ministry said. - allAfrica website

Hlaudi's R11.4m bonus - 25 September
SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng this week scored himself a massive R11.4 million bonus and managed to hold on to his job despite current controversy. So when he declared that he would "come back stronger" at the SABC at the funeral of kwaito star Mandoza, his confidence was well founded because he had already received notice that he was to retain power at the public broadcaster and that millions were due to flow into his bank account. A letter confirming his redeployment to a senior position as group executive for corporate affairs had already been sent to Motsoeneng, just days after a Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruling dismissing his application to appeal a high court ruling that set aside his permanent appointment as chief operating officer (COO), owing to findings by the Public Protector. According to four well-placed and independent sources at the SABC, Motsoeneng will then be asked to act in the vacant position of COO – putting him right back where the courts said he should not be. - News24 website

Hlaudi's SABC pals slip him R10m bonus - 25 September
Days before a Supreme Court of Appeal ruling this week ended Hlaudi Motsoeneng's legal bid to keep his job, the SABC is said to have paid a secret R10-million bonus into his bank account. The bonus - for brokering a deal with MultiChoice in 2013 that some critics have slated - was paid at the instruction of acting CEO James Aguma, inside sources claim. It was made without the knowledge of the SABC board and has angered some of its members. "This would be fraud", said one, who did not want to be named. "It should come to the full board for deliberation before decisions are taken. This matter should be referred to the police. This is not about governance. It's corruption". - Times Live website

How the Motsoeneng saga has damaged SABC's reputation and insulted the judiciary - 26 September
Last week the SABC board announced that it would ask Minister of Communications Faith Muthambi to appoint Hlaudi Motsoeneng as the acting chief operating officer of the broadcaster. This announcement followed the Supreme Court of Appeal ruling dismissing the petition lodged by Motsoeneng, the minister and the board of the SABC against the refusal by the Cape Town high court to grant leave against its order that the appointment of Motsoeneng as chief operating officer of the SABC was irrational and unlawful. This column recently posed the question of who is above the law in this country. It omitted to deal with the primary case : the redoubtable Motsoeneng clearly believes he is above any law, and apparently the SABC board feels the same way. - Mail & Guardian website

Union wants Motsoeneng's account frozen - 27 September
Hlaudi Motsoeneng's bank account should be frozen until a thorough investigation into allegations that he received a huge bonus for negotiating a R570m contract with MultiChoice's DStv in 2013 is done, the Broadcasting, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) said on Monday. - Business Day Live website

26 September 2016
Minister and SABC board are duty bound to uphold rule of law
ANC website

As it happened : Hlaudi is the new Group Executive of Corporate Affairs - 27 September
The SABC has held an urgent media briefing to announce "major decisions". One of the announcements is that Hlaudi Motsoeneng will go back to his former job as Group Executive of Corporate Affairs. - News24 website

Who is Paul Ngobeni and why was he at the SABC? - 28 September
Paul Ngobeni‚ a "private citizen" who made an appearance at the media briefing by the SABC on Tuesday to announce the redeployment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng‚ has been in the public spotlight since he returned from the US in 2007. In the briefing‚ Ngobeni was seated in the panel, which included chairman Mbulaheni Maguvhe‚ Motsoeneng and acting CEO James Aguma. It was unclear why he was in the panel‚ but this became evident when he addressed the briefing. Ngobeni said he was disturbed about a journalism trend involving the way the reporters approached court judgments. "Court judgments are to be read‚ analysed‚ dissected‚ but at the same time they cannot be distorted simply to pursue an agenda against certain individuals who are perceived to be vulnerable to attacks by politicians‚ NGOs and so forth", Ngobeni said. - Business Day website

Public Protector to take legal action against SABC over Hlaudi appointment - 27 September
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela says her office will be taking legal action against the SABC board following the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng to a senior executive position. "The starting point will be to find out what was the process of appointing him. Was that position vacant, what were the requirements before he was appointed to it," she told reporters in Pretoria. "That position would have been advertised before the previous incumbent was appointed, what were the requirements, what processes were used to determine that Mr Motsoeneng is now fit to be an executive in the SABC and to be fit for that specific position". - News24 website

See also :

Court hears of Hlaudi Motsoeneng's 'dishonesty' at SABC (Public Protector is fifth respondent) below

MPs split over Madonsela SABC inquiry appearance below

Mthembu dares Motsoeneng to reveal information he claims to have - 27 September
African National Congress (ANC) Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu has on Thursday dared Hlaudi Motsoeneng to reveal the information he claims to have against him saying he has nothing to hide. During The New Age business briefing discussing state capture on Thursday, the SABC Group Executive of Corporate Affairs said Mthembu had "interest" in the broadcaster and had invited him to a hotel where a meeting was held between the two. "Jackson Mthembu should be the last person to talk about the SABC. Jackson Mthembu should know that I met him at a certain hotel where maybe it is capture, but no one can capture me and he knows that. That meeting was coordinated by someone and we met", said Motsoeneng. - The New Age website

Jackson Mthembu files R1m defamation lawsuit against Hlaudi Motsoeneng - 17 November
ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu has begun the process of filing a lawsuit against Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the SABC's group executive of corporate affairs, following remarks Motsoeneng made about Mthembu during a broadcast of The New Age business briefing in October. Mthembu is suing Motsoeneng for R1-million and has also demanded an apology and that Motsoeneng pay legal costs. - Mail & Guardian website

SABC's unlawful appointment of Motsoeneng the 'last straw' : ANC - 28 September
Hlaudi Motsoeneng's "unlawful" appointment as SABC group executive of corporate affairs is the last straw that breaks the camel's back, the ANC in Parliament said on Wednesday. The party was gravely concerned about the ongoing situation at the SABC, which had seen it regularly hogging headlines for all the wrong reasons, ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu told reporters in Parliament. Developments at the public broadcaster were causing the country serious embarrassment. The decision to reappoint Motsoeneng in a new position was a violation of court rulings and unlawful. The SABC board, which had been summoned to Parliament in October, had a responsibility to rescind it. - News24 website

MPs warn SABC over Motsoeneng appointment procedures - 28 September
The Portfolio Committee on Communications says the SABC board will be taken to task if it failed to carry out due processes in appointing Hlaudi Motsoeng to another senior position at the SABC. Motsoeneng has also indicated he will re-apply for his old job as soon as it is advertised. - Eye Witness News website

Cabinet warns SABC board over Motsoeneng - 29 September
Cabinet has called on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Board to desist from "legally suspect interpretations" of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruling against Hlaudi Motsoeneng's appeal. - The New Age website

NADEL notes the recent controversial decision by the SABC to appoint its former COO as its Group Executive of Corporate Affairs - 1 October
The National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL) is extremely displeased with the decision by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) to appoint its former Chief Operations Officer (COO), Hlaudi Motsoeneng, as its Group Executive of Corporate Affairs. - Law Society of South Africa website

Hlaudi faces chop 'by end of the week' - 2 October
Hlaudi Motsoeneng could be fired by the SABC by the end of this week after a meeting of the portfolio committee on communications. The committee took strong exception yesterday to the SABC board's defiance of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) judgment and wants answers on the rehiring of Motsoeneng in a different position. The SABC board and its executive management is meeting MPs on Wednesday over the reappointment of Motsoeneng. Despite suffering a financial loss of R411 million in the last financial year, the SABC has also incurred irregular expenditure of R5 billion. - IOL website

Opposing forces gang up on Hlaudi - 2 October
Hlaudi Motsoeneng is in the firing line - claims have emerged that President Jacob Zuma has lost confidence in him, and two SABC board members have called for an urgent meeting ahead of a parliamentary committee hearing this week. The Sunday Times has seen letters from board members Krish Naidoo and Vusi Mavuso, asking that chairman Mbulaheni Maguvhe call a meeting for Tuesday - a day before the board appears before the communications portfolio committee to explain why Motsoeneng was appointed group executive of corporate affairs. Naidoo is a legal adviser to the ANC with a long history in the struggle. - Sunday Times website

See also :

Mavuso : SABC flouted basic corporate governance practices below

Motsoeneng 'squatting' at SABC : former board member below

1 October 2016

The National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL) is extremely displeased with the decision by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) to appoint its former Chief Operations Officer (COO), Hlaudi Motsoeneng, as its Group Executive of Corporate Affairs. The decision by the SABC comes a few days after the Supreme Court of Appeal had dismissed, with costs, the application for leave to appeal against the Western Cape High Court decision. The High Court decision set aside as invalid Motsoeneng's appointment as the public broadcaster's COO. On the face of it the Board of the SABC has circumvented the consequences of the Western Cape High Court decision and the Supreme Court of Appeal's pronouncement on the matter. The actions of the SABC amount to a continual dragging of its name into the mud and shows that the public broadcaster has no respect for the rule of law, the Constitution and the principles of good corporate Governance.

The Public Broadcaster plays a pivotal role in the promotion of democracy in South Africa and must be treated with the seriousness required. We therefore call upon the SABC to take itself seriously as it has lost the public's trust.

The SABC is a state owned entity (SOE) but runs it's affairs without regard for accountability to government and the taxpayer. We frown upon the "laissez fairer" approach of the SABC. The free reign of its Board, in light of numerous judgments and negative findings by the public protector, only demonstrate to all and sundry that there is no political will to deal with that seems to be in the good books of the dominant view within government. This again leads to one inescapable conclusion, in this daily drama of tragedy in our country, that there is a vacuum in terms of leadership.

We urge the South African Government to investigate the ongoing insistence by the SABC Board to appoint Motsoeneng. We strongly believe that there is much more which needs to be unearth in these controversial and continuous actions of the SABC Board. The SABC Board has demonstrated, beyond any questions, that it is incapable of performing its oversight functions in relation to the Public Broadcaster. The Minister of Communications must accordingly conduct an enquiry on the fitness of the Board to continue with the functions assigned to it. We support both the cabinet position and the statement issued by the Chief Whip of the African National Congress (Mr Jackson Mthembu), in which they call for an action against the Board and the removal of Mr Motsoeneng from the SABC but not without first asking, what took so long?

Issued on behalf of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL), South Africa

By : Memory Sosibo
Publicity Secretary, NADEL Executive Committee
Contact : 081-710 7910

Law Society joins calls for investigation into fitness for office of SABC Board members - 2 October
The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) adds it voice to the calls for an investigation into the fitness of the Board members of the SABC to hold office in the public interest. - Law Society of South Africa website

Hlaudi still a trustworthy employee : Ses'khona - 4 October
Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng remains a trustworthy employee capable of holding any position of authority, the Ses'khona Peoples Rights Movement said on Tuesday. It was convinced that the SABC board and Motsoeneng were victims of "political realignment" in the ANC and the country, the movement's leader Andile Lili told reporters in Cape Town. - allAfrica website

This is not the end : Motsoeneng - 5 October
SABC Group Executive of Corporate Affairs Hlaudi Motsoeneng on Wednesday told detractors that it is only the beginning for him despite parliamentarians expressing misgivings about his conduct at the broadcaster. "For those thinking we are gone, they are wrong, this is the beginning of a real fight for transformation", said Motsoeneng. A defiant Motsoeneng was speaking outside the steps of Parliament after the SABC board was quizzed about his appointment at the broadcaster despite an investigation by the Public Protector finding it irregular. "We will ensure that there is transformation even from outside the SABC it doesn't matter", said Motsoeneng. - The New Age website

Hlaudi Motsoeneng's friends are no friends of the court in DA's High Court case - 23 November
Beleaguered SABC executive Hlaudi Motsoeneng was dealt an early blow on Wednesday when the High Court in Cape Town dismissed an application by his supporters to join his latest court battle as friends of the court. The High Court in Cape Town is hearing an application brought by the DA to have Motsoeneng removed from the SABC, where he is group executive of corporate affairs. Three groups - including the Decolonisation Foundation, which is led by former government spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi - launched an application on Wednesday requesting to be admitted in the matter as friends of the court. The groups said they wanted to support "Hlaudi against the 'rantings' of the DA". The Decolonisation Foundation was represented by Mokotedi Mpshe, the former head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). However, the court dismissed the application and said reasons would be provided later. - Business Live website

Court hears of Hlaudi Motsoeneng's 'dishonesty' at SABC - 24 November
The office of the public protector has argued in court that Hlaudi Motsoeneng should not hold any position of influence that requires honesty and integrity at the SABC because he was found to have been dishonest. The High Court in Cape Town heard on Wednesday an application brought by the DA to have Motsoeneng removed from the SABC. The office of the public protector is listed as the fifth respondent in the matter. "The public protector found him to be a dishonest employee . . . [and] contributed to the toxic failure of corporate in governance at the SABC. Therefore, it was irrational for him to be appointed to any position of influence that requires honesty and integrity", Etienne Labuschagne, the lawyer for the public protector, told the court. - Business Live website

High Court rules Hlaudi Motsoeneng must be removed from position - 12 December
The Western Cape High Court has ruled that Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the South African Broadcasting Cooperation group executive of corporate affairs, be removed from his position. On Monday, Judge Owen Rogers ruled Motsoeneng should not hold any position at the public broadcaster. - Eye Witness News website

Western Cape High Court
12 December 2016
3104/2016 ; 18107/16 [2016] ZAWCHC 188
Democratic Alliance v South African Broadcasting Corporation SOC Ltd (SABC) and Others ; Democratic Alliance v Motsoeneng and Others

New disciplinary committee to scrutinise Motsoeneng - 12 December
A new court-ordered disciplinary committee needs to clear Hlaudi Motsoeneng's name and a Public Protector's report needs to be overturned on review for him to lawfully work at the SABC. The new disciplinary committee will be chaired by a person ordered by the court, based on names submitted by the DA, the Public Protector and the SABC ; and the parties have to agree to the candidate, the Western Cape High Court ruled on Monday. - AllAfrica website

Motsoeneng advised not to report for duty by lawyer - 13 December
Hlaudi Motsoeneng's lawyer‚ Zola Majavu‚ said he advised his client that‚ until he is informed to the contrary‚ he should not to report for duty at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). - Times Live website

See also : Hlaudi Motsoeneng : another court defeat, but still fighting above


Two SABC board members drop resignation bombshell - 5 October
Two SABC board members dropped a bombshell during an emergency meeting of Parliament's communications portfolio committee, when they tendered their resignations, saying the board was dysfunctional. During the meeting Krish Naidoo and Vusi Mavuso distanced themselves from the SABC board presentation to MPs justifying the reappointment of former chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng as group executive for corporate affairs. Naidoo and Mavuso told MPs they were not party to the presentation. They said his appointment was procedurally flawed and unlawful. This means that the board, which is on the brink of being dissolved, now has only four members, meaning it cannot reach a quorum or take crucial decisions. The board is meant to have 12 members, and needs nine for a quorum. - Business Day Live website

Why Vusi Mavuso resigned from SABC board - 6 October
SABC board members Vusi Mavuso and Krish Naidoo dropped a bombshell when they resigned. Mavuso told Radio 702 on Thursday morning that the board had no choice but to be dissolved‚ as‚ "without a quorum‚ it would be operating illegally". He told the station that he resigned because his "conscience could no longer allow me to continue in the tragedy at the board". Mavuso‚ the longest-serving board member until his resignation on Wednesday‚ said he had asked for a meeting of the board before appearing before the committee, but his request was not entertained. He said that although he and Naidoo had "deliberated about . . . and more often than not agreed about the shenanigans at the SABC board"‚ they had resigned independently. The last straw for Mavuso was "when I read in the media that a R11.4m bonus was awarded to Hlaudi Motsoeneng‚ without me knowing about‚ that could not be countenanced". - Business Day Live website

See also : Motsoeneng 'squatting' at SABC : former board member below

SABC board chair refuses to resign, accuses Parliament of bullying tactics - 6 October
South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) chairperson Obert Maghuve on Thursday accused MPs of trying to bully him and fellow board members to resign, insisting he won't be quitting his post. "In order for me to not keep you in suspense, let the inquiry come. I'm ready for it so it means I'm going nowhere", a defiant Maghuve said at a media briefing in Johannesburg. Maghuve lashed out at Parliament's portfolio committee on communications, who on Wednesday resolved to institute an inquiry into the fitness of the board to hold office. - Polity website

Muthambi distances herself from Manyi's SABC comments - 6 October
Communications Minister Faith Muthambi has distanced her office from former government spin doctor Mzwanele "Jimmy" Manyi. Earlier this week, Manyi tweeted that South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) executive Hlaudi Motsoeneng was on the "right side" of the Employment Equity Act regarding his qualifications. Manyi further tweeted that SABC governance issues are board matters and have nothing to do with Motsoeneng. It has been previously reported that Manyi is a special advisor to Muthambi. Manyi previously headed up the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS). "The ministry wishes to state that Mr Manyi is no longer an advisor to the minister of communications and therefore does not speak on behalf of the ministry", said Muthambi's office. - Polity website

Threat of lawsuit may dislodge SABC board - 9 October
When SABC board chairperson Mbulaheni Maghuve thumbed his nose this week at MPs calling for the remaining diehards on the board to quit while they were ahead or face an inquiry, there may have been less bravado than shrewd calculation in his stance. While it is now inevitable the board will be dissolved in ignominy - given that all parties in Parliament are behind such a move - Maghuve's attitude makes it clear it will not go quietly, and the SABC is a past master at delaying the inevitable. How long it will take to dislodge Maghuve and company depends heavily on the precise legal interpretation of the term "due inquiry". The Broadcasting Act gives Parliament's portfolio committee on communications the power to recommend the dissolution of the board, after which a resolution to this effect must be passed in the National Assembly and the president must then remove the board. But such a recommendation can be made only after a due inquiry has established that the board has failed to fulfil its fiduciary responsibilities, and/or failed to adhere to the SABC charter, and/or failed to fulfil its obligations in terms of Section 13(11) of the Broadcasting Act, which enjoins the board to control the affairs of the SABC and to protect freedom of expression and journalistic, creative and programming independence. On the face of it, failures on all three counts are already a matter of public record and an inquiry would seem a mere formality. - IOL website

SABC board fires missive of bias at Parly - 7 November
The SABC fired the first salvo this week, accusing Parliament's oversight committee on communications of bias. It also questioned the committee's ability to preside independently and fairly over its inquiry into the fitness of the broadcaster's remaining three nonexecutive board members to hold office. On Tuesday, SABC board chair Mbulaheni Maguvhe wrote to Humphrey Maxegwana, chairperson of the communications committee, objecting to the inquiry being conducted by the same committee members "on the grounds that there is reasonable suspicion that the committee will be biased against the remaining members of the board". The move forced Parliament to take quick corrective measures by establishing an ad hoc committee, made up of MPs who had not previously made statements about the SABC. - News24 website

See also : Parliamentary inquiry into the fitness of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board below

SABC fires 123 employees‚ citing medical scheme fraud - 5 April
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is dismissing 123 employees‚ with immediate effect‚ after an investigation into medical aid fraud‚ the state broadcaster said on Tuesday. - Times Live website

SABC commits to play 90% local music across all platforms - 11 May
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has committed itself to playing 90% local music across the 18 radio stations as from Thursday (12 May 2016). - SABC website

SABC to play 90% local music - 11 May
Public broadcaster the SABC says it will play 90% local music across its 18 radio stations from Thursday, May 12. The move follows what the state-owned company says has been "extensive" engagements with music representatives. In choosing to play 90% local music, the SABC is also going beyond what is required of it by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa). In March this year, Icasa announced that holders of public sound-broadcasting service licences must play at least 60% South African music. Meanwhile, commercial stations are required to play a minimum of 35% South African music, according to Icasa. - Fin24 website

Less Queen Elizabeth and more local royalty on SABC - 15 June
SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng as part of his local content TV drive is promising viewers the reed dance live in September and again slammed South African media for being fixated on wanting to report corruption and not "good stories to tell". - Channel24 website

SABC 'not concerned' about viewership following reed dance decision - 15 June
The SABC's drive for more local content will see the national broadcaster provide live coverage of the traditional Zulu reed dance ceremony later this year. But the broadcaster says that it is not concerned about losing viewers over the decision. - Times Live website

SABC3's new local content a TV ratings flop - 17 August
The SABC's move to suddenly dump international content and flush the SABC3 schedule with locally produced shows from July has seen SABC3's ratings collapse. Viewership for all the new shows are so low that not a single one of the new programmes managed to even make last month's top 20 most watched shows. After an abrupt order for his plan of 90% local television by the SABC's controversial chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng that was hastily implemented in July, the plunging ratings for SABC3 spells disaster for August and beyond. - Channel24 website

How Hlaudi Motsoeneng ate Lotus FM - 1 October
Hlaudi Motsoeneng's decree that all SABC radio stations should play 90% local music and 10% foreign content has had a devastating impact for the traditional Indian radio station Lotus FM. In the four months since the decree took effect, the Durban-based radio station has lost about a third of its listeners, with its average listener numbers falling by about 130 000, from 390 000 to 260 000. Advertisers have followed the listeners, saying their research shows that their target market no longer listens to Lotus FM. When Motsoeneng was first informed about the devastating impact his policy was having on Lotus FM station, he agreed to engage the station and its listeners. But in that discussion, he told them in no uncertain terms that the policy would not change, saying South Africans were not only Indians, and urging Indians to change their "tribalist" thinking. - Business Day Live website

See also : Motsoeneng 'squatting' at SABC : former board member below

SABC explains decision to halt broadcasts of violent protests - 27 May
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has taken the decision to no longer publicise content displaying violent service delivery protests in various parts of the country. Spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago, talking to Kieno Kammies on Cape Talk, says by not showing footage of protesters vandalising state property, the SABC will be able to decrease the number of violent protests. - Eye Witness News website

SANEF calls on SABC to review new policy on violent protests - 28 May
The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef)has urged the South African Broadcasting Corporation's (SABC) to review its new editorial policy saying it will protect politicians from being accountable to their constituencies. Opposition parties have accused the SABC of protecting the African National Congress (ANC) by not showing South Africans' violent public dissent against the party. - Eye Witness News website

Law Society of South Africa

Press release

28 June 2016 : For immediate release

Law Society Alarmed at Developments at State Broadcaster ; SABC Board Urged to Create an Environment in Which Journalists Can Report Without Fear or Favour

Like an independent judiciary and an independent legal profession, a free press is a cornerstone of our constitutional democracy. The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) is alarmed at developments at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) over the past few weeks and yesterday's resignation of Acting CEO Jimi Matthews as his role at the SABC was impacting 'negatively on his moral judgment'. Senior and respected editors and journalists appear to be increasingly ventilating their concerns regarding the negative atmosphere in newsrooms.

The LSSA urges the SABC Board to act decisively to deal with apparent systemic problems and editorial policies that may have led the state broadcaster to the position it is in now. 'Broadcasters and journalists should report the news, not become the news or self-appointed censors. Once this happens it is simply a shame and contrary to the values of an open and democratic society', say LSSA Co-Chairpersons Mvuso Notyesi and Jan van Rensburg.

They add : 'Members of the public are entitled to professional, objective and fair reporting. This can never be compromised, but especially more so during the period leading up to elections. It is not for a broadcaster –  especially the national state broadcaster – to take upon itself a censorship role and decide what the public may or may not see or hear, and what journalists may or may not report'.

There are press codes that guide reporters, publishers and broadcasters, and if members of the public are dissatisfied with reporting, they have access to the self-regulating Press Council and the Office of the Press Ombud to settle disputes over the editorial content of broadcasts and publications. Ultimately there is also access to the courts. It is, therefore, of paramount importance that the SABC Board should endeavor to create an environment in which journalists can report to the general public without fear or favour.

Issued on behalf of the Co-Chairpersons of the Law Society of South Africa, Mvuso Notyesi and Jan van Rensburg, by the Law Society of South Africa Communication Department
Telephone : 012-366 8800 or Website :
Contact :
Barbara Whittle
Communication Manager, Law Society of South Africa
E-mail :
Telephone : 012-366 8800 or 083-380 1307
Nomfundo Manyathi-Jee
Telephone : 012-366 8800 of 072-402 6344

Editor's note :
The Law Society of South Africa brings together its six constituent members – the Cape Law Society, the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society, the Law Society of the Free State, the Law Society of the Northern Provinces, the Black Lawyers Association and the National Association of Democratic Lawyers – in representing South Africa's  23 600 attorneys and 5 400 candidate attorneys


National Association of Democratic Lawyers

[30 June 2016]

NADEL Press Statement

The National Association of Democratic lawyers (NADEL) raises its serious concerns over the latest developments within the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) since its announcement not to show footage of violent protests. Three senior journalists at the SABC have since been suspended after disagreeing with management on instructions not to report protests by civil rights group Right2know against censorship. Perhaps what is more alarming is the resignation of the SABC's Acting Chief Executive Officer Jimi Mathews, who in his resignation letter stated, "for many months, I have compromised the values that I hold dear under the mistaken belief that I could be more effective inside the SABC than outside passing comments from the side-lines. In the process the prevailing corrosive atmosphere has impacted negatively on my moral judgement and made me complicit in many decisions which I am not proud of". Other senior staff members have also been reported to have said that the developments within the SABC have heightened the sense of fear, lack of clarity about their journalistic responsibility and low staff morale.

One is left with an unshakable and frightening impression that the SABC is facing serious operational challenges and is losing face as an independent voice. It is for this reason that NADEL, as a human's right organisation, cannot remain silent. Independent media stands as one of the crucial guardians of Democracy as it is able to foster an effective, accountable and responsive government. It gives a voice to the voiceless and brings matters of importance into public knowledge which allows for meaningful political participation. In order for the SABC to remain effective it needs to maintain its independence and more so to be seen as independent.

The SABC has in the past been accused of self-censorship, lack of objectivity and selective reporting, it is however when those fears emanate from within the public broadcaster that alarm bells start ringing.

We as NADEL therefore call upon the SABC to urgently resolve its operational issues in order to improve what has been reported as a toxic working environment within the public broadcaster. The SABC needs to create a working environment that clearly outlines the journalistic responsibility of its staff and enables them to execute their functions without any fear. Media ought to make comments that are fair and report news in a manner that is in the best interest of the public. There are mechanisms that exist to guard against intolerable media coverage, the SABC therefore should not seek to self-regulate. The SABC is further called upon to take steps towards regaining the public's confidence in it as an independent voice which serves the best interests of society.

Issued on behalf of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL), South Africa
By :
Memory Sosibo, Publicity Secretary, NADEL Executive Committee
Contact : 081-710 7910

Icasa not yet said if it will tell SABC to reverse editorial decision - 7 July
The Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) was on Thursday looking at the submissions made in the complaint against the SABC's decision to ban footage of violent protests. The authority is still to decide whether or not to instruct the public broadcaster to reverse the decision. - Business Day Live website

Icasa orders SABC to reverse ban on visuals of violent protests - 11 July
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) on Monday ruled that the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) should reverse its decision not to broadcast violent protests on television. Rubben Mohlaloga, the acting chairperson of Icasa, told a media briefing in Johannesburg that the regulations did not permit the SABC to ban the broadcasting of visuals of violent protests. Mohlaloga said the public broadcaster should reverse the ban within seven days. - Polity website

Icasa's ruling against the SABC
News24 website

SABC to challenge ICASA ruling - 11 July
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) says it is not apologetic about its decision not to broadcast images of violent protests ; and will take the decision by the Independent Broadcasting Authority of South Africa (ICASA) ordering the public broadcaster to broadcast violent protests on review. The SABC will refer a decision by ICASA to its legal team. - SABC website

No one will tell the SABC what to do‚ says Hlaudi Motsoeneng after Icasa ruling - 11 July
The SABC has dug in its heels‚ saying it will challenge the decision by the Independent Communication Authority of SA (Icasa) compelling the broadcaster to reverse its ban on airing the destruction of property during protests. The SABC said it would approach the highest court in the land if necessary. Chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng said "no one will tell us what to do"‚ and described the reaction to its protests ban as "hullabaloo". - Times Live website

Failure to comply could see SABC licence revoked : Icasa - 12 July
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) could‚ in an "extreme" case‚ see its licence revoked. That's according to the Independent Communication Authority of SA's (Icasa) Rubben Mohlaloga when questioned by 702's John Robbie about SABC chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng's reaction to its ruling against the broadcaster. - Times Live website

You defy Icasa ruling at your peril, Mantashe warns SABC - 12 July
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe has warned the SABC not to ignore the Independent Communications Authority of SA's (Icasa) ruling, because "if you defy the decision of [a Chapter 9] institution, you will learn hard". - News24 website

Law Society of South Africa

Press release

14 July 2016 : For immediate release

Law Society Urges SABC to Obey ICASA Order to Withdraw Its Censorship Resolution

The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) welcomes the judgment by the Complaints and Compliance Committee of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) on the matter between the SABC and civil society organizations. The LSSA urges the SABC Board and Management to accept the ICASA order that it should withdraw its resolution not to broadcast footage of destruction of public property during protests, as a binding order from the statutory regulator and to implement it within the given time. 'Like the Office of the Public Protector, ICASA is a Chapter 9 institution, and as such, its orders must be implemented unless a court of law finds otherwise', say LSSA Co-Chairpersons Mvuso Notyesi and Jan van Rensburg. They add : 'If the SABC does not implement the order within the stipulated seven days, ICASA is within its rights to suspend the SABC's broadcasting licence'.

The LSSA further commends the Complaints and Compliance Committee (CCC) and the ICASA Council on its well-reasoned and powerful judgment supporting the right of the public to be informed of all action illegal as it may be so that it may be part of an open society where good and bad is broadcast and so that informed choices may be made by the public. It has been stressed that the right to freedom of expression is meaningless if there is not also a right, and thus a duty, to be informed on matters of public interest.

The LSSA appreciates the fact that ICASA's CCC treated and dealt with the matter with the urgency that it warranted and echoes its view that the SABC's obligations under the Broadcasting Act and its licences must be interpreted in a manner that promotes freedom of expression, which includes freedom of the press and other media, and importantly, freedom to receive or impart information or ideas.

Issued on behalf of the Co-Chairpersons of the Law Society of South Africa, Mvuso Notyesi and Jan van Rensburg, by the Law Society of South Africa Communication Department
Telephone : 012-366 8800 or Website :
Contact :
Barbara Whittle
Communication Manager, Law Society of South Africa
E-mail :
Telephone : 012-366 8800 or 083-380 1307
Nomfundo Manyathi-Jee
Telephone : 012-366 8800 of 072-402 6344

Editor's note :
The Law Society of South Africa brings together its six constituent members – the Cape Law Society, the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society, the Law Society of the Free State, the Law Society of the Northern Provinces, the Black Lawyers Association and the National Association of Democratic Lawyers – in representing South Africa's  23 600 attorneys and 5 400 candidate attorneys


Black Lawyers Association

Press Release

14 July 2016

The Black Lawyers Association Calls Upon the SABC to Adhere to the ICASA Ruling

The Black Lawyers Association (BLA) gladly receives the ruling by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) of 11th day of July 2016 in respect to the SABC censorship resolution announced on the 26th day of May 2016. BLA accepts as a correct observation by ICASA that "the duties of the SABC are directed at keeping the listening and viewing public informed so that informed choices may be made as to their daily lives. An informed, constitutional public, must have the full opportunity to see and hear what is in the public interest to know". The SABC's resolution is an impediment to the South African public access to information as is guaranteed in terms of section 32 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996.

BLA condemns public violence at all costs but we find the absolute censorship of covering of violent scenes by SABC as both depriving of information to the South African public and therefore unconstitutional. South Africans deserve to be truthfully informed of developments in their country, both positive and negative.

BLA further urges the SABC to lift the suspensions meted out to those journalists who have been suspended for being opposed to the censorship. The cause of their suspension, the ban on covering public violence, has been found by the ICASA to be contrary to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, the Broadcasting Act 1999 and the SABC Broadcasting Licenses, and therefore invalid.

We echo the LSSA's sentiments that like the Public Protector ICASA, as the Broadcasting Authority in terms of section 192 of the Constitution, is a chapter 9 institution and as such its rulings have legal effect and are binding. Given the circumstances mentioned above we urge SABC Board Chairperson to respect and adhere to the ruling by ICASA and advise ICASA in writing through the Complaints Compliance Committee that the resolution of the 26th day of May 2016 has been withdrawn as ordered.

Issued on behalf of the BLA.

Lutendo Sigogo
BLA President


 National Association of Democratic Lawyers

15 July 2016

NADEL Press Statement

1. NADEL wishes to contextualise the recent happenings at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) especially in light of the recent judgment by the Constitutional Court regarding the powers of Chapter 9 Institutions. The shenanigans at the public broadcaster are putting the whole nation to shame, especially the black majority "with the obvious exclusion of those who are benefitting of this impasse". Indeed, this is blight and a deep scar on African progress and intellect. Section 16(1)(a) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act 108 of 1996 speaks of freedom of the press and media, obviously subject to the Limitation clause, which is not relevant here as correctly portrayed in the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa's (ICASA) ruling in the matter between the SABC and several civil society organisations. Further, the Constitution of this country in terms of Section 181(2) - (5) clearly establishes governing principles in respect of Chapter 9 Institutions. Clearly therefore, Section 192 of the Constitution speaks to these principles when it established an independent authority to regulate broadcasting in this country. Now, in light of all of this and the SABC's own overabundance of resources to obtain legal opinion, we do not believe that these matters have not been brought to the attention of the powers that be at the SABC. We believe that referring this matter to Parliament is to hide in a river on a rainy day because you do not want to get wet.

2. NADEL welcomes the ruling by ICASA that "the order by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) as articulated in its policy statement of 26 May 2016 (SABC will no longer Broadcast footage of Destruction of Public Policy) is invalid from its inception and the SABC is directed to withdraw its resolution as published in its statement of 26 May 2012, and that "the SABC must confirm in writing to the council via the CCC within 7(seven) calendar days from the date on which the order is emailed".

3. In arriving at its decision ICASA correctly found that :

(a) "the order of the SABC places an absolute ban on a subject. A Subject, as such, may never be blocked from SABC television or radio. South Africa is not, as in the Apartheid era, a dictatorship. The Broadcasting code does indeed place certain limits on the Screening of violence, but that code may only be applied when a complaint is lodged with the relevant authority, be that the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) or the Complaints and Compliance Committee (CCC) and after a broadcast that is clear from Section 3(2) of the Electronic Communications Act 200[sic]. Furthermore, the Broadcasting code is clear as to the broadcast of violence, it does not prohibit the mere broadcasting of violence but it depends on the manner in which it is broadcast",

(b) "the SABC resolution in the present matter amounts, as its core, to a categorical blocking of the public's right to information".

4. NADEL is horror-struck by the reaction of the public broadcaster's Chief Operations Officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng to the ruling, who in a press briefing stated that "we are not going to change anything" and "no one will tell us what to do". Motsoeneng further stated that the public broadcaster intended to review the decision. Whilst we respect the right of any persons dissatisfied with a particular ruling to take the matter on review, the response by Motsoeneng is unfortunate (to say the very least) and creates an impression of blatant contempt for ICASA and fails to understand the sensitivity of this matter. The subject matter here is the public broadcaster, whose mandate is one of the most crucial in a democratic state. A Chapter 9 Institution has found that it (the SABC) has violated not only the Broadcasting Act and conditions of its license but also its Constitutional obligations.

5. NADEL insists that the ruling be complied with immediately and without further delays as same is binding upon the SABC. The support by the SABC Board for the COO is startling and makes the organisation more suspicious regarding the matter. Should the SABC fail to respond to the order timeously NADEL shall welcome any decision or action by ICASA against the public broadcaster by ICASA including withdrawal of its license together with other appropriate remedial actions. NADEL shall hold a meeting in which options on an appropriate action will be considered, which includes, but not limited to, joining other civil organisations in a public protest and other forms of expression.

Issued on behalf of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL), South Africa
By :
Memory Sosibo, Publicity Secretary, NADEL Executive Committee
Contact : 081-710 7910

SABC's lawyer says the broadcaster will abide by Icasa's ruling - 20 July
The SABC on Wednesday backtracked on its decision to take on review the Independent Communications Authority's (Icasa's) order that it withdraw the decision to ban footage of violent protests where public property was being burnt. The public broadcaster's attorney, Titus Mchunu, said the SABC had had an opportunity to study the Icasa order, and he was instructed that his client would now abide by it. This was confirmed by Icasa spokesperson Paseka Maleka. "The SABC has informed Icasa that it will abide by the order of (Icasa's) council with immediate effect", he said. This was despite the SABC's writing to Icasa on Tuesday, asking for an extension to the deadline to respond to the order. - Business Day Live website

Icasa lays charges against SABC over 'protest policy' - 7 December
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has laid criminal charges against the SABC for failing to adhere to a ruling it made regarding the withdrawal of its "protest policy", MPs heard on Wednesday. The broadcaster appeared to have reneged on its agreement to abide by the order to withdraw its decision not to air footage of violent protests, Icasa representative Nomvuyiso Batyi told Parliament's ad hoc committee looking into the SABC board. - Mail & Guardian website

Court battle looming over SABC censorship - 4 July
The Helen Suzman Foundation has launched an urgent court bid to stop the SABC from implementing its decision to censor reporting of protests. The application is against the SABC, its board, chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng and communications minister Faith Muthambi, the foundation said in a statement on Monday. It would be heard in the high court in Pretoria. The provisional court date is 29 July, but it could be moved forward pending the availability of lawyers. - TechCentral blog

Broadcaster's decision in line with its mandate - 19 July
Defending its decision not to broadcast scenes depicting the destruction of public institutions, the SABC said in court papers filed on Monday it was within its rights to decide not to broadcast the footage. In answering court papers the SABC's acting group executive for news and current affairs, Maloko Tebele, said the decision was not a policy, as described by the foundation. It was an editorial decision made in line with the SABC's policy and mandate. He said the scope of the decision had also been exaggerated. - Franny Rabkin on the Business Day Live website

SABC backs down in high court - 20 July
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) made significant concessions on Wednesday as the High Court in Pretoria presided over an application for an urgent interdict against "censorship" at the public broadcaster. The Helen Suzman Foundation secured an interdict after the SABC, during a morning of negotiations, decided not to contest but simply to insist on recognition that it retained editorial independence, though this must be exercised in line with the Constitution. - Polity website

North Gauteng High Court
20 July 2016
Helen Suzman Foundation v South African Broadcasting Corporation Soc Ltd and Others
[Censorship decision]

Court order prohibits SABC from implementing 'the censorship decision' - 20 July
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has been interdicted from implementing its controversial editorial policy on violent protests, which has widely been described as censorship. The public broadcaster reached a settlement with the Helen Suzman Foundation, which brought an application to the High Court in Pretoria. - Eye Witness News website

SABC refuses to air DA election ads - 29 May
The SABC is refusing to air the Democratic Alliance's election advertisements‚ the party charged on Sunday. DA national spokesperson Phumzile Van Damme said the public broadcaster had informed the DA that it had no available slots for political advertisements at this time due to delays in the Independent Electoral Commission's (IEC's) work with respect to the August 3 local government elections. - Times Live website

SABC agrees to air DA campaign adverts - 3 June
The Democratic Alliance on Friday said its standoff with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) over airing election campaign advertisements has been resolved with the broadcaster capitulating and agreeing to show the material. DA MP and communications spokeswoman Phumzile van Damme said the official opposition would therefore shelve its complaint to the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa). She said that after an agreement was reached the SABC alerted the DA that it could not open video files containing the advertisements. Once this issue was resolved the SABC then asked the party to add a disclaimer stating that the viewing material constituted political advertising. Van Damme said that in the past the SABC had added the disclaimer itself. "The SABC's excuses yped The Editors on SAfm. It's gone this morning. Motsoeneng allegedly banned on-air crits of his recent edicts on local content and said no outside editors on air any longer", she said. "The decision on The Editors follows the decision to stop phone-ins on current affairs programmes. SABC is the most powerful info medium in South Africa". - IOL website

SABC bans newspaper headlines on air - 9 June
The SABC has placed a ban on the reading of newspaper headlines or discussing newspapers' front pages on the air in ongoing censorship creep at the South African public broadcaster, with the SABC rationalising the decision as giving free publicity to print media. The SABC says there's "nothing sinister" about the move. The SABC will continue to subscribe to and buy newspapers, it will just not mention any print media's headlines and stories on air. - Channel24 website

Parliament left to deal with SABC - 13 July
The ANC has deferred the SABC crisis to Parliament even though the institution is in recess until after the local government elections and corporate governance fires continue to rage at the public broadcaster. Communications Minister Faith Muthambi failed to pitch up for a meeting with the ANC leadership over the deepening crisis while the party's national working committee spoke out against censorship on Tuesday. Parliament only resumes its business on August 16. Nongovernmental organisations and opposition parties have warned that this state of play could jeopardise the election itself. ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said there was a "shareholder ministry" in charge of the SABC - referring to Muthambi's department - as well as a committee in Parliament that dealt with it. "If a public institution thinks it is a bull in a China shop that can break everything and think that it is doing the right thing, I think someone must whisper in the ear of the leadership in the SABC to appreciate that they can't be a bull in the China shop", he told journalists at a media briefing in Johannesburg. Mantashe also warned the SABC to be careful of defying the orders of a Chapter Nine institution after Motsoeneng said he would approach the courts to "review" a decision of the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa). - Business Day Live website

DA picket to get Jackson Mthembu 'to walk the talk' on SABC - 19 July
The Democratic Alliance (DA) wants Jackson Mthembu "to walk the talk" and call "an urgent meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Communications to consider the ongoing crisis at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)". The DA said it had requested a special meeting "to discuss and find solutions for the governance crisis at the SABC caused by COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng"‚ but "this was turned down as not being urgent". This prompted the opposition party to plan a picket in Plein Street outside Parliament on Tuesday. - Times Live website

Mthembu refuses request to reconvene Parly over SABC crisis - 20 July
African National Congress (ANC) chief whip Jackson Mthembu won't endorse calls for Parliament to urgently reconvene to deal with problems at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). Mthembu's office says while he takes issues facing SABC seriously, they will only be addressed when Parliament reconvenes after the local government elections. DA Member of Parliament Phumzile van Damme says Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Communications must convene a special meeting to address the "governance crisis" at the SABC. - Eye Witness News website

See also : Muthambi, Madonsela to testify at Parly's inquiry into SABC board below

SABC journalists in Joburg 'locked in' building - 1 July
Journalists at the SABC's head office in Johannesburg were reportedly locked in the building, and prevented from joining a protest outside in support of journalist's rights. Karima Brown of the Independent group said the journalists were locked inside the building in Auckland Park, after expressing a desire to join the protest. - News24 website

SABC brings more charges against suspended journalists, says union - 11 July
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has brought more charges against three of its eight suspended journalists, the trade union Solidarity said on Monday. The public broadcaster sent a letter to Foeta Krige, the executive editor of Monitor and Spektrum, journalist Suna Venter and business editor Thandeka Gqubule accusing them of "further misconduct" for informing the media about their suspensions, among other things, said Solidarity CE Dirk Hermann. He said this latest "attack" was unacceptable and amounted to even more censorship. - Business Day Live website

SABC journalists launch ConCourt challenge - 15 July
The employees facing disciplinary hearings at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) have gone directly to the Constitutional Court over the public broadcaster's protest policy, saying SABC journalists are being forced to choose between acting lawfully or losing their jobs. Increasing concerns about the SABC's editorial independence reached a tipping point when the SABC announced that it would not cover violent protest action showing the destruction of public property. The affidavit of economics editor Thandeka Gqubule - filed in the Constitutional Court on Friday - vividly describes an atmosphere of fear and intimidation at the public broadcaster. - Franny Rabkin on the Business Day Live website

Some suspended SABC journalists axed - 18 July
The SABC has fired a number of the journalists who have recently been suspended or were facing disciplinary action. The eight journalists involved are Busisiwe Ntuli, Krivani Pillay, Jacques Steenkamp, Lukhanyo Calata, Vuyo Mvoko, Thandeka Gqubule, Foeta Krige and Suna Venter. The eight applied to the Constitutional Court on Friday to have the SABC's charges against them declared illegal. - SABC website

SABC accuses fired journalists of 'undermining management' - 19 July
Four of the eight SABC suspended journalists were on Monday summarily dismissed for "intolerable (and) continued acts of misconduct", which the broadcaster said in termination letters was undermining the SABC and its management. - Business Day Live website

More SABC journalists dismissed - 19 June
More of the eight SABC journalists who were facing disciplinary action for questioning new editorial policies have been fired by the public broadcaster. Yesterday, Krivani Pillay, Jacques Steenkamp, Foeta Krige and Suna Venter, received emails informing them of their dismissal - with the SABC saying they've continued to publicly defy management. The other four are Vuyo Mvoko, Thandeka Gqubule, Busisiwe Ntuli and Lukhanyo Calata were dismissed with immediate effect today. It is understood three of them received letters of dismissal this morning while the contract of the fourth journalist was said to have apparently ended. - East Coast Radio website

ANC refuses to comment on axing of SABC journalists - 19 July
The African National Congress (ANC) has refused to comment on Tuesday on the axing of eight South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) journalists. When asked to comment on the shocking revelation that the SABC had fired its employees for "disrespecting" and "undermining" its management, ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said : "No comment". News24 then asked chairperson of the ANC National Executive Committee's sub-committee on communications Jackson Mthembu who replied : "We are busy with elections now. I can't comment . . . please ask Zizi Kodwa". - Polity website

Unions prepare to face-off with SABC in Labour Court - 19 July
Solidarity and the Broadcasting, Electronic, Media, and Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) are set to square off with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) in the Labour Court over the dismissal of its members. On Monday, four Solidarity Members – Krivani Pillay‚ Jacques Steenkamp‚ Foeta Krige and Suna Venter – were handed letters of dismissal. A day later, Bemawu members Busisiwe Ntuli and Lukhanyo Calata were informed they were being dismissed with immediate effect. Solidarity said while it had already filed papers in the Labour Court challenging the suspensions of its four members, it would now file an additional affidavit asking the court to set aside the dismissals and for any disciplinary processes to be stayed pending the outcome of several legal challenges against the SABC. - Polity website

Fired SABC journalists want jobs back - 21 July
In a letter, law firm Norton Rose Fulbright, which represents the seven fired journalists who objected to the policy, called on the SABC urgently to "withdraw the termination notices that had been addressed to our clients. Please also let us know when our clients can return to work", the letter said. The fired journalists - Foeta Krige, Thandeka Gqubule, Suna Venter, Busisiwe Ntuli, Krivani Pillay, Lukhanyo Calata and Jacques Steenkamp - were joined by SABC contractor Vuyo Mvoko in filing new court papers in the Constitutional Court on Wednesday. - Business Day Live website

SABC Labour Court case postponed to Friday - 21 July
The case of four axed SABC journalists was postponed in the Labour Court in Johannesburg on Thursday to allow the broadcaster time to file court papers. Judge Robert Lagrange postponed the matter to 12:30 on Friday. "The respondents [SABC] must file any answering affidavits in draft form by 19:00 this evening. The applicants must file any reply affidavits in draft form by 10:00 tomorrow", he said. The four journalists - Foeta Krige, Suna Venter, Krivani Pillay and Jacques Steenkamp – want the court to set aside their dismissals and revoke their disciplinary proceedings. - News24 website

SABC tells judge he cannot reinstate axed journalists - 21 July
The SABC says the Labour Court does not have jurisdiction to deal with the application lodged by fired journalists. This was according to the answering affidavit filed by the SABC on Thursday night. In the answering papers, the SABC argued that the court, as set out in the Labour Relations Act, could only decide whether a dismissal was unfair, either substantially or procedurally, and could declare it void and unlawful, which it said the journalists had "pegged their case on". The SABC argued that the journalists had not followed the proper mechanisms under the act, which obliged them to approach the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) for conciliation and thereafter arbitration before approaching the Labour Court. - Business Day Live website

'Cynical' for SABC to fire staff after noting its ban on some footage was unlawful - 22 July
The Labour Court hearing into the dismissal of four SABC journalists got under way on Friday, with their counsel arguing that having conceded that its ban on the broadcast of violent protests was unlawful, it was "cynical" and "patently unlawful" for the broadcaster not to retain those staffers who had all along criticised the decision. Their counsel, Steven Budlender, said : "The suspensions and charges have no basis in law. It is scarcely conceivable that our law contemplates employees being suspended and disciplined for criticising a policy, which is in fact invalid". - Business Day Live website

SABC case 'about suppression of dissent' -  22 July
The court application brought by dismissed SABC journalists showed the amount of suppression faced by those who question decisions at the public broadcaster, the Labour Court in Johannesburg heard on Friday. "This case is about an extraordinary and cynical attempt to prevent journalists from expressing disagreements with management", said advocate Steven Budlender, who is appearing for the four senior reporters fired from the broadcaster. - IOL website

'Make Hlaudi pay' : SABC staffers' lawyer - 24 July
SABC chief operating operator Hlaudi Motsoeneng may be held personally responsible for thousands of rands of legal costs that have been incurred as a result of the SABC's decision to fire employees who objected to its policy not to air footage of violent protests. On Friday, Steven Budlender, counsel for the seven SABC employees, asked the labour court to overturn the axing of the journalists, saying the SABC's conduct was not only "patently unlawful and unconstitutional, it is cynical and amounts to bullying". He was referring to the fact that the SABC has not backed down from its decision to fire the journalists, despite its concession in South Gauteng High Court on Wednesday – in a matter brought by the Helen Suzman Foundation – that the policy was unlawful and invalid. - News24 website

See : Law Matters : When preliminary litigation obstructs justice below

Over R250 000 raised for sacked SABC journalists - 20 July
Hundreds of thousands of rands have been raised overnight for a group of journalists axed by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) this week. The crowdfunding initiative titled "Friends of SABC journalists" has raised over R250 000 in donations so far. The money will be distributed to the journalists who were this week dismissed by the public broadcaster for speaking out on its controversial editorial policies. - Eye Witness News website

Labour Court, Johannesburg
26 July 2016
J1343/16 [2016] ZALCJHB 273 ; 2016 (6) SA 73 (LC)
Solidarity and Others v South African Broadcasting Corporation
(Urgent interdict – unlawful summary dismissal – dismissals in breach of contractual right to disciplinary procedure and in breach of right to freedom of expression - dismissals void ab initio – costs)

SABC's reinstatement letter to fired journalists - 28 July
Full text on the News24 website

SABC 8 : journalists, lawyers allegedly receive threats - 13 November
The lawyers for the eight journalists who have taken the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) to court say the threats their clients have received- speaks to the culture of censorship at the public broadcaster. It's understood Aslaam Moosajee and some of the SABC eight have been receiving threats via text and phone calls, to force them to drop charges against the broadcaster. - Eye Witness News website

'SABC 8 must be given SAPS protection' - 13 November
The Democratic Alliance on Sunday urged the South African Police Service (SAPS) to provide protection for the so-called SABC 8 journalists reinstated at the broadcaster but who reportedly continue to receive death threats. - IOL website

15 November 2016
Witnesses and their intimidation ; Election of Chairperson ; Programme
Parliamentary Monitoring Group website

Parliament committee urges SAPS to give 'urgent attention' to intimidation of SABC 8 - 18 November
The acts of intimidation directed at the SABC 8‚ if "left unattended‚ may spiral out of hand and result in the loss of innocent lives"‚ the ad hoc committee on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board inquiry said. "Following our inaugural meeting‚ we have written a letter to the Minister of Police‚ Nkosinathi Nhleko‚ requesting that he investigate and advise on what kind of protection is available to those journalists and all other potential witnesses that are to appear before the ad hoc committee‚ who may be targeted", committee chair Vincent Smith said on Thursday. "We are of the firm view that any kind of intimidation cannot be tolerated and that those responsible should face the consequences of their actions". - Times Live website

Vuyo Mvoko takes SABC to court - 21 July
SABC rebel Vuyo Mvoko will turn to the high court to order the broadcaster to put him back on air after he spoke out against censorship. In court papers served on the SABC on Thursday, Mvoko argues that the public broadcaster has violated the independent contract agreement he has with them. He also details instances of censorship and intimidation at the broadcaster, which he alleges he has directly experienced. While Mvoko, who is not a permanent employee, was not shown the door with the others, the SABC has refused to "schedule" him. That means SABC bosses have not called on him to perform any work on behalf of the broadcaster since earlier this month. The broadcaster believes that by speaking out against the censorship policies, Mvoko brought it into disrepute and breached his contract. - IOL website

Vuyo Mvoko 'should not be punished for doing his constitutional duty' - 4 August
Senior political anchor at the SABC Vuyo Mvoko should not be punished, even for a day, for doing his constitutional duty, the High Court in Johannesburg heard on Thursday. Mvoko is the last of the eight journalists who lost their jobs at the public broadcaster for criticising it for its ban on the broadcast of footage of violent protests, where public property was burnt. The other seven, who were employees, were reinstated after court action. But Mvoko, who was hired in terms of an independent contractor agreement, is still out in the cold. His counsel, Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, said that the SABC suspension of his contract was clearly "retaliatory action" for an article - My Hell at SABC - written by Mvoko and published in The Star newspaper. - Franny Rabkin on the Business Day Live website

'My hell at SABC' - 6 July
In ower mongers' grip. Vuyo Mvoko on The Star website

Court dismisses Vuyo Mvoko's case against SABC - 5 August
Axed SABC contributing editor Vuyo Mvoko's application to get the public broadcaster to reinstate him was dismissed by Judge Fritz van Oosen at the Johannesburg High Court on Friday. Mvoko, who was not present during the judgment, was also ordered to pay the costs of the application. Mvoko's attorney Joy Walker said they were disappointed with the outcome, but they will consider an appeal. Judge Van Oosen said he would explain the reasons why the application was dismissed next Friday. - IOL website

South Gauteng High Court

12  August 2016
25604/2016 [2016] ZAGPJHC 269
Mvoko v South African Broadcasting Corporation Soc Ltd
Contract - applicant employed by respondent in terms of written agreement - applicant temporarily suspended by respondent pending investigation into complaint   - applicant urgently seeking re-instatement of his services - impropriety of respondent having acted in terms of the agreement which provides for temporary suspension pending investigation - Constitutional challenge misconceived - application dismissed

8 September 2016
25604/2016 [2016] ZAGPJHC 270
Mvoko v South African Broadcasting Corporation Soc Ltd
Leave to appeal

SABC denies on-air 'blackout' protest - 24 July
A silent protest by SABC TV news staff, who all dressed in black when they were on camera on Friday, "was not a protest", according to SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago. SABC journalists wore black to show their solidarity with colleagues who were dismissed this week for challenging editorial policies, including a ban on airing footage of violent protests. Kganyago on Saturday suggested the pictures published on social media sites could have been falsified and could have been taken on different days. It is understood the silent protest had been planned without leaving a paper trail to prevent incurring the wrath of management. If journalists had declared they were going to wear black to protest they would have been "dealt with", said Kganyago. - IOL website

SABC TV head fired : report - 31 July
In the latest controversy at the SABC, the public broadcaster's head of television, Verona Duwarkah, has been fired, the City Press newspaper reported on Sunday. She is to be replaced by Sully Motsweni – an official named in the 2014 public protector's report, When Governance and Ethics Fail, in connection with allegations she had been irregularly appointed by chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng, to her previous position as head of monitoring, compliance and operation service. SABC spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago, told the Sunday newspaper that the broadcaster would not discuss internal matters in the media. - News24 website

Hlaudi fires TV boss - 31 July
The SABC's head of television, Verona Duwarkah, has been fired, allegedly because she refused to rubber-stamp the multimillion-rand new TV shows – spearheaded by SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng – being awarded to hand-picked celebrity producers and artists. The experienced content and financial management executive has been replaced by Sully Motsweni – the SABC staffer mentioned along with Motsoeneng in the Public Protector's 2014 report, titled When Governance and Ethics Fail. The report found that Motsoeneng unlawfully appointed Motsweni to various positions and irregularly increased her salary, creating a new position for her as SABC head of monitoring, compliance and operation service – apparently without approval from the SABC's executive committee. City Press has learnt from four impeccably placed sources – who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals – that Motsweni has now been promoted again, in defiance of the report. She is now Group Executive: Television, replacing Duwarkah. - City Press website

Hlaudi a boss from hell, says former SABC exec - 20 November
Verona Duwarkah, the SABC's former head of TV, has accused former COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng of harassment and gross mismanagement. This is according to a report in the Sunday Times. Citing an affidavit from Duwarkah, she said Motsoeneng squandered advertising revenue, tried to dismiss senior managers on trumped-up charges, and dished out dubious contracts. Duwarkah was stripped of her powers when she refused to implement Motsoeneng's instructions which she found to be questionable. She then asked for an exit package, but this was treated as a resignation and her employment was terminated without compensation. - mybroadband website

Hlaudi's R600m shocker - 20 November
An explosive labour court case and details from top SABC insiders reveal how Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the public broadcaster's controversial group executive of corporate affairs, allegedly ignored governance protocols to seize control of television content. A City Press investigation has found that Motsoeneng allegedly "traumatised" Verona Duwarkah, the SABC's former group executive for television, and made her staff report to him alone. He then proceeded to set up a new process to commission R600 million worth of local TV shows. For these, he brought in chosen producers, many of them celebrity actors, to the SABC through a back door. This unit, called Special Projects, defies the SABC's own commissioning policy, as well as the regulations of industry watchdog The Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa). Motsoeneng's flaunting of legislated procedures has, say insiders, contributed to massive losses at the SABC over the past yea
r. In September, the labour court ruled in favour of Duwarkah, whose contract with the SABC was terminated in July. In court papers she said an ongoing battle between her and Motsoeneng had left her "emotionally, physically and mentally devastated". This, she said, forced her to write a letter to Motsoeneng and SABC acting group human resources executive Mohlolo Lephaka, asking them to negotiate a settlement for her to leave the broadcaster after 25 years' service. The SABC then claimed this was a "resignation letter" and terminated her contract. The Independent Producers' Organisation (IPO), which represents "the majority of the television producers supplying content to broadcasters in South Africa", said in a statement : "The IPO is aware of Hlaudi Motsoeneng's parallel commissioning process for his chosen handful of aspirant producers. They are often actors or recognised industry persons, who are not experienced producers, and have themselves reached out to numerous of our members, requesting 'assistance' in their significant pre-allocated budgets, since they lack the necessary production experience. As a result, the allocated funds would essentially be given to 'middle men and women' who are given credits they are not qualified for". - News24 website

SABC overseas trips must be approved by minister - 16 August
Any SABC journalists wishing to travel internationally for work must have their trips approved by Communications Minister Faith Muthambi, it emerged on Tuesday. A letter, which News24 has in its possession, stated that staff must motivate why the trips must be undertaken, and submit a formal report to the minister within seven days of their return. The requests must be submitted through the CFO's office, the letter states. - News24 website

SABC explains its R411m net loss - 29 September
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on Thursday announced it posted a R411 million net loss for the 2015/16 financial year ending on March 31. - IOL website

SABC journo faces suspension for Facebook post about Zuma - 7 November
SABC journalists critical of President Jacob Zuma face having their social media posts scrutinised by management, then disciplinary hearings and suspensions for "being a danger to the investigation into their action of expressing a personal opinion". This is what happened to Durban journalist Thulani Msimang this week. At 9.42pm on Tuesday, October 11, he posted the following on his Facebook account : "The #NPA has somehow maneuvered and managed to find its spine and bring the #PravinGordan corruption charges but when it comes to #Zuma proverbial Dololo (sic)". On Wednesday – a month after his post – Msimang received a letter from his bosses stating : "It has come to the attention of management that you have allegedly misconducted yourself in respect of the following issue: On or about October 11 2016 you posted a message on Social Media voicing personal opinion that has placed the SABC in disrepute (sic)". - City Press website

See : SABC3's new local content a TV ratings flop above

Muthambi, Madonsela to testify at Parly's inquiry into SABC board - 15 November
Communications Minister Faith Muthambi and former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela are among those who will be called to testify before a Parliamentary inquiry into the fitness of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board. The latest two SABC board members to resign are also on the witness list. - Eye Witness News website

15 November 2016
President Zuma accepts the resignation of SABC board members
Presidency website

MPs split over Madonsela SABC inquiry appearance - 15 November
Parliament's ad hoc committee looking into the fitness of the SABC board was split over whether former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela should be called as a witness during the committee's inquiry or not. Committee chairperson Vincent Smith, who was elected unopposed at the beginning of the meeting, said the proposed witness list contained up to 30 names. - News24 website

Madonsela unavailable to appear before SABC inquiry - 29 November
Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela will not be able to give evidence before Parliament's ad hoc committee looking into the SABC board, as she will be travelling during the hearing dates. The committee met for the first time on Tuesday to begin its work of scrutinising the fitness of the SABC board to hold office. Chairperson Vincent Smith informed the committee that six witnesses from their list of approximately 30 had indicated that they would not be able to give testimony during the two weeks set down for hearings. - News24 website

See also :
Supreme Court of Appeal 
8 October 2015 
393/2015 [2015] ZASCA 156 
Remedial action by Public Protector - has legal effect - absent review - cannot be ignored by State and public institutions - discussion of constitutional and legislative scheme regulating powers of Public Protector - order suspending Chief Operating Officer of the South African Broadcasting Corporation - held not to offend against separation of powers doctrine - reiteration of caveat against piecemeal litigation
InfoUpdate 4 of 2015]

Mkhwebane 'very disrespectful' of SABC inquiry : Ndlozi - 29 November
MPs have registered their dissatisfaction with Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's response to a request to appear before Parliament's ad hoc committee looking into the SABC. DA MP Phumzile van Damme on Tuesday revealed Mkhwebane, one of approximately 30 witnesses requested to appear for public hearings, had told the committee that she didn't understand why they were still sitting, given that there was only one board member remaining. SABC board chairperson Mbulaheni Maguvhe is the sole remaining board member. Mkhwebane also reportedly said it was her prerogative to decide if she should come to Parliament, and that three staff members could speak on her behalf, provided it was 'in camera'. The committee was due to begin its witness interviews on Tuesday, but it was postponed by a week due to a last-minute court application filed by Maguvhe on Sunday to have the inquiry stalled. The interdict would be argued in the Western Cape High Court on Friday. - News24 website

New public protector launches fresh attack on Thuli Madonsela - 30 November
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has clashed with MPs by suggesting that her predecessor, Thuli Madonsela, be dropped as a witness in parliament's inquiry into the fitness of the SABC board. Mkhwebane also provoked the wrath of MPs from across the political spectrum by saying that members of her staff could appear before the SABC inquiry committee only behind closed doors. In a letter to Lechesa Tsenoli, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Mkhwebane asks parliament to explain "what precedent" is being set by calling Madonsela to give evidence before the committee when she is no longer the public protector. Mkhwebane's spat that MPs comes amid growing suggestions that she is proving to be pliable and biased in favour of the government. In her letter to the Deputy Speaker, Mkhwebane says that reports on investigations by Madonsela during her stint as public protector are now the "sole property" of her office. - Rand Daily Mail website

Maguvhe applies to interdict inquiry into his fitness to be SABC board member - 28 November
Lone SABC board member Professor Mbulaheni Maguvhe has taken his fight against parliament to the Western Cape High Court to interdict its investigation into the public broadcaster‚ just a day before it was meant to resume its inquiry. Maguvhe also wants the members of parliament who serve on the ad hoc committee "disqualified" from being members of the ad hoc committee set up to probe the SABC board's fitness to hold office. In his last ditch effort to have the inquiry halted‚ Maguvhe states in court papers lodged with the Western Cape High Court on Monday that the ad hoc committee‚ chaired by ANC MP Vincent Smith‚ should be "reconstituted". - Times Live website

DA to oppose Maguvhe's SABC inquiry interdict - 29 November
The Democratic Alliance will go to court to oppose the interdict against members of Parliament's ad hoc committee looking into the SABC board, the party said on Tuesday. DA federal executive chairperson James Selfe said the interdict sought to disqualify three members of the committee on the basis that they were biased ; set aside the summons to produce documents to the committee ; suspend all proceedings ; and compel the National Assembly to reconstitute the committee. He described the application as a "costly and unnecessary exercise" by one man who is seeking to cling to power for his own sake. - News24 website

SABC board chair's attempt to interdict Parliament 'utter arrogance' : Mthembu - 1 December
The arrogance of the "one-person board" of the SA Broadcasting Corporation needs to be nipped in the bud, ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu believes. "Some people have become too arrogant. Too arrogant to tell Parliament how it must do its work. We cannot agree to such arrogance. Utter arrogance from somebody who needs to be hurled before Parliament, who is sitting there illegally", he said on Thursday. Mthembu, speaking to Parliament's programming committee, was referring to SABC board chairperson Mbulaheni Maguvhe, who has applied for an interdict to stop an inquiry into the board. - News24 website

MPs have 'pre-judged' Maguvhe, High Court hears - 2 December
Opposition MPs looking into the SABC board have shown bias towards its last remaining member, Mbulaheni Maguvhe, the Western Cape High Court heard on Friday. Advocate Thabani Masuku, for Maguvhe, tried to convince Judge Siraj Desai that certain MPs on Parliament's ad hoc committee were biased towards his client. - News24 website

Parliament 'vindicated' in SABC inquiry matter : committee chair - 3 December
The chairperson of the ad hoc committee looking into the SABC board says he is happy the Western Cape High Court dismissed the last remaining board member's bid to halt the inquiry's work. Judge Siraj Desai dismissed Maguvhe's application, saying he would make his reasons known at a later stage. Maguvhe was ordered to pay costs. Ad hoc committee chairperson Vince Smith told News24 after the ruling that Parliament was always on the right side of the law. - News24 website

SABC inquiry begins in Parliament - 7 December
Parliament's ad hoc committee looking into the fitness of the SABC board will begin interviewing witnesses on Wednesday.
The first batch of witnesses to be interviewed includes Auditor General Kimi Makwetu, a representative from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa and representatives from the office of the Public Protector, committee chairperson Vincent Smith told News24 on Friday. Other witnesses to be called thereafter include Minister of Communications Faith Muthambi, the SABC 8, acting SABC political editor Sophie Mokoena and former board members and employees. - News24 website

SABC refuses to hand over documents to Parliament inquiry - 7 December
The SABC has refused to hand over ten of 15 requested documents to Parliament's ad hoc committee looking into the fitness of its board, MPs heard on Wednesday. Ad hoc committee chairperson Vincent Smith informed the committee on its first day of work that the broadcaster had only handed over five of the requested documents. The broadcaster was concerned that handing over seven of those documents would "jeopardise" its commercial interests, he said. A further three were "no longer in the SABC's possession". The seven refused documents include the broadcaster's recent "90-10" policy on local content, a deal with Multichoice, a report of its internal audit committee, and a skills audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The three documents "not in the broadcaster's possession" are : the appointment documents of group executive for corporate affairs Hlaudi Motsoeneng, SABC management's response to the auditor general's 2015/16 findings, and internal audit committee meeting minutes. ANC MP Juli Kilian said those trying to stifle Parliament's work could face criminal charges, and suggested taking legal counsel on the matter. - News24 website

SABC walkout 'disgusting' : Jackson Mthembu - 7 December
ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu has said that the walkout staged by an SABC delegation during a parliamentary inquiry into its board was "disgusting".
On Wednesday, the board's last remaining member, Mbulaheni Maguvhe complained to the committee on its first day that the three documents they would be scrutinising were not in Braille. He is partially blind. Committee chairperson Vincent Smith informed the SABC delegation that its secretary, Theresa Geldenhuys, had requested the said documents in Word format on November 18, in order to transcribe it to Braille. He, therefore, denied Maguvhe's request. Earlier, the committee resolved to continue its work, despite the high court appeal, as there was no court order to stop. The SABC delegation, including acting CEO James Aguma and Hlaudi Motsoeneng, then walked out. - Mail & Guardian website

Mbulaheni Maguvhe faces summons over SABC inquiry - 8 December
South African Broadcasting Corporation board chairman Mbulaheni Maguvhe is not off the hook after staging a dramatic walkout from Parliament as MPs declared their preparedness to summon him to appear before an inquiry into the public broadcaster. Maguvhe, the last remaining nonexecutive member of the SABC board, is scheduled to appear before the ad hoc committee conducting the inquiry on Thursday. But he is unlikely to show face after saying he will not take part in the inquiry because it is "poisoned". Committee chairman Vincent Smith said Parliament would issue summons if needs be. - Business Live website

SABC ignored Public Protector's remedial actions : Mkhwebane - 7 December
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane says the SABC ignored six of her predecessor's eight remedial actions following findings against the public broadcaster in a 2014 report. She said the SABC board tried to justify the broadcaster's shortcomings highlighted by her predecessor Advocate Thuli Madonsela in her report When Governance and Ethics Fail. The Public Protector said her office felt that the SABC board had defied all the remedial actions. - News24 website

Hlaudi was the 'go-to' to man at the SABC : former CEO - 8 December
Hlaudi Motsoeneng was the centre of power at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) during group CEO Lulama Mokhobo's tenure, she told MPs on Thursday. Two camps emerged in the SABC board which undermined her tenure, which started in January 2012, she testified under oath before Parliament's ad hoc committee investigating the current board's fitness. There were many instances where Motsoeneng had meetings with the then board chairperson Ben Ngubane, without her knowledge. - Polity website

Mavuso : SABC flouted basic corporate governance practices - 8 December
Former South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board member Vusi Mavuso says basic corporate governance practices were flouted during his tenure at the public broadcaster. Mavuso says he submitted his resignation at a time when it became unbearable to be associated with the broadcaster. - Eye Witness News website

SABC inquiry : who's Hlaudi's Godfather, members ask witnesses - 9 December
Witnesses testifying on Thursday before Parliament's ad hoc committee investigating the SABC painted a terrifying picture of intimidation, ministerial interference, secret meetings as well as an unhealthy cult-like worship that surrounded COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Several committee members tried to flush out who exactly it was behind Motsoeneng's power and apparent untouchability, but no one dared answer. At the end of the day a summons was issued to compel lone ranger board chair, Professor Mbulaheni Maguvhe, who simply failed to pitch, to appear on Tuesday next week. - Daily Maverick website

SABC board failed to apply risk strategies, former executive tells MPs - 9 December
Former SABC risk and governance executive Itani Tseisi concluded the litany of shocking testimonies by former employees of the public broadcaster to Parliament's ad hoc committee inquiring into the fitness of the SABC board. Tseisi said one of the risks that pervaded the SABC in his time there was that the board and the chairs often worked in silos and seldom communicated on management. He said he presented the risks to the board and advised the board to adopt and implement strategies to offset them, but the board failed to do so. Tseisi said his suspension on full pay for two years was not approved by the board. - Business Live website

Hlaudi's R500k demand, 'Pretoria', Guptas take centre stage in SABC inquiry - 9 December
Former SABC acting CEO Phil Molefe has given explosive testimony at Parliament's SABC inquiry, saying Hlaudi Motsoeneng threatened to "go to Pretoria" after he refused to give him a R500 000 increase. He said he was handed a letter by board chairperson Dr Ben Ngubane in 2011 to approve an unlawful R500 000 increase to then group chief executive of stakeholder relations Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Molefe said in no uncertain terms that he would not agree with that demand. At this point, Motsoeneng intervened and said, 'Chair, I told you that this is not our man. So I'm going to Pretoria tonight'. - News24 website

Phil Molefe describes how Hlaudi Motsoeneng leapfrogged more qualified people at the SABC - 9 December
Former acting SABC CEO Phil Molefe told a the parliamentary inquiry into the broadcaster about the anomalous manner in which Hlaudi Motsoeneng leaped ahead of more senior and qualified people to become acting CEO and then chief operating officer in less than a week. Molefe, whose roles at the broadcaster also included head of news, told the ad hoc committee conducting the inquiry that Motsoeneng was appointed to multiple senior positions within a short space of time in November 2011. He said there were glaring governance oversights during his time as acting CEO. - Business Live website

Minister got 'too close to the action' at SABC, says former board member - 9 December
Communications Minister Faith Muthambi acted unlawfully when she amended the SABC board's memorandum of incorporation (MOI), former board member Krish Naidoo has testified. He affirmed what former colleague Vusi Mavuso testified on Thursday, that Muthambi had amended the memorandum in October 2014 to take group executive appointments from the board's oversight, and had given it to the three chief executives. "The problem with the MOI is that it was done in contravention of the Broadcasting Act and to some extent the Constitution", he told MPs. The amendment needed the signatures of all the board members, but was only signed by Muthambi. He said there was a large turnover of executive staff following Muthambi's amendment in October 2014. The board had no say, from then onward, with regard to group executive appointments, and was just informed of the decisions. - News24 website

Motsoeneng 'squatting' at SABC : former board member - 9 December
Former SABC board member Krish Naidoo says Hlaudi Motsoeneng is "squatting" at the broadcaster, and can't understand how so many professionals are afraid of a "high school dropout". He said, in his time at the broadcaster, former chief operating officer (COO) Motsoeneng had so much power that his "group" could change the recorded time of day in meeting minutes. He cited Motsoeneng's most recent appointment to group executive of corporate affairs as another example, saying it was advised by "some lawyer" at the SABC, and not the board. "In my view that was unlawful. Here we had someone who had no right to be at a national key point. In fact, he was squatting at a national key point". He said Hlaudi's qualifications also disqualified him from the position. Naidoo, a lawyer by profession, said he learnt of Motsoeneng's reappointment on television, and had written to the board many times to provide legal advice. Naidoo also lamented the treatment of former SABC board members by, not only the executives, but also Parliament's previous portfolio committee on communications. He said if the portfolio committee's decision was not political interference, then the MPs were "just not clued up on the law". "I remember this controversial decision about local content, and Mr Motsoeneng made the decision to air 90% local content so money could flow to local artists. The sentiment was fine, but the manner in which it went about was wrong in my view". He said Motsoeneng had made the decision unilaterally. It too, did not get board approval. Naidoo resigned from the board publicly during the SABC board's presentation to Parliament's portfolio committee on communications, on October 5, regarding their implementation of the Public Protector's report. ANC MP Hlomani Chauke asked him why he chose to do it that day, so publicly. "Oh no, I took the decision well before that. I just thought it was a nice platform to announce it". The MPs laughed. - News24 website

Exposed : the deep rot inside the broadcaster - 11 December
Appointments at the public broadcaster were made to posts that had not been advertised ; and those who got the jobs didn't have the required qualifications or experience – and the SABC failed to procure goods or services through fair procurement processes, as required by law. These are some of the findings made by the Auditor-General in a final management report on the SABC earlier this year. The report, dated March 31, is one of the documents that the SABC refused to hand over to the parliamentary ad hoc committee that is now looking into the corporation's affairs. The Auditor-General, Alice Muller, told Parliament this week about documents detailing R141 million in expenditure that the Auditor-General's office did not receive from the SABC. - News24 website

MPs slam senior SABC officials during parliamentary inquiry - 12 December
Members of Parliament (MPs) have slammed some senior South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) officials saying they are treating a parliamentary inquiry with impunity. National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete has instructed Secretary to Parliament Gengezi Mgidlana to issue a summons for Maguvhe to appear on Tuesday. - Eye Witness News website

SABC hands over 400 documents to Parliament inquiry - 12 December
The SABC has finally handed over requested documents to Parliament's ad hoc committee which is holding an inquiry on the fitness of the broadcaster's board. Chairperson of the committee Vincent Smith told MPs on Monday that more than 400 documents were sent on Saturday. He said the committee's legal team is processing the documents. Smith also told the committee they received a letter on Sunday from Ncube Incorporated Attorneys instructing the committee that they "shall" interview all of the inquiry's witnesses thus far on Thursday. MPs were in agreement that although the SABC has rights to cross-examine witnesses, it was "outrageous" that it sought to dictate to Parliament the time and manner when a standing invitation was sent before the committee started its work on December 7. The terms allowed for the broadcaster to interview witnesses on the days they would each testify. The committee pointed out that the SABC delegation chose to walk out of the inquiry on its first day and has not appeared since, despite the invitation still being open. Smith said Ncube Incorporated will be asked on whose instruction they are acting as the SABC board is currently inquorate and chief executive of corporate affairs Hlaudi Motsoeneng has no "legal foot" to give instructions. They will also insist that the individual pay for the legal proceedings. - News24 website

We all knew where the power was : former SABC HR chief - 12 December
Former SABC group executive of human resources Jabulani Mabaso has told Parliament's ad hoc committee looking into the SABC board that staff, even the CEOs, "knew where the power was". Mabaso was testifying to the committee on Monday, and was asked by the inquiry's lead evidence adviser if Hlaudi Motsoeneng essentially acted as the 'de facto' SABC CEO. "Oh certainly. At the SABC the CEO is on the 28th floor, the COO the 27th floor", he said. "But the meetings are held on the 27th floor, and the CEO 'gets called in'. - News24 website

SABC 8 lift lid on Hlaudi Motsoeneng's 'reign of terror' - 12 December
Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the man who rose to power at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) over the past few years, was a law to himself who was responsible for the "painful death of public service journalism", MPs heard on Monday. Testifying on day four of the inquiry into the affairs of the broadcaster's board, Thandeka Gqubule and Krivani Pillay gave Parliament's ad hoc committee tasked with the inquiry harrowing accounts of how they were censored and stopped from carrying out their mandate to inform the public. - IOL website

State Security Agency investigated SABC staffers, inquiry hears - 12 December
The State Security Agency investigated certain SABC staff members after they allegedly leaked information about the public broadcaster, a parliamentary inquiry heard on Monday. Former SABC general manager of labour relations Madiwe Nkosi told the ad hoc committee looking into the broadcaster's board that the State Security Agency was asked to investigate former group executive of risk and governance, Itani Tseisi, for allegedly having leaked information. Tseisi testified before the committee on Friday. The broadcaster suspended him in May 2014, for opposing key appointments and abuse of procedures. He returned in September 2016, but then left permanently in October. - News24 website

The Madness of King Hlaudi : committee members wake from deep slumber - 13 December
Members of Parliament's ad hoc committee investigating the collapse of the SABC under the reign of COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng at times gasped at shocking evidence presented on Monday. Both ANC and members of the opposition who sat on Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Communications offered many mea culpas with regard to their own inertia in stopping Hurricane Hlaudi. On Monday the committee heard how then Transnet boss, Brian Molefe, had threatened a journalist and also how the SABC was milked to set up the Gupta family's rival TV channel, ANN7. - Daily Maverick website

'Watch the blood flow' : text sent to SABC 8 journalist - 14 December
UDM MP Nqabayomzi Kwankwa has revealed in Parliament the contents of a threatening text message sent to one of the "SABC 8" journalists this week. "Traitors, protecting your white friends in Parliament who started this, telling lies about your comrades. You are warned . . . watch the blood flow", it read. - News24 website

See also :

Two SABC board members drop resignation bombshell above

SABC commits to play 90% local music across all platforms above

SABC8 set to testify in Parliament on Monday - 12 December
The "so-called SABC8" are among the witnesses scheduled to appear before the ad hoc committee probing the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on Monday. Suna Venter‚ Foeta Krige‚ Krivani Pillay‚ Thandeka Gqubule‚ Busisiwe Ntuli‚ Lukhanyo Calata‚ Vuyo Mvoko and Jacques Steenkamp were axed by the public broadcaster earlier this year for speaking out against its policy to not show footage of violent protests. They were later reinstated following a Labour Court ruling‚ and last month vowed to continue with a Constitutional Court battle against the SABC despite reportedly being intimidated and receiving death threats. - Times Live website

SABC board chairperson arrives at Parliament under summons - 13 December
Embattled South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board chairperson Mbulaheni Maguvhe has arrived in Parliament ahead of his expected testimony before a parliamentary inquiry into his fitness to hold office. MPs had to implore National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete to give instructions that a summons be served on Maguvhe, who last week led a walkout of SABC executives from the inquiry. Maguvhe, the last remaining board member, remained defiant after he lost a high court bid trying to stop the inquiry, insisting he would not testify in the inquiry. He even told MPs he would launch an appeal of this ruling. - Polity website

I never interfered in editorial policy of SABC, Muthambi tells MPs - 14 December
Communications Minister Faith Muthambi on Wednesday denied influencing the editorial policy of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) as she briefed members of parliament (MPs) conducting an inquiry into the public broadcaster's affairs. - Polity website

'Doctored minutes' a concern as SABC inquiry winds down - 15 December
The parliamentary inquiry into the affairs of the troubled South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) wrapped up its work for 2016 on Thursday following seven days of explosive testimony about the "rot" that had beset the broadcaster, with MPs vowing to dig deeper when it resumes its work early next year. MPs on the committee expressed deep concern at the belligerent behaviour of those running the State-owned broadcaster after it uncovered the possible doctoring of documents sent to the committee. It was when former SABC board member Rachel Kalidass read out the minutes of that meeting that MPs noticed that her copy of the minutes did not match those sent to the committee, which had to issue a summons to gain access to the papers. Parliament's lawyers have been instructed to pore over the minutes and ensure its authenticity. MPs now also want audio recordings of those meetings. - IOL website

SABC board chairperson Mbulaheni Maguvhe resigns - 19 December
The last SABC board member has quit after a parliamentary investigation into the board's failure to look into allegations of misspending and censorship, the Presidency said on Monday. Professor Mbulaheni Maguvhe, who was subjected to stiff questioning by a cross-party panel of MPs last week, had been the sole board member following the resignation of his colleagues this year in the wake of a string of scandals. - Mail & Guardian website

SABC continues on autopilot after #MAGUVHE's resignation - 20 December
The SABC will continue on autopilot until a temporary board is appointed when Parliament reconvenes in January. - IOL website

Motsoeneng implicated in procurement fraud at SABC - 20 December
Documents have come to light alleging significant procurement fraud at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) involving former executive Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Finance managers who attempted to bring the procurement irregularities to the board's attention were suspended. Acting group executive of risk government Tian Olivier wrote a scathing report to the board about fraud at the SABC, but the letter was stopped from reaching the board. Olivier was then suspended. - Eye Witness News website

See also :

Icasa lays charges against SABC over 'protest policy' above

Parliament left to deal with SABC above

Two SABC board members drop resignation bombshell above

See also :

Guptas hit back at ex-GCIS boss' claims below

Bigger than the weather (Registration with ICASA in terms of Merchant Shipping Regulations of 2002) below

Communications (Parliamentary Monitoring Group) (including SABC Report by Public Protector, Board inquiry, appointment of former COO) [Government and Legislation]

Broadcasting Amendment Bill [Government and Legislation]

Electronic Communications Act 3 of 2005 [Government Gazette Update]

Electronic Communications Act 36 of 2005, as amended [Government Gazette Update]

Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002 [Government Gazette Update]

Independent Communications Authority of South Africa Act 13 of 2000 [Government Gazette Update]

Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) -

See : Trade and Industry (Parliamentary Monitoring Group) (CIPC and SARS on collaboration to address company compliance burden) [Government and Legislation]

Company Law

Directors who collude to be prosecuted - 22 April
The Department of Economic Development has set its sights on industry cartels and will next week introduce tough new legislation to criminally prosecute company directors and managers who engage in uncompetitive behaviour. Collusion and tender-rigging will now be made a criminal offence from May 1 under the Competition Act. - Times Live website

Patel : those guilty of cartel behaviour to face jail time - 21 April
Directors and managers of companies who engage in collusive behaviour could soon find themselves behind bars, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel announced on Thursday. Tabling his budget vote in Parliament, Patel said a presidential proclamation would be gazetted on Friday which would bring sections of the Competition Amendment Act into effect from May 1 "which make it a criminal offence for directors or managers of a firm to collude with their competitors to fix prices, divide markets among themselves or collude in tenders or to acquiesce in collusion and they expose themselves to time in jail if convicted". While several companies have been slapped with massive fines over the years for cartel behaviour, Patel said there was no statutory offence dealing with collusion. - IOL website

Liquidations : business rescue to the rescue? - 10 August
Evidence suggests South African businesses are in trouble. The Sarb does not expect the economy to grow this year, the RMB/BER business confidence index fell to a seven-year low in the second quarter and Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) data shows the profit margin of the average business has dropped to just 5%. So, what is behind the significant decline in liquidations? According to Stats SA, the total number of liquidations decreased by 22.8% year-on-year in June, with liquidations in the first six months of 2016 falling by 6.5% to 929 cases. - Moneyweb website

About King IV
Institute of Directors. Southern Africa website

Competition Law

Breaking down barriers : unlocking Africa's potential through vigorous competition policy - 27 July
African countries have much to gain from promoting competitive markets. Cartels, anticompetitive business practices, and rules that shield markets from competition are significant issues that increase prices for a variety of products. Competition authorities have made progress in recent years, but many challenges remain. A starting point is to remove barriers to competition in critical sectors, such as cement, fertilizers and telecommunications. - The World Bank website

Criminalisation of cartel conduct comes into effect - 17 May
With effect from May 1, 2016, price fixing, market allocation and collusive tendering between actual and potential competitors could result in criminal liability for directors or managers. This was discussed at legal services firm Webber Wentzel's breakfast seminar, held on Tuesday in Sandton, which aimed to address the recent criminalisation of cartel conduct. - Polity website
Keyphrase :
Competition Amendment Bill

Will criminalising collusion weaken the Competition Commission's effect? - 24 May
Nobody knows for sure what the effect of criminalising collusion in the Competition Act will be. But plenty of commentators have weighed in on the possibilities. Some feel that making company directors personally and criminally liable for cartel conduct that happens on their watch will deter collusion. Others are concerned that criminalisation will only serve to send cartels underground, making them harder to detect. One view is primarily about the welfare of society. The other is primarily about the reputation of an institution. - Kasturi Moodaliyar and Nandi Mokoena on the Moneyweb website

Maze of competition law is growing in Africa - 6 December
Competition law is becoming increasingly active and complex in Africa. The number of competition regimes and the relationships between them are increasing. In the past 18 months, more than 10 memorandums of understanding have been signed by 25 competition regulators in Africa and the Brics countries to facilitate co-operation among competition regimes on issues of competition policy and enforcement. Competition regulatory development in Africa continues and during 2016, several authorities introduced new or amended competition laws, regulations, guidelines or policies. - Business Live website

Construction whistle-blower WBHO could face civil claims - 14 July
Construction company Wilson Bailey Holmes Ovcon (WBHO) could soon face a spate of civil claims for its involvement in bid rigging and anticompetitive practices on 11 projects awarded in the buildup to the 2010 Soccer World Cup. The company had previously been spared any administrative penalty for being the first to blow the whistle on cartel behaviour in the contracts. But a consent agreement handed down by the Competition Tribunal on Wednesday has freed third parties, who may have suffered losses, to institute civil action against WBHO. Prior to the introduction of the consent agreement, a company that was granted immunity under the Competition Commission's corporate leniency policy could legally escape liability from civil action. - Business Day Live website

World Cup fiasco : De Lille to fight for R430m - 31 October
The City of Cape Town launched a scathing attack on the government's settlement with the construction companies implicated in collusion during the construction of stadiums for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, saying the businesses were allowed to get away with corruption "scot-free". The City's criticism follows the presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission's (PICC) announcement that seven listed construction companies agreed on a programme of initiatives that would accelerate transformation in the industry. The agreement was reached with companies with a combined construction revenue of about R45 billion, comprising of WBHO Construction, Aveng, Murray & Roberts, Group Five, Basil Read, Raubex and Stefanutti Stocks, according to the Department of Economic Development. - IOL website

City of Cape Town to battle construction firms over collusion millions - 31 October
The City of Cape Town could be heading to the courts to retrieve more than R420 million from construction companies implicated in collusion in the run up to the 2010 Soccer World Cup. - Eye Witness News website

WBHO in mentorship deal with contractors - 30 November
Listed WBHO has concluded agreements with three emerging contractors to mentor and significantly develop them. This follows the agreement reached between the government and seven listed construction companies last month that settled their exposure to potential damages claims from public entities for collusion and bid-rigging offences. WBHO said yesterday that it had concluded agreements with Fikile Construction, Motheo Construction and Edwin Construction in terms of the development initiative in the settlement agreement. The company said these three emerging contractors now became WBHO's "development contractors" whose turnover in seven years should represent more than 25 percent of WBHO's South African turnover in civil and building and roads and earthworks. - IOL website

See also : Memorandum of Agreement entered into between the Competition Commission and Construction Industry Development Board [Government Gazette Update]

Appeal to allow alleged victims of bread cartel to sue Premier is withdrawn - 10 May
A group of civil society organisations along with the Competition Commission have withdrawn their Constitutional Court appeal‚ which they had hoped would enable victims in the Western Cape bread price-fixing cartel to sue Premier Foods. The Constitutional Court was expected to hear the matter on Tuesday but the parties withdrew their application last week. They had planned to challenge a Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruling that effectively let Premier Foods off the hook for its role in the 2006 bread cartel‚ by setting aside a declaration that opened it up to lawsuits. Charles Abrahams, lawyer for the alleged victims‚ said previously that the application for class action certification‚ currently pending before the Western Cape High Court‚ against the cartelists would continue with or without Premier Foods. Pioneer Foods was fined R195.7m for its involvement in the cartel while Tiger Brands and Foodcorp negotiated fines of more than R98m and R45m respectively. - Business Day Live website

South Africa's Premier Foods reaches settlement over bread cartel claim - 12 May
Bakery and Snacks website

Bitter pill for hospital groups as Tribunal imposes record fine for missed merger filing - 8 April
The Competition Tribunal has imposed a record penalty of R10-million for failure to notify the competition authorities of a merger. Yesterday, 7 April 2016, the Tribunal confirmed that a consent agreement had been entered into between the Competition Commission, Life Healthcare Group Proprietary Limited and Joint Medical Holdings Limited. - ENSafrica website

Commission hears data on WHO report on high price of hospital care in SA - 30 August
The Competition Commission's healthcare market enquiry on Tuesday convened a special session in Pretoria, at which stakeholders were due to give oral presentations in response to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The report concluded that the cost of hospital care in SA was high when measured against GDP per capita and that the driving forces were in-house hospital and specialist fees. - Business Day Live website

Small guys cry 'bully' at Clicks - 30 March
The Independent Community Pharmacy Association of SA, which represents about 1100 smaller pharmacies, claims Clicks is engaging in "anti-competitive behaviour" and has complained to the Competition Commission. The association's CEO, Mark Payne, says if smaller pharmacies get pushed out of the market, consumers will have less choice and monopolies could develop. - Times Live website

CompComm publishes preliminary LPG market inquiry findings - 10 May
The Competition Commission has published the preliminary findings and proposed recommendations of the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) market inquiry for public comment.   Among the findings are the commission's concern about structural impediments to competition, which could hinder the growth of the LPG industry, as well as "significant bottlenecks" in the regulatory environment, which would restrict the ability of potential competitors to enter and/or expand in the LPG industry. - Creamer Media's Engineering News website

See also : Amended terms of reference for the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Market Inquiry [Government Gazette Update]

Competition Tribunal hears submissions on SABMiller, AB InBev merger - 22 June
The Competition Tribunal is hearing submissions about specific recommendations for the massive merger between SABMiller and AB InBev. The merger has been approved by the Competition Commission and will result in the world's biggest brewer. However, it's approved the deal with strict conditions to be considered. Over the next three days the Competition Tribunal will hear from SABMiller, AB InBev and other interested parties about recommendations ahead of the deal being signed. - Eye Witness News website

Heineken seeks protection from SABMiller's 'dirty tricks' - 23 June
The merger of the world's largest and second-largest brewers – Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) and SABMiller – would exclude a major potential source of competition in the local beer market. Unless the R1.6 trillion-merger is dealt with correctly, it could destroy what little competition  exists in the local market, legal representatives for rival brewer Heineken told the Competition Tribunal on Wednesday. Heineken holds a 9% to 10% market share in the local beer market, while SABMiller holds 85% to 90%. AB InBev holds 0.1%, the tribunal heard. - Moneyweb website

AB InBev faces two more hurdles before SAB can say cheers - 30 June
The final countdown has started for China and the US to approve Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev's R1.5trn takeover of SABMiller, with South Africa ticking off the latest box on Thursday. China and the US are very close to giving approval, with AB InBev offloading SABMiller's Miller brands in the US and Snow in China. AB InBev has now obtained approval in 16 jurisdictions, the company said on Thursday in a statement. - Fin24 website

AB InBev wins Competition Tribunal approval for SABMiller takeover - 30 June
Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev has passed a key competition hurdle in its R1.5trn takeover of SABMiller, after the South African Competition Tribunal approved the merger on Thursday. The approval is subject to wide ranging conditions designed to address both public interest and competition concerns arising from the merger, the Tribunal said in a statement on Thursday. The conditions are similar to those proposed by the Competition Commission and the ones agreed to between the merging parties and the departments of Economic Development, Trade and Industry and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, it said. - Fin24 website

Charles Glass half full : the end of SABMiller, but what comes next? - 30 September
The deal of the century is all but done. On Thursday, SABMiller Plc. shareholders voted to accept the passing of both the resolutions at the UK Scheme Court meeting and the SABMiller Meeting held earlier on Wednesday, in connection with the recommended acquisition of the iconic South African brewer by Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB Inbev). If that sounds complicated, it's probably because it was. - Daily Maverick website

'State action transformed SABMiller deal for South Africans' - 6 October
The AB Inbev-SABMiller merger, which is worth more than US $100 billion, was held up on Thursday as an example of action by South Africa's competition authorities that had transformed a transaction that was set to benefit a group of shareholders into a deal designed to benefit society at large. South Africa's Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel, spoke to the African News Agency (ANA) on the sidelines of the 10th annual Competition Law, Economics & Policy Conference in Cape Town on Thursday. - IOL website

Competition Commission confirms SAA/Mango investigation - 23 June
The relationship between South African Airways (SAA) and its low-cost subsidiary Mango will be the focus of an investigation by the Competition Commission, following a recent SAA "own goal". The Commission confirmed it would be investigating a complaint by the Democratic Alliance following a statement by SAA that Mango's financial achievements were the result of assistance by SAA in the form of subsidised aircraft leases. - Moneyweb website

SAA to pay huge damages to Nationwide - 10 August
Embattled national carrier South African Airways (SAA) has been slapped with a court order to pay more than R104 million to liquidated airline Nationwide, for damages caused by SAA's abuse of market dominance from 2001 to 2006. This is only the second claim of its kind in South African Competition Law and the first time a damages claim based on a finding by the Competition Tribunal has been litigated. It sets a precedent for a claim by Comair against SAA for the same conduct said partner at law firm Bowman Gilfillan Lucinda Verster, who represented Nationwide and its liquidators. - Moneyweb website

Tribunal confirms R2.9m settlement with Ben Jacobs Metals - 22 September
The Competition Tribunal on Thursday confirmed a R2.9-million settlement agreement between the Competition Commission and scrap metal dealer Ben Jacobs Metals. The company was found guilty of engaging in price fixing and dividing up the market in the ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal sector. The fine represent 5% of its yearly turnover for the 2006 financial year. - Creamer Media's Engineering News website

Commission raids cargo companies - 28 September
The Competition Commission has conducted a search and seizure operation at the premises of six cargo shipping companies operating in the Western Cape and Kwazulu-Natal provinces. The Commission has reasonable grounds to suspect that Hamburg Sud South Africa (Pty) Ltd, Maersk South Africa (Pty) Ltd, Safmarine (Pty) Ltd, Mediterranean Shipping Company (Pty) Ltd, Pacific International Line South Africa (Pty) Ltd and CMA CGM Shipping Agencies South Africa (Pty) Ltd have engaged in collusive practices to, inter alia, fix the incremental rates for the shipment of cargo from Asia to South Africa in contravention of the Competition Act. During the search the Commission seized documents and electronic data, which will be analysed together with other information gathered to determine whether these companies have contravened the Competition Act. The Commission has obtained warrants authorizing it to search the premises of these companies at the Western Cape High Court and Pietermaritzburg High Court. - CAJ News Africa website

Shipping boss irked by SA raid - 29 September
Prominent shipping company boss Captain Salvatore Sarno has spoken out about a raid by Competition Commission officials which lasted until midnight at some of the six targeted companies. Speaking to the Daily News late on Wednesday night, Sarno, chairman of the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), said he was angry at the person who led to "the disruptions of our working schedule" for the hours that it took for commission officials to conduct their searches at the various offices. Sarno said : "With the shipping rates this low, and the fines imposed on companies involved in collusive practices, who would be so stupid to even think of looking that direction? I'm extremely angry. Whoever led to this, is stupid. The freight business is very low as it is, because consignment from South Africa is very low", he said. "Why risk business when a container is currently shipped at between $40 (R545) and $50? Collude and you get fined millions of rand, and how much profit have you made by those underhand techniques? I'm mad about this raid, but I must say the commission guys were professional. I really give them my respect in the way they conducted their business", said Sarno. - IOL website

Bicycle wholesalers Omnico and Cool Heat lose competition appeal case - 22 December
The Competition Appeal Court has dismissed an appeal by bicycle wholesalers Omnico and Cool Heat Agencies against a Competition Tribunal decision that the two companies had engaged in price fixing in contravention of the Competition Act. Administrative penalties of R4.6m and R4.3m had been imposed by the tribunal on the two companies respectively. The court upheld the tribunal's finding that the two companies had agreed to fix prices. It ordered them to pay costs. Omnico was however granted a 50% discount on its penalty. The case dates back to 2008 when about 20 bicycle retailers and wholesalers were found to have agreed to fix prices at a meeting held on September 10, 2008. - Business Live website

See also :

SA's chief justice roasts business above

Directors who collude to be prosecuted above

Competition Commission [Government Gazette Update]

Competition Tribunal (Competition Commission against The Law Society of the Northern Provinces) [Government Gazette Update]

Congress of the People (COPE) -

See :

Political parties oppose Zuma, Van Rooyen court applications below

Jiba, Mwebi should have been fired : Cope below

ANC is still acting in a manner inconsistent with the Constitution below

Mantashe says decision not to remove Zuma due to lessons from Mbeki's removal below

Cope withdraws from parliamentary activites below

Zuma is undermining the Constitution and the Judiciary once again : COPE below


Cabinet capitulates, signs rhinos' death warrant - 28 April
It takes a brave government to stand up to the might of the environmental lobby. In 2013, environmental affairs minister Edna Molewa did so, by announcing that the Cabinet had approved "the development and submission of a proposal to the 17th conference of parties to CITES, scheduled to take place in 2016 in South Africa, to introduce regulated international trade in rhino horn". In a decision that will be celebrated by environmental lobby groups and rhino poachers alike, the South African government has cancelled its plans to propose legal, regulated trade in rhino horn at this year's CITES conference in Johannesburg. The losers are rhino owners and the animals themselves. - Ivo Vegter on the Daily Maverick website

Report implicates minister in rhino horn trade - 13 November
An investigative report by Al Jazeera has revealed alarming allegations of ties between rhino poachers and the Minister of State Security. The Al Jazeera investigation follows the trail of poached rhino horn from South Africa to Asia, specifically China and Vietnam. According to the report Chinese officials who visited South Africa on official state business went on a shopping spree for illicit products which are in high demand in Asia. In a video recorded by Al Jazeera, a rhino horn trafficker, Guan Jiang Guang, boasted about having close ties to Minister David Mahlobo. - IOL website

David Mahlobo must explain rhino horn smuggling expose, says police union - 13 November
The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) on Sunday said State Security Minister David Mahlobo's suspected links to a known rhino horn smuggler represented a blow to his standing and this would further undermine trust in government institutions. The union urged Mahlobo to "come clean" and called for an urgent investigation into the claims. The claims emerged in an Al Jazeera Investigates documentary, which aired on Sunday afternoon. - Business Live website

China reacts to Mahlobo rhino horn trade ties - 14 November
The Chinese Embassy in South Africa has spoken out following the Al Jazeera's documentary "
The Poacher's Pipeline" which alleges ties between State Security Minister David Mahlobo and an alleged Chinese organised crime figure and rhino horn trafficker living in South Africa, Guan Jiang Guang. A spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy stressed that the Chinese government has a firm and consistent position on the endangered wildlife such as an elephant and rhino. "As a contracting party to CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), China has made unremitting efforts to The Chinese Embassy in SA has spoken out following the documentary "The Poacher's Pipeline" which alleges ties between State Security Minister David Mahlobo and an alleged Chinese rhino horn trafficker . . . protect wildlife on multiple fronts, including national legislation, institution development, trade management, law enforcement and oversight, capacity building and public participation". - IOL website

SA's Minister of Environmental Affairs lauds filmmakers for rhino poaching expose - 16 November
South Africa's minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa has lauded the filmmakers of the recent Al Jazeera rhino poaching documentary 'The Poacher's Pipeline', for their investigative work. The minister released an official statement on the matter on Tuesday, 14 November, saying the expose "draws attention to the links between rhino poaching in general and organised crime, a fact the department has always maintained. Molewa says the department also notes the seriousness of the allegations contained in the documentary – particularly as this relates to transnational criminal syndicates involved in the illicit wildlife trade operating from South Africa. - Traveller24 website

Security minister Mahlobo threatens to sue over illegal rhino trafficking allegations - 14 November
State Security Minister David Mahlobo says he is set to sue for defamation after allegations that he is linked to an illegal rhino horn trafficker. "I have taken legal action", Mahlobo said on Monday. "The allegations are very serious. I have spoken to the police commissioner. We have launched a formal inquiry". - Business Live website

Fugitive ex-lawyer back in dock for rhino poaching - 15 July
A former lawyer and fugitive from justice in a rhino poaching case has been tracked down and appeared in the Pinetown Magistrate's Court on Thursday. Suraj Rampersad had been on the run since last year after being granted bail and failing to appear in court. Police spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane, said Rampersad, 43, was traced to Newlands East by the Provincial Tracking Team. They re-arrested him while he was withdrawing cash from an ATM. A warrant for his arrest had been issued after he failed to turn up in court last year to face four counts of illegal rhino hunting, fraud and possession of rhino horns valued at R100 000. The Pietermaritzburg High Court heard last year that Rampersad had helped sell two rhino horns to men linked to the Chinese mafia. - IOL website

Interpol cracks down on organised crime networks trafficking ivory and rhino horn - 4 May
One man has been arrested and warrants issued for three more individuals in connection with ongoing investigations into two organised crime networks believed to have trafficked at least 8‚635 kg of ivory and 53 kg of rhino horn from East and Southern Africa to Asia‚ Interpol disclosed on Wednesday. It said a 44-year-old Chinese national had been arrested in Tanzania on suspicion of trafficking in government trophies following the deployment of Interpol Investigative Support Teams (IST) to Malawi‚ Tanzania and Uganda. - Times Live website

Cape court reduces ivory smuggler's fine - 5 June
A Chinese man this week succeeded in having his fine for the possession of R21 million worth of ivory vastly reduced. In 2014 Cheng Jie Liang, believed to be a link in an ivory smuggling syndicate, was given the highest penalty ever imposed in South Africa for the illegal possession of ivory when he was sentenced to 10 years in jail. Three years of his jail term would be suspended if he paid a R5m fine to the Cape Nature Board. The Khayelitsha Regional Court also imposed a two-year jail term for the illegal possession of abalone. - IOL website

Professional hunter tells court he didn't know about permits - 9 May
A professional hunter from Mpumalanga's capital has told a magistrate he was not aware he needed permits to carry leopard skins and elephant tusks. Anton Smit, 38, was not asked to plead to charges of illegally possessing leopard skins and elephant tusks when he appeared in the Nelspruit Magistrate's Court on Friday. Smit told the court he bought the tusks in Mozambique years ago, while the leopard skins were a gift from a friend in Namibia, provincial Hawks spokesperson, Lieutenant Dineo Sekgotodi said on Sunday. - News24 website

R5-m fine for . . . catching a fish? - 30 March
Anyone caught fishing on or off shore along much of the Umdoni coast between 5pm and 6am could soon risk a staggering fine or five years in jail. And if the Department of Environmental Affairs has its way,  the new laws could be in effect within months. The Mid South Coast Mail published a summary of the draft notices and regulations recently, announcing plans for a network of 22 new marine protected areas. - South Coast Herald website

See : National Environmental Management : Protected Areas Act 57 of 2003 [Government Gazette Update / InfoUpdate 4 of 2016]

Abused big cats safely repatriated to SA - 2 May
After years of abuse and mistreatment, 33 lions rescued from circuses in South America reached their new home, the Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in Limpopo, early Monday. On Saturday night, the lions roared into OR Tambo International Airport as their "Spirit of Freedom Flight" landed after more than 15 hours of travel time. American-based charity Animal Defenders International (ADI) has been working with Emoya to bring the lions to their new home. - IOL website

Mtubatuba residents compensated for loss of livestock : Ezemvelo KZN - 6 July
Ezemvelo KZN says it's spent R1.2 million compensating residents of Mtubatuba living near the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve and whose livestock has been killed by the reserve's animals due to an old fence. Reserve parks manager, Jabulani Ngubane says work to replace the fence has already begun with sections of it complete. The community of Mvutshini is situated 300 metres away from the reserve and many of their livestock has been snatched by some of the wild animals in the reserve. "When the park was proclaimed there was nobody living adjacent to the park. There was a buffer zone of 5km that was demarcated so people came along and built their homestead closer and closer to the reserve when the reserve was there". - East Coast Radio website

Pangolins are having a fantastic week - 6 October
Pangolins are some of the most fabulously weird animals in the world – but they're also some of the most threatened. This week at the CITES convention in Joburg, legislation was passed to change that : commercial trade of pangolins is now illegal all over the world. CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments, and this month, they met in Joburg to discuss the international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants. The African Pangolin Working Groupsubmitted a proposal to end pangolin trading, in the hope that world-wide government conservation organisations and state legal institutions will deal more harshly with traders. - Getaway website

Constitutional Matters

See : Constitutional Review Committee (Parliamentary Monitoring Group) [Government and Legislation]


The haven at the centre of a gentlemen's agreement gone wrong - 11 March
On his way to Afghanistan some years ago, Canadian journalist Douglas Mason spent Christmas Eve at a guest farm in the middle of the Free State. One thing led to another and he and his hosts struck a deal. The farmer had no use for a strikingly beautiful old farmhouse on a remote part of the farm and agreed that Mason could fix it at his own cost and live there when he was in SA. Though things started well, relations soured and the farmer, Chris Swanepoel, threw Mason off the farm : the deal was off, he said. Mason then presented Swanepoel with a bill of just over R225 000 for work up to that point. When Swanepoel refused to pay, the matter went to court, where Judge Somaganthie Naidoo had to scrutinise an oral agreement on whose terms the two parties no longer agreed. Both sides agreed that the initial contract was for Mason to pay for the renovations in return for which he could live there indefinitely ; also, that either side could end the agreement. They disagreed, however, on how Mason would be compensated if the contract ended. Swanepoel said he would get nothing unless the farm was sold, in which case Mason would be paid for any extra value he had added to the property. Mason said no-one in their right mind would have agreed to such terms, and he certainly hadn't. With such starkly different claims about the agreement, the judge said she had to consider the credibility of the evidence and the demeanour of the two. She was satisfied with Mason and his evidence but found Swanepoel evasive. And when he lost his self-control in testifying about the alleged "blasphemous statements" the judge said it strengthened her view that the farmer's conduct in ending the contract was "irrational". She found Swanepoel was not entitled to cancel the deal on the basis of Mason's "alleged blasphemous utterance", and she ordered him to pay Mason's legal costs as well as what Mason can prove he spent in renovating the farmhouse. - Carmel Rickard on the Rand Daily Mail website

See :
Free State High Court
19 February 2016
4505/2013 [2016] ZAFSHC 28
Mason v Swanepoel

Court rules Idols and M-Net entitled to oust Siyakha Tshayela from 'Top 16' - 18 September
The Gauteng High Court has concluded that Idols and M-Net were entitled to exclude Siyakha Tshayela from the "Top 16" round of Idols. Tshayela had asked the court on Saturday evening to allow her to participate in the "Top 16" round despite not complying with one of the significant rules of the competition : that she be able to sign an exclusive recording deal with a label identified by Idols. "Ms Tshayela signed the Idols agreement on 28 February 2016. However‚ it subsequently came to the attention of the producers that she had entered into a contract with another recording company which was in place until 2019. Ms Tshayela said she had tried to cancel the contract‚ but the third party disputed this"‚ Idols and M-Net said in a statement on Sunday. - Times Live website

Constitutional Court
25 November 2016
CCT242/15 [2016] ZACC 42
Masstores (Pty) Limited v Pick n Pay Retailers (Pty) Limited
Delict - unlawful interference with contractual relations - wrongfulness - contractual exclusivity - lease agreement - interdict requirements - third party interference - category of delictual interference - Aquilian liability

Masstores' Game wins ConCourt battle against Pick n Pay - 25 November
Walmart-owned Masstores has succeeded in its appeal at the Constitutional Court to have the right to operate as a supermarket that sells fresh foods at a Western Cape shopping centre. The dispute centred on whether Pick n Pay can use an exclusive right to trade at the Cape Gate shopping centre to prevent Game from selling fresh foods at the complex. Pick n Pay said that Game's selling of fresh foods interfered with its contractual agreement to have the exclusive right to trade as a supermarket in the shopping centre, which is owned by Hyprop. The court on Friday, though, ruled that Masstores did not violate any agreements by trading as a supermarket. - Fin24 website

See also :
Court puts plans on ice for Foodco at Game - 6 June
InfoUpdate 16 of 2014]

See also : R378m prisons tender scandal below

Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs -

Once-off gratuity payment for non-returning councillors - 14 August
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen has approved a once-off gratuity to be paid to qualifying non-returning councillors after the 3 August Local Government Elections. "National Treasury has already made available an amount of R309.3 million over the 2016 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) to pay the gratuity of the non-returning councillors", the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs said. In August 2011, the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers made the recommendation that non-returning councillors should receive a once-off gratuity payment. "This was to allow such councillors breathing space to solicit other remunerative employment of their choice", the department said. Outlining the reasons for the need to pay gratuity, the department said the amount is received by an employee from his/her employer in gratitude for the services offered by the employee. - allAfrica website

See also :

Zuma approves no increase for MPs below

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Parliamentary Monitoring Group) [Government and Legislation]

Copyright and Intellectual Property

Copyright : the unsung hero - 16 May
Copyright is an IP right which enjoys global recognition, but which is often overlooked by business owners in their hurry to register patents, designs and trademarks. Unlike other forms of intellectual property, generally copyright need not be registered in order to be enforceable, and in South Africa no procedure exists for its registration. - Nola Bond of KISCH IP on the International Law Office website

What's in a name? - 23 May
Social media has been buzzing over the tussle between Australian pop icon Kylie Minogue and US television personality Kylie Jenner regarding trademark rights in the name 'Kylie'. The dispute raises two interesting questions in the context of South African law : Can a person's name be registered as a trademark? What would happen if the KYLIE dispute came before the South African courts? - Vicky Stilwell of KISCH IP on the International Law Office website

Can you have your cake and eat it? - 30 June
In the age of the Internet and digital media it is possible to find information on absolutely any topic, at the click of a mouse. If you want to cook something, gone are the days when you had to haul out Grandma's dusty, oil-stained recipe collection, now you just stick a few keywords into the Google machine and you are rewarded with more recipe options for your chosen dish than you could ever need. But to what extent do intellectual property, and more specifically, copyright, laws protect recipes? - Vicky Stilwell of KISCH IP on the Polity website

Firm granted rare order - 14 September
The homes and businesses of some ex-employees of Hilton-based automotive software company Accpick Automotive Solutions were raided simultaneously recently in terms of a rarely granted Anton Piller court order. The matter was heard in open court in the Pietermaritzburg high court on Tuesday, even though the actual court order was made, in camera, on August 23, court documents show. The order provides the right to search premises and seize evidence without prior warning. The last time the Pietermaritzburg high court granted such an order is believed to have been at least 13 years ago. At issue was the alleged copying of Accpick's intellectual property, including software developed by the company over 28 years, and selling that property at a lower price. Accpick's attorney Oliver Bernhard said the court order was significant in that it shows the court recognises copyright infringement as a matter of law, and that one does not necessarily need to rely on copyright registration for protection. - News24 website

Judging trade marks - 1 November
Trade mark law may be contained in statutes, but judges are the ones who interpret the statutes. Judges are also the ones who eventually decide whether one trade mark is confusingly similar to another. It is these factors that make the "Question the Trade Mark Judges" event that recently took place at University College London so fascinating for anyone interested in trade marks. - Delene Bertasso on the ENSafrica website

See also :

Moneyweb (Pty) Limited v Media 24 Limited and Another (South Gauteng High Court) below

Copyright Act 98 of 1987 [Government Gazette Update]

Protocol on administration and operations of the National Intellectual Property Management Office [Government Gazette Office]

Correctional Services - 

UN rights body releases damning report on SA prisons - 11 April
The United Nations Human Rights Council's report on South Africa has painted a grim picture of the country's prisons. The committee on South Africa reported a slew of factors contributing to poor conditions at state detention centres. "The committee is concerned at poor conditions of detention in some of the state's prisons, particularly with respect to overcrowding, dilapidated infrastructures, unsanitary conditions, inadequate food, lack of exercise, poor ventilation, and limited access to health services", it read. - News24 website

Tales of torture at prisons heard at Cape Town seminar - 17 November
CCTV footage of prison warders setting Rottweilers on a prisoner was so shocking that it would have led to the collapse of South Africa's global extradition treaties, a prison torture seminar heard on Thursday. "I don't know if it is torture. It is certainly assault and might well be murder, or culpable homicide", retired Constitutional Court judge Johan van der Westhuizen told delegates at the seminar, hosted by the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS) at the Helderstroom prison outside Caledon. Van der Westhuizen is the JICS's recently-appointed inspecting judge. - News24 website

Prison torture chamber exposed on camera - 18 November
Torture and assault of prison inmates has been exposed in CCTV footage. The prison's oversight body, the Judicial Inspectorate of Correctional Services, released it at a seminar in the Western Cape. Newly-appointed Inspecting Judge Johan van der Westhuizen had harsh words for the poor investigation by officials into violent incidences in prisons. The Constitutional Court judge says he is shocked by the footage captured in 2015 at the Brandvlei Correctional Centre. - eNCA website

The Rottweiler, the Warders, the Dead Inmate and the Video Footage that spurred a Judge to action - 24 November
An assault on a prison inmate by warders so shocked a judge that he believes that, if a video of the incident were released in its entirety, it could lead to the collapse of SA's global extradition treaties. - Daily Maverick website

23 November 2016
Committee Oversight Report on Pollsmoor Correctional Centre
Parliamentary Monitoring Group website

Showdown over Pollsmoor's 'appalling' conditions - 1 December
Government and the head of Pollsmoor's remand facility are being taken to court on Monday in an attempt to compel to them to address the "appalling" conditions at the centre. Sonke Gender Justice, represented by Lawyers for Human Rights in the Western Cape High Court, believes detainees are "routinely, and on a continuing basis, deprived of basic amenities to which they are entitled to by law". These include exercise, nutrition, accommodation, ablution facilities, and healthcare services that are guaranteed by law. The remand centre is for awaiting-trial prisoners. These are people who have either not been convicted or sentenced. Some will not be found guilty of any crime. In their court papers, Sonke's lawyers state that such a failure is inconsistent with the Constitution. - News24 website

Court victory for Pollsmoor prisoners - 5 December
Awaiting trial prisoners have won a big court victory. Rampant overcrowding and "horrendous" conditions at the remand centre for awaiting trial detainees at Pollsmoor have to be addressed following an order of the Western Cape High Court today. The government has "failed to provide the inmates of Pollsmoor RDF [remand detention facility] with exercise, nutrition, accommodation, ablution facilities and health care services of a standard that complies with the requirements of the Correctional Services Act 111 of 1998, and that such failure is inconsistent with the Constitution", states the court order. - GroundUp on the AllAfrica website

Electronic monitoring the solution to prison overcrowding : NGO - 7 December
An NGO focused on prisoner reintegration believes that a High Court ruling on poor conditions at Pollsmoor Prison has paved the way for electronic monitoring to be used for first-time offenders. On Monday, the Western Cape High Court ruled that conditions at Pollsmoor's remand detention facility were "horrendous" and unconstitutional, GroundUp reported. Judge Vincent Saldanha gave government two weeks to show why it could not immediately reduce the number of detainees at the facility to not more than 120% of the approved number. On Wednesday, the 106-year-old National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders (Nicro) issued a statement offering suggestions on how to improve conditions at the prison. - News24 website

Departmental Reports : where truth hides in plain sight - 8 December
Trawling through tables of official-on-inmate violence in the recently published 2015/2016 annual report of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS) reveals a dirty little secret : a staggering 316% increase in assaults on inmates by Department of Correctional Services (DCS) officials over the numbers recorded the previous year. - Daily Maverick website

R378m prisons tender scandal - 14 April
In its first bold move, South Africa's new tender regulator has instructed the prisons department to cancel an "irregular" tender of R378 million awarded to an ANC benefactor. Documents obtained by News24/Netwerk24 show how prisons boss Zach Modise defied requests by the newly-established office of the chief procurement officer (CPO) to review the processes followed in awarding a contract for an inmate management system to Integritron Integrated Solutions. National Treasury, under which the CPO falls, has now instructed Modise to apply steps to cancel the contract. Any fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred through cancelling the contract should be recovered from Modise personally. - News24 website

Excerpt :
"Despite numerous deficiencies with its tender to the DCS, Integritron's bid was the only one considered by the department when it awarded the lucrative contract for an integrated inmate management system. The successful bidder would have to supply and maintain an electronic record keeping system for all the country's prisoners. Industry experts feared that the system would become the default operating backbone of the entire criminal justice sector and that all future projects would have to be compatible with Integritron's prisons system. This would place Sasstec and its companies in prime position to capture future contracts in the prisons, police and justice departments. But Kenneth Brown, the CPO and senior member of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's treasury team, may have put a spoke in the wheel by ordering a full investigation into the awarding of the tender by Modise and his department. An investigation into the tender by the auditor-general's office is also under way"

Full text : Correctional Services responds to prisons tender scandal claims - 15 April
As much as DCS has opted not to participate in a "trial by media", it is necessary to state that, as far back as September 2015, we have been engaging with National Treasury on issues of procurement. It was DCS who requested the Auditor-General of South Africa (AG), as an independent entity, to look into this matter as part of the annual audit process. - News24 website

'Confidential' tender revelations upset prisons boss - 15 April
Prisons boss Zach Modise is upset and "concerned" because Netwerk24 and News24 revealed information about National Treasury's dissatisfaction with an "irregular" R378m tender. Replying to written questions, Modise hit back, saying that "much of the information referred to in the media is confidential. It is impossible for DCS to respond to the allegations without breaking confidentiality conditions laid down by Treasury. Public debate on the issue is limited. DCS will eventually provide a comprehensive response to Treasury". - News24 website

Masutha faces court over R375m tender - 3 May
Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha has confirmed in Parliament that he has been taken to court by a company awarded a R378 million tender after the National Treasury blocked the contract. Masutha told journalists before his budget vote speech yesterday he had also told Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan he could not cancel the contract as the Auditor-General still has to do an audit. The tender was questioned by both the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) and Parliament's standing committee on finance. "The Inmate Management System is aimed at constituting one of the pillars of the integrated justice system, the budget of which is held by justice", Masutha said. Mmabatho Mokause of the EFF said it cannot be allowed that this tender was inflated from R50m to R378m. - IOL website

R400m prison services tender put on ice - 22 May
The National Treasury has asked that a multi-million rand tender aimed at servicing South African prisons be placed on hold‚ citing irregularities in the appointment. - Sowetan Live website

Masutha interdicted from acting on controversial R378m IT tender - 7 June
Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha has been interdicted from acting against a controversial R378 million tender given to an ANC benefactor. - News24 website

See also : Treasury's Brown dealt with crooked deals and death threats below

More inmates on antiretroviral therapy - 19 April
The percentage of inmates on antiretroviral therapy (ART) stood at 97.95% as at the end of December 2015, says Correctional Services National Commissioner Zach Modise. Modise said the percentage of inmates tested for HIV was at 91.20% and the TB cure rate (new pulmonary) stood at 85.80%. He was speaking at the department’s Health Partners Conference in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng, on Tuesday. According to the department, the aim of the conference is to create a platform to share feedback on the support provided, lessons learned and good practices in terms of inmate healthcare. - South African Government News Agency website

Sentenced twice over - 7 July
Rape in prison is a global human rights and public health crisis, with devastating consequences for its victims. Prisoner rape is a crime which affects more than just the individuals who have experienced it ; this abuse reaches beyond prison walls when survivors are released back into the community, carrying their trauma, and their diseases, with them. Even prisoners who are not subjected to rape are forced to adapt to a culture that endorses toxic notions of gender and sexuality. These notions, together with trauma and disease, are fed back into communities when prisoners are released. In a major victory for prisoners' rights, the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) approved the Policy to Address Sexual Abuse of Inmates in DCS Facilities (Sexual Abuse Policy). Released in 2013, this policy gives DCS officials the tools to prevent, detect, respond to, and document the sexual abuse of inmates. DCS, the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, and Just Detention International – South Africa were instrumental in the development of the Sexual Abuse Policy, and it has the potential to make a real difference in the fight against abuse and HIV in our prisons. - IOL website

Chris Hani : how did the evil men become the victims? - 14 March
After Chris Hani was killed on April 10 1993, days of absolute pandemonium followed, with gangs of youths wreaking havoc around the country. People's feelings were somewhat assuaged by the conviction of Clive Derby-Lewis, a former Conservative Party MP and the mastermind of the plot, and Janusz Walus, who pulled the trigger. Their death sentences were commuted to life imprisonment. They've now gained their freedom through the generosity of the courts. Their liberty comes at a time when the social fabric that people like Mandela and Hani were trying to knit together shows signs of unravelling. At Walus's parole hearing last week, the presiding judge asked at what stage forgiveness would happen and wondered whether it was not time for the Hani family to move on. Roelof du Plessis, Walus's attorney, chimed in. "We need ubuntu. We don't need racism. Let this man be released. He has paid his dues". Walus, the murderer, it seems, has become the victim. But as the SACP's Solly Mapaila correctly pointed out, to say Ms Hani should "move on" seemed to suggest victims should take responsibility for the perpetrators of the crime. - Barney Mthombothi on the Rand Daily Mail website

Janusz Walus : a case of poor judgment - 14 March
The decision of the Gauteng Division of the High Court to order the release of Janusz Walus on parole is badly argued and almost certainly wrong. The judgment should be appealed with a view to overturn the High Court decision. - Pierre de Vos on the Daily Maverick website

Hani killer Walus a South African citizen, Home Affairs confirms - 11 March
The man who assassinated Chris Hani 23 years ago, Janusz Walus, is a naturalised South African citizen, South Africa's home affairs department said on Friday. The department said in a statement it "noted reports relating to the citizenship status of Polish immigrant, Janusz Walus, who was convicted for the murder of Chris Hani, the former General Secretary of the Soth African Communist Party (SACP)". "We wish to put it on record that Mr Walus was granted a permanent residence permit in 1981 prior to attaining citizenship through the naturalisation process in 1987 under legislation administered by the apartheid government", the department said. - Polity website

Masutha appeals against order to release Janusz Walus on parole - 30 March
Justice Minister Michael Masutha has launched an appeal against a ruling by the High Court in Pretoria earlier in March that the minister release Janusz Walus on parole. Legal representatives filed the application for leave to appeal on Wednesday morning, with the minister believing the court "erred in its judgment and is of the view that there are prospects of success on appeal," the Department of Justice and Correctional Services said. - Business Day Live website

Judge in Chris Hani killer's parole 'didn't have authority' - 31 March
Justice Minister Michael Masutha said the High Court judge who granted Chris Hani's killer parole didn't have the prerogative to make the findings which motivated her final decision.  - Eye Witness News website

North Gauteng High Court
10 April 2016
41828/2015 [2016] ZAGPPHC 103
Walus v Minister of Correctional Services and Others

Justice Minister to explain why Janusz Walus must stay in jail - 11 April
The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services‚ Michael Masutha‚ will on Tuesday apply for leave to appeal against last month's judgment ordering him to release Chris Hani's killer Janusz Waluz on parole. The application comes as the 23rd anniversary of Hani's assassination was commemorated in Boksburg on Sunday‚ at which his widow‚ Limpho Hani‚ reiterated her opposition to Walus being paroled. In public speeches and interviews‚ she claims there is more to know about who sanctioned Hani's assassination‚ and why. - Sowetan Live website

Masutha's application for leave to appeal Walus's parole gets under way - 12 April
Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha's advocate‚ Marumo Moerane SC‚ told the court that Tuesday's application came just two days after the 23rd commemoration of Hani's murder. At the time of his assassination‚ Hani was the secretary-general of the South African Communist Party‚ a member of the African National Congress's national executive committee and Umkhonto we Sizwe leader. Mr Moerane said the judges sentencing Walus in 1993 described the murder as a deliberate and cold-blooded one. The act was cowardly in the extreme. It was preceded by weeks of planning. Mr Moerane said in Judge Janse van Nieuwenhuizen's judgment ordering the release of Walus on parole‚ there was no justification for finding that initial decision irrational. He said the judge did not distinguish between rationality and reasonableness in her judgment. - Business Day Live website

Judge questions value of factors considered in Walus parole process - 12 April
The judge who ordered the release on parole of Janusz Walus - the murderer of anti-apartheid hero Chris Hani - yesterday questioned the point of a parole process, if the heinous nature of the crime would always trump all the other factors to be considered by the minister when making a decision. On Tuesday, Justice Minister Michael Masutha applied to appeal against the judgment, saying Judge Janse Van Nieuwenhuizen had "misdirected" herself when she found that the particularly heinous nature of the crime was just "one of seven" factors the minister was supposed to think about when he made his decision. - Franny Rabkin on the Business Day Live website

Bobby' Kennedy's 1968 assassination cited as a test case in parole bid by Hani killer - 12 April
The judge said there was no question that the crime Walus committed was heinous. "How many years should one be in prison before one is considered for parole? It is now 23 years. There is no question that this was a heinous crime". Moerane said he could not personally answer that question. He said he had referred the judge to the case of Sirhan Bishara Sirhan‚ the man convicted of the murder of American politician Robert "Bobby" Kennedy in 1968. Sirhan is still serving his life imprisonment sentence. He was originally sentenced to death‚ but his sentence was commuted to life in prison following a decision by the California Supreme Court decision in another case that capital punishment was a violation of the California Constitution's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. - Times Live website

We will take law into own hands if Hani killer is released : MK veterans - 12 April
Should Janusz Walus be granted parole, veteran soldiers will be forced to take the law into their own hands, the uMkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association said on the steps of the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday. Regional secretary Vuyani Mamani was among the MK soldiers who handed over a memorandum for the attention of the chief justice calling for the man who killed Chris Hani not to be released. "One thing is certain : if Walus sees or walks the streets of SA, the world must wait for something that was never expected again. Because that will take us back to what we avoided back in the 1990s when we went through negotiations", he warned. - News24 website

Court blocks appeal against Janusz Walus parole order - 14 April
The justice minister was on Thursday refused permission to appeal against a court order that he must release Chris Hani's murderer Janusz Walus on parole. Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha had challenged Judge Nicolene Janse van Nieuwenhuizen's ruling that his decision to overturn the parole board's decision to have Walus released was irrational. Walus' advocate‚ Roelof du Plessis SC‚ had on Tuesday submitted that an offender was still being punished if he was released on parole but that the focus upon release shifted to the rehabilitation of the offender. - Times Live website

Janusz Walus judge needs mentoring from Pistorius judge : Hani family - 14 April
The Hani family will take its fight against Janusz Walus's imminent release on parole to the Supreme Court of Appeal, after the High Court in Pretoria dismissed an application for leave to appeal the decision to release him. "She [the judge] is not God, we have other courts to go to", Chris Hani's widow Limpho Hani told reporters on Thursday. "As black people in this country . . . we will continue to fight until justice is done", she said. Hani expressed her bitter disappointment with Van Nieuwenhuizen's judgment and accused her of not being fair. She urged her to take a leaf out of Judge Thokozile Masipa's book in her handling of Oscar Pistorius's case. Masipa granted the State leave to appeal her ruling that the former Paralympian was guilty of culpable homicide. - News24 website

Walus parole dispute heads to appeal court - 15 April
The next tussle in the court dispute about the release of Janusz Walus - who murdered liberation hero Chris Hani - on parole will be played out in the Supreme Court of Appeal. - Franny Rabkin on the Business Day Live website

Opposition to Walus' release 'because of minister's bias' : lawyer - 20 April
Political pressure has led to the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha opposing any means to release Chris Hani's murderer Janusz Walus on parole‚ the high court in Pretoria heard on Wednesday. - Times Live website

Judgment reserved on Hani killer's bid to be released on parole - 20 April
Judgment was on Wednesday reserved in the bid by Chris Hani's murderer to be released on parole. The South African Communist Party (SACP) and Hani's widow Limpho Hani on Wednesday opposed the application by Janusz Walus. Walus on Wednesday applied to be released on parole pending appeal proceedings against his release‚ by the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha‚ at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA). After Masutha failed in his bid to apply for leave to appeal against her judgment last week‚ he indicated he would petition the SCA. This meant Walus would have to stay in prison pending the appeal. However‚ the Superior Courts Act allow a person in Walus' situation to apply for the enforcement of Janse van Nieuwenhuizen's order pending the minister's appeal proceedings. - Times Live website

Walus to remain in custody - 26 April
Chris Hani's killer Janusz Walus will remain in custody until the subsequent appeal is finalised, the Department of Justice and Correctional Services said on Tuesday. Walus wanted to be released immediately on parole pending the outcome of a petition lodged by Justice Minister Michael Masutha to the Supreme Court of Appeal. However, the Gauteng Division of the High Court dismissed the application. - allAfrica website

Minister Michael Masutha welcomes dismissal of Walus application - 26 April
The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Adv Michael Masutha has welcomed the judgment by the Gauteng Division of the High Court which dismissed an application by Mr Janus Walus to be placed on parole pending finalisation of the petition by the Minister to the Supreme Court of Appeal. - allAfrica website

Law matters : That judge refused leave to appeal is astounding - 26 April
Judge Nicoline Janse van Nieuwenhuizen has been on the receiving end of some blistering rebukes for her decisions in the parole application of Janusz Walus, the man who murdered struggle hero Chris Hani. The High Court in Pretoria set aside Justice Minister Michael Masutha's decision to refuse parole to Walus, and ordered his release within 14 days. And then, in a decision I found astonishing, refused leave to appeal. It was surprising because lower court judges are usually quite modest about their judgments, erring on the side of caution that another court may have a different view. More so in controversial cases. I have now read the earlier judgment four times and still cannot glean an explanation for how the minister's decision was "so unreasonable that no reasonable person could have" taken it. - Franny Rabkin on the Business Day Live website

Race and ethnicity issues flaw critique of Walus judgment - 29 April
Letter by Chris Greenland on the Business Day Live website

Michael Masutha gets leave to appeal parole application of Janusz Walus - 12 July
The Supreme Court of Appeal has granted Justice Minister Michael Masutha leave to appeal in the parole application of Janusz Walus, the murderer of popular liberation fighter Chris Hani. In March, the High Court ordered that Walus be released within 14 days. The Supreme Court of Appeal's order means that he will remain behind bars at least until it has heard and decided the case. - Franny Rabkin on the Business Day Live website

Clive Derby-Lewis dies - 3 November
News24 website

'Uncontrollable' Hani had to be killed : Derby-Lewis in last interview - 15 November
Clive Derby-Lewis was interviewed by Forum Films on September 2. It was the only interview conducted with him after he was released from prison on medical parole in June 2015 after serving 22 years for his role in Hani's murder in 1993, Netwerk24 reported. He requested that the 70-minute interview be released after his death. - News24 website

The Derby-Lewis disclosure : Part 1
YouTube website

The Derby-Lewis disclosure : Part 2
YouTube website

The Derby-Lewis disclosure : Part 3
YouTube website

The Derby-Lewis disclosure : Part 4
YouTube website

The secret Derby-Lewis did not take to his grave - 16 November
Derby-Lewis revealed "the truth" two months before his death during his only interview since his release from jail in June last year. Many believed Derby-Lewis never told the truth behind Hani's assassination. But in the interview, Derby-Lewis maintained that it was a simple discussion between him and Walusz that Hani should be killed. Derby-Lewis was adamant that he did not tell Walusz to kill Hani, but that the Pole offered to do it. Derby-Lewis said he was visiting a friend in Krugersdorp on April 10, 1993. "We were having tea when the phone rang. My friend's wife answered and she came back saying Hani had just been killed. I had such a tremendous feeling of relief, because I knew it could not have been Walusz as he had not yet had the ammunition. When I found out it was him, it was quite a shock". - IOL website

Jub Jub set to be released soon : report - 11 April
After serving four years of his sentence, Jub Jub is set to be up for parole at the end of the year. Jub Jub and his friend, Themba Tshabalala have served half of their 8-year jail sentences and are eligible for parole and an early release next year. The pair were jailed for crashing their cars into a group of school kids in 2012. - Times Live website

Correctional Services to investigate Jub Jub 'assault' accusations : reports - 19 December
The Department of Correctional Services has reportedly launched an investigation into claims that Molemo "Jub Jub" Maarohanye allegedly assaulted his girlfriend while on a weekend visit home recently. According to Sunday World, Vanessa Mgcina opened an assault case against Jub Jub, claiming that he had "strangled" her with "both hands" during an alleged altercation at the rapper's house in Naturena, Johannesburg on December 2. However, the case of assault has been withdrawn. Despite the charges being withdrawn against Jub Jub, the Department of Correctional Services have reportedly launched its own investigation into the matter. "It is worth mentioning that (the department) takes this matter seriously and harsh measures will be taken against any offender who breaks the law or violates parole conditions", the department's spokesperson, Singabakho Nxumalo, told the paper. It has been widely reported that the disgraced musician, who has served half of his eight-year jail sentence is eligible for parole early next year. - Times Live website

See also : Level crossing crash taxi driver's parole suspended below

Staggie & Co walk with Johnnie - 26 April
Former Hard Livings gang leader Rashied Staggie's parole has not been revoked despite his arrest for possession of expensive whiskey allegedly stolen from a Johannesburg depot. Staggie left the Cape Town Magistrate's Court yesterday in high spirits after posting R5 000 bail. He appeared alongside Johannesburg businessman Jayaray Pillay, Pillay's son Mikyle, and Joao de Gouveia on charges of possession of stolen property. Police pounced on the four in their luxury cars near Canal Walk last Thursday. The court heard that they had 23 bottles of Johnnie Walker Green Label whiskey, worth about R20 000, Cuban cigars and cigarettes in their possession. Staggie has been on parole since 2014 after serving 13 years in jail. - Times Live website

No parole for Baby Jordan's killers - 30 June
Eleven years after murdering baby Jordan-Leigh Norton, and nine years after being sentenced, killers Zanethemba Gwada and Bonginkosi Sigenu were denied parole - again. The pair appeared before the parole board at the Drakenstein Correctional Facility near Paarl on Wednesday and had their second parole bid denied. Gwada and Sigenu were paid R10 000 in 2005 by Dina Rodrigues, who was in a relationship with the baby's father Neil Wilson at the time, to kill the then 6-month-old infant. Rodrigues, along with Gwada, Sigenu and two other men were sentenced to life behind bars. Their previous parole bid was denied a year ago. - IOL website

See also :

Church organisation to deliver King Dalindyebo pardon petition - 1 April
The Council of Churches South Africa International is expected to deliver a petition to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, on Friday, calling for a presidential pardon and the release of King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo. - News24 website

'Dagga king' tells lawyer to halt dethroning - 19 April
Jailed abaThembu king Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo - nicknamed the "Dagga king" - has hired Mthatha lawyer Mvuzo Notyesi to represent him in attempts to remove him from the throne. Notyesi has been instructed to represent Dalindyebo at hearings to elect an acting king while he serves out his jail term. These were organised by the Commission on Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims following a request from the royal family. Notyesi is Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's lawyer. Earlier this year two royal family factions deadlocked on electing an acting king. They resolved to appeal to the commission for help. - Times Live website

What's King Dalindyebo smoking? - 1 July
In a last-ditch attempt to evade justice, jailed abaThembu king Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, a self-proclaimed dagga smoker, has asked the Constitutional Court to allow traditional leaders to run their own sovereign territories. The disgraced king's latest application, labelled as "wacky" by one constitutional law expert, has been filed on an urgent basis. Among other "bizarre" pleas, the 52-year-old royal wants Constitutional Court judges to develop customary law that will recognise him, the abaThembu nation and its territory as sovereign and not subject to the country's laws. He also wants his transgressions, for which he is serving a 12-year sentence, to be treated under customary law - meaning his sentence would be nullified. "The king may have erred in his defence [in] that he neither understands legalese nor the foreign procedures of the court of South Africa. The king's freedoms and rights cannot be taken away without his consent", said his self-proclaimed secretary Karl Lang. Lang said Dalindyebo had been denied justice by being subject to laws that should not apply to him. He would petition international tribunals if denied by the court. "Roman-Dutch law was retributive and foreign, as opposed to African indigenous justice, which addresses the victim's rights". The dagga-smoking king believes his lands consist of wide swathes, including most of Eastern Cape and the land where Mthatha stands. - Times Live website

Inmate denied visit by private doctor found dead - 20 July
A prisoner who for more than six months begged Correctional Services to allow his private doctor to see him in prison, was found dead at the weekend in his communal cell at the Polokwane Prison. The family of Johan van Niekerk, 78, is now seeking answers from Correctional Services national commissioner Zach Modise. The traumatised family want to know why he was not allowed to see his doctor, and why prison officials apparently demanded his family pay R5 417 to facilitate the private doctor's visit. - IOL website

Where is Rajiv Narandas? - 15 May
Where is Rajiv Narandas? That was the question doing the rounds, while prison authorities, police and Narandas's family did not know of his whereabouts by Saturday afternoon at 5.30pm. Narandas was due to start a 15-year sentence at Westville Prison, but authorities said there was no sign of him at their facility. The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Correctional Services spokesman, Thulani Mdluli, said they had no information. "It is not our responsibility to fetch an offender. If he is still outside of prison, we won't know anything about him", said Mdluli. Deputy regional commissioner, Lucky Mthethwa, was also unaware of Narandas's whereabouts. However, Narandas's mother, Rosanne and attorney Cliff Alexander claimed Narandas had reported to the prison. - IOL website

Rajiv Narandas is not on the run - 18 May
Convicted killer Rajiv Narandas is not on the run. He is at home with his mother Rosanne, waiting for police to sort out an administrative bungle which has prevented him from being incarcerated at Westville Prison. Narandas, 29, underwent surgery for a hernia at Life Westville Hospital on Friday, hours after he had lost his Constitutional Court appeal to set aside his conviction and sentence for the murder of Veenand Singh in 2008. It is believed that Narandas was discharged from hospital on Sunday and has been under his mother's care at their Westville home. - IOL website

Rajiv Narandas 'probably' now in prison - 20 May
Convicted killer Rajiv Narandas has been taken to Gauteng and was "probably" now in prison, police confirmed on Friday morning. Gauteng police spokeswoman, Colonel Noxolo Kweza, declined to say where Narandas was being held, saying he may have only arrived in the province late on Thursday with his Gauteng SAPS escort, so there was a possibility he was still to be handed over to Correctional Services officials. Narandas' arrest on Thursday comes more than a week after he was expected to report to prison and start serving his 15-year term. - IOL website

Narandas fighting fit for jail life - 21 May
Convicted murderer and Durban socialite Rajiv Narandas will be looking to help incarcerated inmates get fit and healthy, as he plans to donate all of his gym equipment to the prison where he is due to spend the next 15 years behind bars. The debacle regarding the whereabouts of Narandas ended on Friday, after it was confirmed by police that he had been collected by them in Durban and taken to holding cells in Gauteng while his necessary paperwork was being finalised. - IOL website

See also :
Constitutional Court

See also :

Camps Bay murder accused was a sweet man : nephew below

Remanded and forgotten : the fate of South Africa's prisoners who have not yet been tried below

Prisons case gives final word on job equity : plans must consider local demographics below

Prison warders finally get salary promised : in 2009 below

Ananias Mathe escaped as warders watched soccer below

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko implicated in Public Protector's investigation below

Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act 74 of 1996 [Government Gazette Update]

Justice and Correctional Services (Parliamentary Monitoring Group) [Government and Legislation]

President's Patients

Inquest into mental patient's death - 14 April
Police are trying to determine if a patient killed at Fort Napier Hospital on Tuesday was murdered or was killed in self defence. The man, who was admitted to the psychiatric hospital in 2002, allegedly became "frantic" and tried to attack a staff member in the hospital's courtyard at about 4 pm on Tuesday. The patient, Wonderboy Ndlovu, was declared a President's Patient and was admitted to the institution after he murdered someone in Impendle in 2001. The Mental Health Act 18 of 1973 defines a President's Patient as a "person detained by order of any court of law or other competent authority at any place pending the signification of the decision of the state president". Initial statements from witnesses say the staff member tried to push Ndlovu away when Ndlovu lost his balance and fell. It is believed Ndlovu's head slammed against a "concrete structure". - News24 website


Bribery, corruption a high risk when conducting business in South Africa : lawyer - 22 September
Doing business in South Africa comes with a high risk of being drawn into corrupt activities, including bribery, law firm ENSAfrica said on Thursday. This was according to a 2016 antibribery and corruption survey conducted by the firm. - Creamer Media's Engineering News website

See also : Ugly showdown over 'corrupt' Zuma at Joburg mining indaba below


19 March 2016
Speech Delivered by COSATU President at the Collective Bargaining Conference of SACTWU
Politicsweb website
Keyphrases :
Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Act
Border Management Agency Bill

Community colleges policy
Criminal Law (Sexual Offenses and Related Matters) Amendment Act
Criminal Matters Amendment Bill
Critical Infrastructure Bill
Disability White Paper
Employment Equity Amendment Act
Employment Services Act
Employment Tax Incentive Act
Eskom Act

Expanded Public Works and community works programmes
Expropriation Bill
Extension of Security of Tenure Amendment Bill
Fire Arms Amendment Bill
Foreign Service Bill
Forestry Amendment Bill
Further Education and Training Act
Gas Bill
Gender Equality Bill
Higher Education Amendment Bill
Higher Education and Training Laws Amendment Act
Independent System and Market Operator (ISMO) Bill
Labour Laws Amendment Bill

Labour market stability
Labour Relations Amendment Act
Labour Relations Amendment Bill (Democratic Alliance MP's Private Bill)
Magistrates Amendment Act
Maintenance Amendment Act
Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Act
Merchant Shipping Amendment Act
Mine Health and Safety Amendment Bill
Mineral Resources and Petroleum Development Act
Minimum norms and standards for school physical infrastructure
Monitoring, Support and Intervention Bill
National Budget
National Environmental Management Amendment Bill
National Health Insurance
National Land Transport Amendment Bill
National Liquor Policy review
National minimum wage
National Road Traffic Act Regulations
Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act
Private Security Industry Regulation Amendment Act
Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill
Protection of State Information Act
Public Administration Amendment Bill

Public holidays and religious leave
Railway Green Paper
Refugee Amendment Bill and Act
Restitution of Land Rights Act
Retirement reforms
Road Accident Benefits Schemes Bill
Road Accident Fund Amendment Bill
Scholar transport policy
Sexual Offenses Court Regulations
Social Security and Retirement Reform Paper
Special Economic Zones Regulations
Taxation Laws Amendment Act
Traditional and Khoi San Leadership Bill
Traditional Courts Bill
Transport Laws Amendment Act and Regulations (E Tolls)
Unemployment Insurance Amendment Bill
 Fire Amendment Bill
Women's empowerment

New trade union federation could be launched within months : Vavi - 12 April
The Workers Summit, a breakaway from the Congress of SA Trade Unions, is hoping to launch a new trade union federation in the next three to four months, its steering committee said on Tuesday. Around 3 000 delegates, representing more than 40 trade unions, were expecting to meet on April 30 for a national summit to discuss this, committee convener Zwelinzima Vavi told reporters in Johannesburg. - Politicsweb website

See also :

Not all of us are corrupt criminals : Sadtu on jobs for cash scandal below

Cosatu welcomes recommendation on salaries below

Cosatu slams banks for shunning Gupta family businesses below

Free Market Foundation v The Minister of Labour and Others (North Gauteng High Court) below

Cosatu thrilled by Aurora ruling below

ConCourt judgment must serve as wake-up call : Cosatu below

Why do workers want to make Parliament 'ungovernable'? below

Border Management Authority Bill [Government Gazette Update]

Draft Critical Infrastructure Protection Bill, 2016 [Government Gazette Update]


New high court a game-changer for Limpopo : justice minister - 29 November
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Michael Masutha described the newly opened Limpopo High Court  on Tuesday as the most modern of the courts in South Africa and a game-changer for the province. Masutha officially opened the court in Polokwane the absence of President Jacob Zuma, who was scheduled to lead ceremony but cancelled on Monday evening. - eNCA website

SA is courting abuse - 22 November
Increasingly, the courts are being called on to settle disputes that should be dealt with by other constitutional or political institutions. The courts should not be the first port of call in a political dispute, but if Parliament continues to defend the indefensible then, at times, dissenting voices will have little or no option. Editorial. - Business Live website

See also :

"Lawfare, the use of law as a replacement for political warfare, has become common place in South Africa" (Western Cape High Court) above

South Africa's Julius Malema warns Zuma government ("Fight our battles through the courts") below

Madonsela threatened me, Jacob Zuma claims (President applies to court to stop release of State Capture Report) below

Parliament‚ not courts‚ should decide on the right to die : SCA below

Chief Justice Mogoeng may want to sit on bench if Abrahams case heads to ConCourt below

High Court reserves judgment in DA challenge to ICC withdrawal (GNP) (If authority is not expressed in the Constitution it must go to Parliament) below

High Court Rules on close of pleadings amended - 8 June
Court registrars will be expected to inform all parties of allocated trial dates. This is one of the provisions contained in amendments to the rules regulating the conduct of the proceedings of the high court. Published in Government Gazette 40045, the amendments will come into force on 1 July 2016. Rule 29 has also been tweaked to include reference to the setting of trial dates. Parties that applied for a trial date will also be expected, within 10 days of notification from the registrar, to deliver a notice informing all other parties of the trial date or dates. - SabinetLaw website

Digital to transform court filing system - 21 June
To increase efficiencies, reduce costs and mitigate against the lost and stolen court documents in the South African legal system, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng called for the introduction of an electronic court filing system in 2014. The system could also benefit South Africa's legal profession by minimising the time and costs associated in filing litigation documents at court. - Bizcommunity website

Illness scare for court staff - 3 August
Pietermaritzburg high court staff were on high alert on Tuesday for signs of illness after a prisoner collapsed in the cells from an allegedly infectious disease on Monday and later died in hospital. While unconfirmed, it is believed the illness is a viral and highly contagious form of meningitis. "Please visit your clinic or doctor immediately if you develop these symptoms", a note pinned to the door leading to the public gallery of the courtroom where the prisoner was on trial warned. "Individuals who came in close contact with this person (ie closer than three feet for more than eight hours) are advised to take an antibiotic (one tablet of Ciprofloxacin) to prevent the infection. If you did not come into close contact the risk of side effects from the antibiotic may be greater than the risk of the infection", the note added. It advises any person who came into contact with the victim or had questions to "visit the Department of Health desk" outside the courtroom. However, The Witness did not see a desk manned by health officials in the vicinity of the courtroom. The prisoner was among 13 accused facing multiple charges including murder and attempted murder, possession of stolen property and damage to property. Following the death of the accused, the trial was adjourned until Monday in the absence of his co-accused, who it is believed have now been ordered into quarantine until they are cleared of possible infection. Some court officials and staff (including the ill man's advocate Gareth Leppan and state advocate Ncedile Dunywa) were treated with antibiotics. National judiciary spokesperson Nathi Mncube said the court manager "purchased masks for all court staff and they were given antibiotic tablets by the doctor from the Department of Health". - News24 website

Law firm distances itself from Lerlin Goss - 21 April
A Pietermaritzburg law firm on Wednesday distanced itself from serial fraud accused Lerlin Goss, saying their employee, Mlungisi Mbokazi, does not represent her. The Witness reported yesterday that Mbokazi on Tuesday told a Pietermaritzburg magistrate that he could not continue to represent Goss because of a conflict of interest and said that his reasons for this remain "privileged". Responding to the article, Surendra Singh and Associates said Mbokazi was not at court to represent Goss and was representing another client when Goss appeared at the same court. "Whilst he [Mbokazi] was seated in court, the matter of Lerlin Goss was called up and when she was asked whether she had a lawyer, she pointed to Mbokazi", the firm said. The firm said when Goss's matter came up, Mbokazi was "very emphatic" in saying he was not instructed to act for her. "However, the magistrate kept Mbokazi's name on record until Goss found new legal representation. This was done against Mbokazi's will", the firm said. - News24 website

See also :

Don't set ICT policy in the courts : Kumalo above

'Please Call Me' ruling : David can defeat Goliath (Technical legal rules) above

University of Stellenbosch Legal Aid Clinic and Others v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and Others ; Association of Debt Recovery Agents NPC v University of Stellenbosch Legal Aid Clinic and Others ; Mavava Trading 279 (Pty) Ltd and Others v University of Stellenbosch Legal Aid Clinic and Others (Constitutional Court) (Capacity of courts) above

Department briefs Committee on Justice and Correctional Services [Government and Legislation]


Demons made me do it, skull-crushing rapist tells court - 4 March
An Mpumalanga man who was sentenced to eight life sentences for smashing the skulls of three women and one teenager with a pick before raping them has told the court that demons made him commit the crimes. Region Makhubela, 23, from Mkhuhlu near Bushbuckridge, was arrested on October 12 2013. He faced 10 counts including four murders, four rapes, robbery and arson. Judge Zeenat Carelse described Makhubela as an offender who showed no mercy for his victims and who was extremely brutal, savage and barbaric. Carelse said his plea was not acceptable because he did not apologise to the victim's families. "Your remorse was not genuine and the matter that you grew up watching your mother being abused by your father does not allow you to commit such offences", said Carelse. She sentenced Makhubela to life for each murder and each rape, 10 years for arson and 15 years for robbery. The arson and robbery sentences will run concurrently with one life sentence. - News24 website

Gemballa's killer flees from court - 8 March
A convicted murderer, who is linked to several cases and has alleged ties to criminal kingpin Radovan Krejcir, has escaped from an Ekurhuleni court. Although Thabiso Ledwaba appeared in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's court on Monday on a separate matter, he was due to be sentenced on Thursday for the kidnapping and murder of German supercar specialist, Uwe Gemballa. - IOL website

Court official arrested for Krejcir associate's court escape - 11 March
A court official was arrested for allegedly helping Thabiso Ledwaba - a criminal linked to convicted criminal and Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir - escape from the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court, Gauteng police said on Friday. He was arrested on Thursday and would appear in the same court soon, Brigadier Vish Naidoo said. According to The Star, the official was arrested after being linked to the crime through CCTV footage. - News24 website

Lengthy jail terms for Gemballa's killers - 16 March
Two of the three murderers of German supercar specialist Uwe Gemballa received lengthy prison sentences for the brutal killing, but Gemballa's family are still battling to recover from his loss. On Tuesday, Thabo Mohapi and Garland Holworthy were sentenced in the high court sitting at Palm Ridge for Gemballa's kidnapping and murder, while police continue the hunt for Kagiso Ledwaba, who escaped custody Monday last week. - IOL website

Police call on public to help find escapees - 25 May
Months since two criminals escaped from police custody, investigators are calling on the public to assist in finding them. The Hawks have offered a reward of R100 000 to anyone with information leading to the arrest of most-wanted suspect Thabiso Ledwaba, also known as Kagiso Linken, who escaped from the Palm Ridge court in March. - IOL website

Fury over Sinoxolo case - 11 March
An angry and frustrated Deputy Police Minister Maggie Sotyu has lashed out at Khayelitsha's police top brass for "not prioritising" 19-year-old Sinoxolo Mafevuka's case after she was raped and killed in a communal toilet more than a week ago. The investigation into the teenager's death is going at a snail's space and more than a week after her death the police have not spoken to her family or offered them any assistance. On Monday, 16-year-old Franziska Blochliger was brutally killed in Tokai Forest. The police acted swiftly, and offered the grieving family counselling. Three men were detained 36 hours after Franziska's murder. The three suspects are due to appear in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Friday, on a charge of murder. More charges could be added. A fourth suspect will also make a court appearance on a charge of possession of stolen property. - IOL website

Murdered Tokai teen's family received chilling calls - 9 March
Murdered teenager Franziska Blochliger's father has recounted the eerie silent phone calls that he and Franziska's grandfather received from his daughter's cellphone while driving through the forest where she went missing. The family's ordeal began on Monday afternoon when Franziska disappeared while on a 5km run in the forest. Sixteen-year-old Franziska's body was found about 25 minutes after the phone calls and the iPhone was later tracked to the nearby suburb of Westlake where police recovered it on Tuesday night. Three suspects are being detained and questioned by police. - Times Live website

Franziska's murder : what we know so far - 10 March
Earlier reports suggested Franziska had been strangled, but her father alluded to the full extent of her injuries after seeing her body in the mortuary. The Swiss-born father of two said she was beaten so badly it looked as if her eyes couldn't open. Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut said on Thursday morning they would appear in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court. The trio, aged 22 to 27, were arrested on Tuesday night and detained for questioning. Traut said another man was set to appear in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Friday. Three Westlake residents who allegedly tried to sell Franziska's stolen iPhone were arrested with the help of the community. Dave Barnes, general manager of the Westlake United Church Trust (WUCT), said rumours about the iPhone being peddled began surfacing after the teen's murder on Monday afternoon. It was understood that the trio then allegedly approached a foreign national on Tuesday to sell him the phone for R200. "He switched it on to make sure it worked, the locating signal went off and police picked it up". - YOU website

Gruesome details emerge in Tokai murder case : as it happened - 11 March
The case against four men involved in the murder of Franziska Blochliger has been postponed to March 18 for a bail application. All will remain in custody at Wynberg holding cells. - News24 website

Franziska Blochliger's parents leaving SA to find 'inner peace' - 22 March
In his Facebook page Franziska's father Florian said : "We are leaving SA for a while and hope to find some inner peace. Love u all . . . Florian, Shireen and Sophia". He said the family wanted to thank all those who had supported them during the past weeks. - All4Women website

The politics of another Khayelitsha murder - 22 March
Before the recent political uproar over Zuptagate, two brutal murders in very different contexts dominated public conversation in the Western Cape. Sinoxolo Mafevuka (19) and Franziska Blochliger (16) were both found brutally murdered and raped in separate incidents. Yesterday, on Human Rights Day, I thought the issues raised by these two murders worth revisiting. Securing the right to safety is a primary responsibility of government. - Helen Zille in the Inside Government Newsletter on the Western Cape Government website

Franziska murder accused : 'I am sorry' - 24 April
One of the men charged with the rape and murder of 16-year-old Franziska Blochliger has written to her parents to say sorry. It has emerged that the accused, Howard Oliver, 27, brought the letter to the Wynberg Magistrate's Court when he appeared on April 5. Oliver stood in the dock a short distance from his co-accused, Jerome
Moses, Daniel Easter and Jonathan Jonas as he and his lawyer had a lengthy discussion. Adrian Samuels, an advocate appointed to represent the family, said he had offered his services pro bono because of the seriousness of the offences committed and the "horrific" injuries that Franziska had sustained. Samuels said he had a watching brief to facilitate the prosecution of the accused and help if necessary. The family recently returned to Cape Town after a trip abroad. - IOL website

Bail for 2 of the men accused of raping, murdering Tokai teen - 6 May
Bail has been granted to two of the men accused of the murder of Tokai teenager Franziska Blochliger. Magistrate Hafiza Mohamed said the State had a weak case against Jerome Moses and Daniel Easter, who had made a formal bail application. Moses was released on R2 000, and Easter on R1 000 bail. Mohamed ruled that the State's case was not sufficient to link the two to the crime. - News24 website

I robbed Franziska to keep my child in creche : murder accused - 6 December
One of the men accused of killing teenager Franziska Blöchliger decided to rob her because he needed money to keep his child in crèche, the Wynberg Magistrate's Court heard on Tuesday. Howard Oliver, 28, a married father of two, claimed that while he had robbed the 15-year-old Kalk Bay girl as she jogged through Tokai Forest on March 7, he had not killed her. He said he witnessed co-accused Jonathan Jonas shove her face into the ground and rape her. He said he was unable to do anything as Jonas had held them both at gunpoint. Oliver's lawyer, Monique Carsten, told News24 her client had decided to give evidence on the merits of the case after the State informed them that only one indictment - for Oliver - had been prepared and that Jonas was to turn State witness. - AllAfrica website

Franziska murder 'the most heinous I've seen in my career' - 9 December
Four men accused of murdering teenager Franziska Blöchliger are due to appear at the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Tuesday. The group is facing charges of murder, rape and robbery with aggravating circumstances. Prosecutor Kepler Uys said the accused were linked to the crime by witnesses and were found in possession of her belongings. During their last appearance Magistrate Hafiza Mohamed said the teenager's murder was the most heinous she had seen in her entire career. She was speaking during the bail hearing of two of the men accused of the teen's murder. She said despite the brutality of the incident the State's case against the two was weak. Close family friends and loved ones gasped when Mohamed granted Jerome Moses and Daniel Easter bail. Moses was released on R2 000 bail and Easter on R1 000. - News24 website

Sinoxolo murder : 2 arrested - 15 March
Western Cape police arrested two suspects, 21 and 26, yesterday over the rape and murder of Sinoxolo Mafevuka, 19, who was found dead in Khayelitsha this month. They will appear in Khayelitsha Magistrate's Court today. - Times Live website

Hawks mum on reported imminent arrest in Meyiwa case - 27 March
The Hawks are refusing to comment on media reports that the authorities are close to arresting a suspect in the Senzo Meyiwa murder case. The former Bafana Bafana captain was shot dead in October 2014. Last week, Meyiwa's family turned to the Public Protector to ask for a probe into the police's alleged "undue delay" in the investigation, a year and a half after the crime. The Hawks have brought in senior investigators to reconstruct the shooting at the Vosloorus house. It also confirmed that it re-enacted the shooting. Khumalo, who was in the house during the shooting, was also present during the reconstruction. - Eye Witness News website

Senzo Meyiwa's messy love life impacts on insurance pay-out - 13 April
The family portion of the R4 million life policy Orlando Pirates took out on the club's captain‚ Senzo Meyiwa‚ will be paid to his children - because no one has claimed to be his spouse‚ the administrator says. - Times Live website

Kelly Khumalo to sue Senzo's father for 'tarnishing her reputation' - 28 November
The ongoing public spat between Kelly Khumalo and Senzo's father, Sam Meyiwa, has reached a new level, with the singer threatening to sue him for defamation. Just last week Sam slammed the tribute song she penned in honour of Senzo, labelling it "irritating" and "disrespectful". "Where did this girl come from? What does she want from us? How much more pain does she want me and my family to suffer?" Sam told Daily Sun. This according to a City Press report was the last straw for the singer, who has served Sam with legal documents, ordering him to stop defaming her in public. - All4Women website

For a history of this topic in InfoUpdate, click here

Notorious gangster shot dead - 4 May
Two men linked to a KwaZulu-Natal gang suspected of 100 cases of housebreaking, business robbery and car theft were unable to appear in court on Tuesday because they are in hospital, nursing wounds from a shoot-out with police. The same shooting also claimed the life of the gang's leader, a notorious suspected criminal and murder accused. Derrick Williams and Sbongiseni Morikeng were charged in absentia with five counts of attempted murder of police officers and the attempted theft of a vehicle on April 30 in Townbush Road, in Pietermaritzburg's upmarket suburb of Montrose. They have also been charged with the unlawful possession of three firearms and ammunition. Police believe the gang had been involved in the estimated 100 cases in Pietermaritzburg, its surrounds and the Midlands since January. On Saturday, two of the gang members, Ian Williams, the gang's leader, and Zwazi Ngubo, were shot dead. The gang leader's brother, Derrick Williams, and Morikeng were injured. They are currently in hospital under heavy police guard. Their case has been adjourned until Thursday. The Combined Action Team and the Hawks had traced the gang to Montrose, where it had allegedly been targeting a car parked at the Keg and Hedgehog restaurant. Officers pounced and it is alleged that gang members opened fire on the police while trying to flee. According to police involved in the case, on an average night the gang would strike at least three properties or vehicles. The gang was also alleged to be behind an armed robbery at the Natal Wholesale Jewellers store at the Liberty Mall in April. The Daily News also recently reported that Williams had been standing trial in the Pietermaritzburg High Court for the murder of Tyron Terry in 2012. Williams allegedly shot Terry in the head a day after the two men were involved in an apparent road rage altercation. It is believed Williams tracked down Terry to his home in Imbali, where he allegedly shot him in the back of his head while he stood in his garden. Williams pleaded not guilty and the trial was due to resume later this year. - IOL website

PMB cops fear for their lives - 10 May
Police say they are working around the clock to bring to justice the gang members responsible for threatening the lives of seasoned Pietermaritzburg officers. Last week, threats believed to be made by affiliates of suspected syndicate boss Ian Williams were directed at local police officers and security company bosses linked to his shooting, forcing the officers to seek refuge and evacuate their families from their homes ahead of Williams's funeral on Sunday. According to a police source, the gang members planned to assassinate two officers linked to Williams's shooting, and to burn a police vehicle before the funeral. The Witness yesterday also received information that several officers from various police units and two police stations are alleged to be working with Williams's gang. According to police sources, information was gathered from informants who named the officers and described their involvement with the gang. - News24 website

No bail, more charges added - 13 June
Moments after two alleged members of the so-called "Williams gang", which terrorised various suburbs and businesses in Pietermaritzburg, were denied bail on Friday, four more charges were added against them. Security was tight in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate's court during the decision by Magistrate M Boikhutso, with eight policemen stationed in the courtroom and four outside. After the magistrate's refusal of bail to Derrick Williams and Sibongiseni Mariken, both of whom were wounded during a shoot-out with police officers in Montrose on April 30, state prosecutor Patti David revealed that a further four charges were being added against the two men. These include a charge of aggravated robbery arising from a R1-million jewellery heist at Liberty Midlands Mall, two counts of housebreaking and theft of goods and cash from Spar shops in Foxon Road, Hayfields, and Hilton amounting to more than R70 000, and another charge of attempted theft of a bakkie. The court was told more suspects were likely to be arrested in connection with the mall robbery, and more charges against Williams and Mariken may be added in due course. - IOL website

Ex-principal appears in Durban court for allegedly stealing R5-million from school - 8 April
The former principal of a top Durban high school appeared in court on Friday morning on charges of stealing school funds. Trevor Kershaw‚ who earlier this year retired as principal of Glenwood High School‚ appeared in the Durban Commercial Crimes Court on charges of fraud. It is alleged that‚ between 2007 and last year‚ he took about R5-million. He was granted R100 000 bail. He will next appear in court on June 21. - Times Live website

Teacher jailed for shooting pupil he was engaged to - 19 August
The KwaZulu-Natal teacher who shot dead his fiancee, a 23-year-old Grade 11 pupil, and her mother following a quarrel on July 7, was sentenced to an effective 25 years in prison at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Thursday. Thirty-six-year-old Impangele Primary School teacher, Ntobeko Nkosi, was sentenced to 20 years for the murder of his fiancee, Khethiwe Xulu, who was a pupil at Ndukende High School in KwaMaphumulo, and 20 years for the murder of her mother, 40-year-old Winnie Xulu. - IOL website

Friend of gruesomely murdered Anika Smit appears in court - 19 September
A former schoolfriend of teenager Anika Smit, who was gruesomely murdered in her Pretoria North home six years ago, on Monday appeared briefly in the Pretoria North Magistrates' Court in connection with her murder after handing himself over to the police on Saturday. Andreas Johannes (Andre) Van Wyk, 24, will face charges of murder, rape and mutilating a body. The 17-year-old schoolgirl's father Johan Smit discovered her naked body in their home in Theresa Park when he came home on March 10, 2010. She had been sexually violated, had stab wounds and her hands had been chopped off. Her hands were never recovered. Pretoria North Magistrate Pierre Wessels postponed Van Wyk's case to Monday next week for further investigation and a possible formal bail application. Van Wyk, neatly dressed in a light-coloured suit, told the court he wanted legal aid after the magistrate warned him he was facing a life sentence. The magistrate postponed a formal inquest into the teenager's death indefinitely, pending the outcome of Van Wyk's criminal proceedings. He thanked the media for the role they played, saying their role in causing a person to come forward could not be minimised. Magistrate Wessels ruled that Van Wyk could be identified, even though he has not yet pleaded to the charges, which involved charges of a sexual nature. He said it was in the public interest and in the interest of the Pretoria North community that the suspect be identified and speculation about his identity be stopped, as several persons had been identified as suspects in the past and their photos published in the media. - The Citizen website

Anika Smit murder case postponed - 19 September
The case was postponed until next Monday to allow the police to contact people Van Wyk named during his interrogation, for his DNA to be taken, and for the police to put together a profile of him. Van Wyk now lives in Onderstepoort in Pretoria North. He also attended the Gerrit Maritz High School, the same as Smit and Damian Treeby. - SABC News website

For a history of this topic in InfoUpdate, click here

Rhodes Park murder, rape accused plead not guilty - 25 October
Three men accused of murdering two men and raping one of their partners at Rhodes Park in Kensington, Johannesburg, pleaded not guilty to the charges on Tuesday. They were allegedly part of a 12-man gang that attacked two couples walking in the park in Kensington on the evening of October 17 last year. They face charges of assault, robbery, rape, sexual assault, and murder. - IOL website

Rhodes Park attacker laughed after rape : survivor - 26 October
One of the survivors of an attack in Rhodes Park in Kensington, Johannesburg last year, has told the High Court sitting at the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court how her attackers laughed after sexually assaulting her and raping her friend. Both of their husbands were tied up and forced into the dam where they drowned . . . "After he was done he got up and when I looked on the side I saw my friend being raped by the gunman", she said. She said their attackers laughed at them afterwards and told them they were fools and their husbands were also fools for trying to swim in a dam instead of swimming in a pool. After getting help and being taken to the police station, the woman said she told officers she wasn't raped because at that time she wasn't aware that even when fingers are inserted in private parts, the act is also considered rape. As a result, she wasn't examined by a doctor. - IOL website

Rhodes Park rape suspects furious at doctor's testimony - 15 November
A defence attorney for one of the three men accused of raping two women and drowning their husbands in a lake at Rhodes Park, told the court that his client said he was insulted by the medical doctor and told he "will rot in jail" during his DNA examination. Three suspects Mduduzi Lawrence Mathibela, Edmore Ndlovu and Thabo Nkala, are on trial for allegedly being part of a 12-man gang that accosted, robbed, sexually assaulted, raped and murdered their victims on 17 October 2015. On Tuesday, Dr Justin Kuya recounted to the High Court sitting at the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court how he performed DNA tests on the three men. "I attend a lot of criminal courts and as a doctor, we know everything that we are doing we are going to be questioned about it in court", retorted Dr Kuya. Dr Kuya denied insulting Mathibela. "It's impossible, I have 25 years experience in this field and I'm not a junior doctor who will be carried by emotions". - eNCA website

Rhodes Park attack : another suspect arrested in Zimbabwe - 16 November
One more suspect linked to the Rhodes Park Dam rape and murder case has been arrested in Zimbabwe and remanded in custody ahead of a hearing that would determine whether or not he should be extradited for trial in South Africa. Nkululeko Ronald Dube, who is alleged to have been part of the 12-member gang that robbed and raped two women after drowning their husbands at Rhodes Park Dam in Kensington, Johannesburg, in October last year. On Tuesday, Dube appeared before Bulawayo regional magistrate Tinashe Machaya and was remanded to November 23, when his extradition hearing to South Africa will be held. - IOL website

Rhodes Park suspect an illegal immigrant - 21 November
One of the men accused of raping two women and killing their husbands in Rhodes Park entered South Africa illegally, the High Court sitting in Palm Ridge heard on Monday. Thabo Nkala, 25, told the court that he had been in South Africa since 2007. - News24 website

Court rules on Rhodes Park murder accused confession - 22 November
The confession of one of the Rhodes Park accused was made freely and voluntarily, the High Court sitting in Palm Ridge ruled on Tuesday. "He was in a sober mind when he had made his statement to the police officer", Judge Papi Masopa said. Thabo Nkala, 25, claimed police officers assaulted him into making a confession and pointing out certain things at the scene of the crime. - AllAfrica website

Crimes like Rhodes Park murder case prompt report into reintroduction of death penalty : IRR - 22 November
The "most compelling argument" against the reintroduction of a death penalty is "that an irreversible error can be made"‚ the Institute for Race Relations (IRR) said on Tuesday. The think tank said it had compiled a report on the controversial topic "against a context of rising levels of serious and violent crime‚ often characterised by extraordinary cruelty and violence on the part of perpetrators". "The current Rhodes Park murder and rape case would be an example"‚ an IRR statement said. IRR security analyst Kerwin Lebone said that‚ considering "almost 500 000 people have been murdered by violent criminals since 1994 . . . it must be expected that the society might ask questions of the wisdom of having abandoned the death penalty". The IRR said its research "tested five objections to the death penalty". They were : "that it is cruel and unusual ; that it is a form of retribution ; that it is arbitrary ; that the penalty is not a deterrent to crime ; and that an irreversible error can be made". "The IRR was able to overcome the first four objections"‚ the statement said. "It found that the death penalty is not necessarily cruel and unusual. Society is entitled to a measure of retribution. The arbitrariness is not unique to that form of punishment. The international evidence is mixed but‚ in South Africa's unique circumstances‚ the death penalty could well be a deterrent to the commission of the most cruel and violent of crimes". - Times Live website

No, the death penalty is not a deterrent and should not be re-introduced - 23 November
The South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) this week published a study in which it asked : Is there a case for South Africa to reintroduce the death penalty? It concluded that the death penalty should not be reintroduced as "[h]uman beings who are not infallible ought not to choose a form of punishment which is irreparable". For once, I agree with the SAIRR. Here is why. - Pierre de Vos on the Constitutionally Speaking blog

Shamonique's killer should get light sentence for raping girlfriend, court told - 7 December
A man who raped his girlfriend twice should receive a lighter sentence because she took him back and never laid a charge, the Western Cape High Court heard on Wednesday. This was part of defence lawyer Daniel Theunissen's closing arguments for his client Jerome Amerika. The court recently found Amerika, 23, guilty of raping his girlfriend twice last year after threatening her with an axe. The same court also convicted Amerika of raping and killing 10-year-old Shamonique Claasen in Paarl 10 months ago. The girlfriend twice obtained an interdict against Amerika, but took him back because she believed he would change. The State initiated the rape case on her behalf because it felt it had a duty to uphold the rule of law. Judge Robert Henney said it was rare for such a case to reach the high court. "Thousands of rapes happen every day in a family, relationship, and marriage setting. The parties forgive each other and the rapes never come to light. What is the court to do?" he pondered. Amerika is expected to be sentenced for all the crimes next Tuesday. - allAfrica website

See also : Sexual Offences below

Garage shooting victim faced charges - 28 January 2015
Toufiq Joseph was out on bail in a criminal case and had four knives in his car – one bloodied – when he was shot dead at a filling station in Gardens on Saturday. This emerged during the bail application of David Forbes, 48, of Hout Bay, who has been accused of killing Joseph, 23, of Woodstock, apparently following an altercation. Forbes, who has a stab wound on his wrist, had shot Joseph in self-defence, according to his defence team. On Tuesday, while advocate Pete Mihalik, for Forbes, was questioning the investigating officer in Joseph's murder case in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court, it emerged Joseph had been facing charges in a murder case. - IOL website

'Disco king' swaps jol for jail - 1 February
As the "big daddy" of South Africa's electronic dance party industry, Dave Forbes is most accustomed to glow sticks, Tiger Balm and water slides heaving with bikini-clad beauties. But now Forbes, the founder of Boksburg's infamous H2O parties, is getting acquainted with police vans, jail cells and bail applications. Three separate industry insiders who have worked with Forbes for several years say he was spearheading a crackdown on fraudulent ticket sales. The insiders claim that the meeting with Joseph – who was himself facing a murder charge – was allegedly a sting operation to crack the scalping syndicate. Forbes was granted bail in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court late on Thursday. - News24 website

Murder accused David Forbes admits he was suspicious of Toufiq Joseph - 5 September
The defence in the murder trial of a Cape Town music promoter has admitted he was suspicious of his victim Toufiq Joseph and thought he may have been selling counterfeit festival tickets. Forbes' lawyers have told the court, the State's failure to provide them with key documents prejudices the accused. They have requested the criminal records of Joseph and his immediate family, and the registration documentation for the car the deceased was found in. The defence believes these documents are pertinent to their case and prove the deceased could be linked to a syndicate involved in selling counterfeit music festival tickets. Prosecutors, however, have refused to hand over any further particulars, arguing it's not in the interest of justice or relevant to the matter. - Eye Witness News website

Music festival promoter back in court - 1 November
Music festival promoter David Forbes is expected to appear in the Cape Town Regional Court on Tuesday, in connection with the murder of Toufiq Joseph. He allegedly shot dead Joseph outside the Engen garage last year. - The Citizen website


See : Top Cape Town attorney murdered [Legal Profession]

Criminal Justice System

South Africans have little faith in criminal justice system - 4 May
Nearly 45% of assaults and 37% of sexual offences are not reported to the police, Statistics SA's Victims of Crime Survey found. "When investigating the main reasons why victims of assault did not report the incident to the police, most victims cited 'my family will resolve it', 'police won't do anything', 'I solved it myself' and 'not serious enough' as reasons why they did not report" said the survey, which was released on Wednesday. Victims of sexual offences also indicated that they did not report the incident to the police as they deemed it as not being "serious enough", "police could do nothing" and "inappropriate for police". "There is a need for strategies that will improve the public's trust in the criminal justice system, thus encouraging them to report victimisation experiences", Stats SA said. - Business Day Live website

See also : Sexual Offences below

How Jacob Zuma and Co weakened the rule of law in SA - 29 September
The criminal justice system is the cornerstone for ensuring the rule of law functions in an effective and healthy way. This is why South Africa's constitution places primacy on the independence of various institutions, such as the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the Hawks and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID). Over the past few years, the conduct of various prominent officials within the criminal justice system has severely undermined this constitutional principle and the very foundation of our democracy. - Rand Daily Mail website

Is a law on warrantless searches constitutionally invalid? - 12 May
The minister of police has asked the Constitutional Court to confirm a court order which declared that a law providing for warrantless searches was constitutionally invalid. The minister made this application following an order of the Western Cape High Court in December last year that sections 11(1)(a) and (g) of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act are invalid. The minister approached the Constitutional Court as it is the only court which has a power to confirm the constitutional invalidity of any legislation. The court has reserved judgment. - Business Live website

When can the police search your home? - 12 August
The Constitutional Court has now offered clarity on the legal status of warrant-less searches under the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act and found that these searches infringe on the right to privacy to a degree that cannot be justified and is unconstitutional. When the application was brought, the Minister of Police and other parties had conceded that the searches under sub-section 11(1)(a) did infringe on the Constitutional right to privacy and the issue to be decided by the court was whether the infringement was justifiable. - AllAfrica website

See also :

Hugh Glenister takes Nhleko and Abrahams to court over 'illegal raid' ('Did not need a warrant') below

Zuma refers FICA amendment bill back to National Assembly (Warrantless searches) [Government and Legislation]

Penalised for poverty : the unfair assessment of 'flight risk' in bail hearings / Jameelah Omar
South African Crime Quarterly
No.57, September 2016

Determining the age of criminal capacity : acting in the best interest of children in conflict with the law / Marelize Isabel Schoeman
South African Crime Quarterly
No.57, September 2016

See also : Review of the Age of Criminal Capacity [Government and Legislation]

Madonsela : SA court system not designed for children - 7 September
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela says South Africa's criminal justice system needs to be changed to better accommodate the needs of children. She was speaking yesterday at the launch of the Child Witness Foundation, which aims to help address shortcomings in the system. Madonsela says the system currently inflicts secondary trauma on children who have been victims of abuse by allowing multiple postponements in cases, which are sometimes eventually thrown out of court. She says South Africa's court system wasn't designed for children and doesn't accommodate their needs.  - Eye Witness News website

See also : Concourt's landmark ruling for children's rights (Arrest and detention of a child) above

Remanded and forgotten : the fate of South Africa's prisoners who have not yet been tried - 26 September
Remand detainees are people who have been arrested, have been refused or cannot afford bail, and are awaiting the start or completion of their trial. South Africa currently has 41 717 people in remand, making up nearly one third of the country's total prison population, according to the Department of Correctional Services' (DCS) 2014/2015 Annual Report. - Wits Justice Project on the Daily Maverick website

Forensic backlogs reduced - 6 April
The severe national backlog for post-mortem, toxicology and drunk driving samples waiting to be processed at government forensic laboratories is being cleared, the department of health has said. The post-mortem blood alcohol backlog for laboratories in Pretoria, Cape Town and Johannesburg dropped from 6 938 in 2014 to 3 155 from January to February 11 2016. This was according to a reply to a written question from Inkatha Freedom Party MP, Sibongile Nkomo. The backlog has been blamed for having a knock-on effect on criminal trials which are delayed, sometimes for years, when crucial results that could make or break a case are still outstanding. - East Coast Radio website

SA to amend extradition law for Botswana fugitives - 20 June
The South African government has proposed new amendments to the Treaty on Extradition to allow for the extradition of criminal suspects to Botswana where they face the possibility of the death penalty, among other judgments. According to cabinet minutes published in the South African government portal on June 8, Pretoria said it would soon amend the Treaty on Extradition to facilitate extradition requests from Botswana in order to improve law enforcement cooperation and ensure that South Africa does not become a haven for fugitives. "South Africa will enter into an Amended Treaty on Extradition with the Republic of Botswana, in terms of article 231(1) of the Constitution". - eNCA website

Advocate took 10 minutes to convince judges to release man wrongly jailed for murder - 1 June
Advocate Mokotedi Mpshe said it took him 10 minutes to convince the judges in the Supreme Court of Appeal that Marcus Nndateni Mulaudzi, who had spent 10 years in jail, needed to be acquitted for the murder of a prominent school principal. Mulaudzi was released from prison on May 6. - News24 website

Limpopo man wrongly jailed for murder wants R28m - 21 June
When Sam Mulaudzi heard of his cousin's acquittal, he went to the toilets at the Supreme Court of Appeal and wept. His cousin's legal fees cost him more than R500 000. They had since decided to sue the State for R28m. With some of this money, Marcus wanted to open a non-profit organisation to help people convicted wrongfully. - News24 website

Family wins long fight for justice - 22 May
After fighting for justice for more than a decade, a Pietermaritzburg family secured the harshest sentence they could - 15 years' imprisonment, in South Africa's first successful private prosecution for murder. The Asmall family's hard work may have secured them a spot in South Africa's history books, but it was achieved only because Western Cape prosecuting authorities declined to press charges themselves. The family's ordeal dates back to June 28, 2005 when their daughter, 27-year-old Rochelle Naidoo, was shot dead. The Directorate of Public Prosecutions withdrew the charges against her boyfriend, Faizel Hendricks, on the basis that there was not enough evidence to secure a conviction. But Rochelle's father, Yunus Asmall, and his wife, Sara, would not rest until they had justice and opted to prosecute Hendricks privately. This week private prosecutor Gideon Scheltema SC confirmed the verdict in a private prosecution for murder was a first for South Africa. The Asmalls' private prosecution is the first in South Africa in which a conviction was achieved and a long-term imprisonment sentence imposed. Michael Miranda and Shaun Magmoed's families attempted the first private prosecution against South Africa's security forces, but the case did not yield the same result the Asmall family achieved. - IOL website

Reformed inmates shunned despite qualifications - 13 December
Ex-criminals have told Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo about the "unjust treatment" they face when looking for employment. In a meeting at City Hall on Monday, ex-convicts said they had served their time for their crimes but found it difficult to find their feet once out of prison. "I'm not saying what I did was right but I have served my sentence. All I want now is a chance to work so I can provide for my child", said a woman who asked not to be named. One said that as soon as they disclose their criminal record, they are shunned by potential employers. Njilo said a database with all the ex-convicts' information will be created and distributed to possible employers in the city. - News24 website

28 life sentences and 538 years for serial child rapist - 4 April
Peter Dashboy Khoza was on Monday sentenced to 28 life sentences for each of the rapes he committed in Tembisa and Olifantsfontein over a four-year period. He was sentenced to another 538 years behind bars for his other crimes‚ including kidnapping and assaulting the children he raped and others. Judge Eben Jordaan found Khoza of 139 charges in the Johannesburg High Court earlier on Monday. - Times Live website

Trio get life for murdering jewellery saleswoman - 5 April
A Boksburg woman, her fiance and her former fiance have each been handed a life sentence for the murder of 23-year-old jewellery saleswoman Nthabiseng Selesho. The trio also received a further 15 years each for having robbed the woman of over R300 000 worth of jewellery she had on her at the time. Acting judge Andre Petersen said he could not find compelling and exceptional circumstances that would justify the deviation from handing down life sentence to Candice Prevost, Ashley de Villiers and Wayne Williams. They claimed that they were not totally lucid on that day as they were under the influence of drugs hence they could not be held accountable for their actions. Speaking at the Johannesburg High Court sitting in Palm Ridge, Petersen said during the sentencing on Tuesday that the three had not shown any remorse for their actions. "The extent of your greed led to the untimely death of the deceased and aggravating factors in this case far outweigh mitigating factors", he said. "It took a toll on me emotionally to get to this point and the sentence is the beginning of a long journey to healing", Selesho's boyfriend and the father to their two-year-old son said outside court later. - IOL website

Krejcir's battle far from over : lawyer - 20 April
Alleged underworld kingpin Radovan Krejcir has been dealt another blow. The North Gauteng High Court has dismissed his bid to appeal his conviction and sentence for attempted murder, kidnapping and drug dealing. Krejcir appeared in the North Gauteng High Court under heavy police guard. The Czech fugitive was convicted of kidnapping and attempted murder in connection with a drug deal gone wrong. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison. His lawyers plan on challenging the decision in the Appeals Court in Bloemfontein. - eNCA website

'Krejcir wanted to kidnap and kill Patrice Motsepe' - 4 May
An explosive affidavit disclosed during Radovan Krejcir's murder trial has linked the Czech fugitive to convicted drug-dealer Glenn Agliotti, bribery of high-ranking police officials, and an alleged plot to kidnap businessman Patrice Motsepe. It has bolstered claims of Krejcir's involvement in the deaths of German supercar specialist Uwe Gemballa, alleged Bedfordview drug kingpin Sam Issa and conspiracy to murder investigators Colonel Nkosana "Killer" Ximba and forensic security consultant Paul O'Sullivan. It was because of this sensitive document provided by the State that the trial in the high court in Joburg was stalled, as the defence representing Krejcir and his four co-accused needed time to consult their clients about the new evidence. - IOL website

Bail for prison official accused of trying to help Krejcir escape - 6 May
Correctional services official Solly Metlae, who is accused of trying to help Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir escape from jail, was granted R10 000 bail on Friday. - News24 website

'Krejcir planned war to escape prison' - 9 May
Radovan Krejcir's most recent escape plot was going to be a "full-on war" against Zonderwater prison, with about 10 assault rifle-wielding thugs meant to storm it and free him. Planned for March this year, the plot, which would have seen the Czech fugitive transported to a safe house in Mamelodi, near Pretoria, soon after his prison break, was foiled by an undercover police operation, a court has heard. Meanwhile, Krejcir was allegedly willing to pay about R30 million for a series of "strategic executions" in Mamelodi that would have allowed him to escape the area undetected by distracted police services. This was revealed on Friday when a member of the Krejcir investigation team, Colonel Bongani Gininda, took the stand to argue against the bail of Sandile Mdumbe, the man who was in charge of a safe house where Krejcir was allegedly going to be taken after the bloody operation. On Friday, Mdumbe and Zonderwater Correctional Services Officer, Solly Metlae, applied for bail at the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court after they were arrested last month for their alleged roles in the plot. - IOL website

Krejcir's 'fat roll' takes centre stage in court - 11 May
The murder trial of Radovan Krejcir began as a serious debate on prisoners' rights, but took a turn for the bizarre when he was asked to show his midriff during the televised court proceedings and reveal a "shock belt" attached to him. The Czech fugitive has claimed the belt, designed to electrocute and incapacitate him if he attempts to escape from custody, is infringing on his constitutional rights. Security surrounding all of Krejcir's multiple criminal cases has been consistently high, with the accused shackled and monitored by numerous tactical, armed police officers. SW van der Merwe, the lawyer representing all the accused except Krejcir, first provided case law (State vs Stephens) where a judge recused himself based on the fact that the accused was brought into court in shackles. Krejcir's lawyer, Cliff Alexander, asked the court to acknowledge the injuries, namely "marks on the fat roll on his (Krejcir's) hip". State prosecutor Lawrence Gcaba also provided case law (Kubheka vs State) where the presiding judge ruled that while shackles and other restraints are an infringement on the rights of the prisoners, this could be ignored under extraordinary circumstances. It's understood that the heavy security relates to a series of alleged prison escape plots by Krejcir. - IOL website
Keyphrase :
S v Stevens 1961(3) SA 518(CPD)

Krejcir's lawyer has not been paid - 4 July
A extradition looms for Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir, yet another lawyer has threatened to withdraw representation because he hasn't been paid. The Star has learnt that Krejcir's lawyer, Cliff Alexander, who also represents the Czech in his ongoing criminal trial, has threatened to withdraw from the extradition application if he isn't paid, meaning further possible delays in proceedings. - IOL website

Krejcir's ex-mistress denied bail - 4 August
An ex-mistress of detained Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir was denied bail in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on Thursday. Marissa Christopher, 37, is facing four charges of corruption and conspiracy to help a prisoner escape. She was arrested a month ago, when she visited Krejcir at Zonderwater Prison in Pretoria. She allegedly tried to bribe prison officials and smuggled cellphones into his cell during his court hearings, between November 2013 and April 2016. Her co-accused are Krejcir and three prison officials with whom she allegedly conspired. The State had argued that Christopher was an evasive and dishonest person. She had obtained another identity document in which her surname was Davidson, and had not disclosed this to the court. The magistrate pointed out that Christopher had multiple residential addresses and was renting. She had multiple passports which were obtained in a short space of time. The matter was postponed to August 26 for trial. - allAfrica website

Krejcir's girlfriend bails back to luxury - 24 September
Radovan Krejcir's former girlfriend and ex-Playboy bunny, Marissa Christopher, has been released on bail following a high court application. At the beginning of last month, Christopher was denied bail in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court. Christopher, in a bizarre move, chose to take the stand during the application and denied any knowledge of the escape plan and admitted she and Krejcir had recently broken up. The magistrate said she believed Christopher was deceitful, and that her attempts to disassociate herself from Krejcir before the court case were highly suspicious. But yesterday, Christopher launched another bail application at the high court sitting at Palm Ridge, appealing the magistrate's ruling. Judge Gibson Ngobeni was willing to allow Christopher bail of R10 000, but placed her freedom under strict conditions. - IOL website

Judge gives Krejcir an ultimatum - 15 November
The usually lenient Judge Winston Mihloti Msimeki has spent eight months tolerating delays in the murder trial of Radovan Krejcir and his four co-accused. On Monday, however, the high court in Joburg judge had enough and gave the "problematic" Czech fugitive an ultimatum to apply for legal aid or represent himself. Krejcir, Siboniso Miya, Nkanyiso Mafunda, Siphiwe Memela and Borislavov Grigorov have been charged with the 2013 murder of alleged Bedfordview drug kingpin Sam Issa. Krejcir has held up the court with numerous postponements, all concerning asking for time to secure funds to pay his lawyer. The suspected gang boss relies on his mother to wire through money from the Czech Republic for his legal fees. On Monday, Krejcir's lawyer, Frank Cohen, asked for more time to ensure they could hire an advocate to represent the Czech. Prosecutor Lawrence Gcaba argued that while the constitution upheld the right to have a lawyer of one's choice, the right wasn't absolute, particularly after eight months of delays. In a lengthy judgment, Judge Msimeki chastised Krejcir for his conduct. - IOL website

Krejcir suffering from nightmares and depression, court hears - 5 December
Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir is suffering from nightmares, depression and dizziness, the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court heard on Monday. Krejcir appeared there for two different cases - one relating to an alleged plot to escape from jail and another involving extradition matters. The Czech criminal fugitive has been behind bars in South Africa since 2013. In August last year, the High Court in Johannesburg found him guilty of kidnapping, attempted drug dealing and attempted murder. Krejcir had a 30-minute consultation with his lawyer Frank Cohen before the extradition matter was heard. Cohen asked the court to relieve Krejcir of the chains and a stun belt fixed around his waist. He said his client had also complained about an iron leg restraint. He said Krejcir's ankles had been reddened by the restraint and he felt discomfort. Cohen also said Krejcir had complained of dizziness, horrific nightmares, depression, continuous suicidal tendencies, confusion, and an inability to concentrate. Krejcir also complained about being kept in solitary confinement in Kgosi Mampuru Prison. Prosecutor Johan du Toit countered that Krejcir was not a "normal" prisoner, but one who had already been sentenced. Magistrate Kowie Schutte postponed the matter to January 24. Convicted drug dealer Krejcir, along with the duo, as well as his two former lovers Vanessa Naidoo and Marissa Christopher, and three correctional services officials linked to his escape attempts, appeared in court. - News24 website

Accused to sue after Oribi heist charges dropped - 6 April
A Zimbabwean businessman who spent three months in prison after being charged in connection with the R16.3 million heist near Pietermaritzburg's Oribi Airport plans to sue the state after charges against him were withdrawn. The state withdrew a charge of robbery against Herman Ndlovu in the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court last week on the instructions of the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Ndlovu was arrested on October 14 last year in connection with the heist, and was initially denied bail by a local magistrate on the basis that he posed a flight risk. He successfully appealed to the high court and on January 6 this year was granted bail of R50 000. Ndlovu's attorney, Srish Partab of Subash Maikoo and Associates, informed the Daily News that Ndlovu had instructed him to launch a civil claim for damages against the state for alleged unlawful arrest and detention. Naicker alleged that Ndlovu's cellphone records and data from his vehicle tracker system placed him at the scene of the crime. - IOL website

Pistorius to be sentenced in June - 31 March
Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, convicted of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, will be sentenced in June, the department of justice confirmed on Wednesday. "Members of the public and the media are advised that sentencing procedures in the Oscar Pistorius matter will not commence on 18 April 2016 as reported in the media", said spokesperson, Nathi Mncube. - allAfrica website

Oscar Pistorius's tracking device 'faulty' - 18 April
Convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius's legal team has told the High Court in Pretoria that the tracking device he is fitted with is faulty and falsely warns him that he is in breach of his parole conditions when he is sitting at home. After proceedings adjourned, Pistorius was escorted to chambers where Correctional Services officials inspected the tracking device he is fitted with. His defence advocate earlier told the court this is the third device that has been issued to him because they are repeatedly faulty. - Eye Witness News website

What's ailing Oscar? - 19 April
Oscar Pistorius had not been well ahead of his appearance in the high court in Pretoria on Monday. The disgraced athlete was taken to hospital over the weekend, and family members were overheard in court saying he would undergo further tests this week. While it was not known what was wrong with him, rumours were rife that he went to hospital because he had flu. Both the prosecution and defence said they were geared up for sentencing proceedings when convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius returns to the high court on June 13. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel told Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba, who stood in for Judge Thokozile Masipa, that the parties were available to sit even on June 16 – a public holiday – if necessary. The matter was set down until June 17, but it was not yet known when Judge Masipa would sentence Pistorius. Pistorius's advocate, Samantha Jackson, who stood in for Barry Roux, reported to Judge Ledwaba that the tracking device which monitored Pistorius movements was faulty.  This will be the first time that he faces Judge Masipa, after she convicted him of culpable homicide and sentenced him to an effective 10 months in jail. This time, the judge will have no choice but to sentence him as a convicted murderer. Judge Masipa is bound by law to sentence him to 15 years' imprisonment, unless she finds mitigating factors to pass a lesser sentence. - IOL website

Oscar Pistorius : new look at evidence suggests bat might have been a weapon - 20 April
On Monday, Oscar Pistorius learnt that he will know his fate in June, when the court deliberates during a fresh sentencing hearing on charges of murder. Meanwhile, a new book by amateur forensic sleuths sheds new light on the evidence, suggesting that Reeva Steenkamp had sustained several injuries before she locked herself in the toilet of Pistorius's Silver Woods estate on 14 February 2013. While Pistorius was serving 10 months of his original five-year sentence at the Kgosi Mampuru II Prison in Pretoria, brothers Calvin and Thomas Mollett were poring over crime scene photographs, autopsy reports and other material related to Steenkamp's murder. The brothers return to crucial evidence they say was overlooked and poorly handled in the case. - Daily Maverick website
Keyphrase : Oscar vs The Truth / Thomas Mollett and Calvin Mollett. Piquet Publishers, 2016 []

Oscar Pistorius sentencing : day one : as it happened - 13 June
The Guardian website

Oscar Pistorius sentencing : what happened in court on day 2 - 14 June
Times Live website

'Oscar keeps lying' - 14 June
Oscar Pistorius is an unrepentant liar, aggressive and verbally violent to prison officials. He has broken prison rules and deliberately cons those around him to evade justice. That is how Pistorius, convicted of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, was described by prosecutor Gerrie Nel in the Pretoria High Court yesterday, where his re-sentencing hearing is under way. - Times Live website

Pistorius 'has to pay for his crime', Reeva Steenkamp's father says - 15 June
Reeva Steenkamp's father delivered a gut-wrenching plea Tuesday for Oscar Pistorius to be punished for murdering his daughter. Weeping on the witness stand in a sentencing hearing for Pistorius, Barry Steenkamp said he still speaks to his daughter every day and thinks of her "every morning, afternoon and night. I think about her all the time". It is the first time Steenkamp has testified during the three-year legal odyssey that started when Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend in February 2013. Steenkamp has suffered a series of strokes after his daughter's death and has only been present at part of the ongoing legal process. - CNN website

Judge Masipa lifts ban on pictures of Reeva Steenkamp's murder - 15 June
Judge Thokozile Masipa has granted the State's application to lift the ban on the publication of the post-mortem pictures Reeva Steenkamp's body. Earlier, Oscar Pistorius's defence team objected. The application was lodged during closing arguments in the High Court in Pretoria this afternoon. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel says he lodged the application to lift the ban on her crime scene pictures following a request from her father Barry. The ban was imposed during the trial when the state submitted the files as part of the public record. Nel re-iterated what the father said in his evidence that it is time people see what Pistorius did to Steenkamp. He has told the court that the family has asked for these photos to be made available publicly so the world can see how she suffered. - Eye Witness News website

Oscar Pistorius walks on stumps to disprove 'enemies' ; sentencing set for July 6 - 15 June
Oscar Pistorius hobbled on his stumps in front of a South African court as his chief lawyer said the former athlete's murder trial had created a series of "serious enemies" in the form of popular misconceptions. The lawyer said "substantial and compelling circumstances" existed that would allow the judge to deviate from the minimum term of 15 years in prison for murder in South Africa. Mr Roux's plea to Judge Masipa followed the testimony of the final witness at the hearing, a cousin of Ms Steenkamp, who accused Mr Pistorius himself of not giving the "true version" of the shooting. The cousin, Kim Martin, also criticized the defendant for not testifying at this week's sentencing hearing but agreeing to a television interview that will be broadcast after the hearing ends. - Wall Street Journal website

#OscarPistorius : ITV interview 'a PR exercise' - 25 June
For hundreds of thousands of viewers who tuned in on Friday night to watch Oscar Pistorius's first television interview since he shot and killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013, it was all just an elaborate performance on the Olympian's part. A tearful Pistorius is seen in the interview with British broadcast journalist Mark Williams-Thomas of ITV. - IOL website

Pistorius unlikely to get 15-year sentence : lawyer - 4 July
Disgraced Paralympian Oscar Pistorius could return to jail on Wednesday, when a judge is set to sentence him for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp three years ago. Due to his time already spent in jail and mitigating factors such as his disability, he may be given a lesser term. "I don't think he will get the 15 years", Ulrich Roux, who is unaffiliated with the case but has followed it closely, told AFP. "His personal circumstances and the disability will be taken into account. One possibility is that part of the sentence may be suspended". - News24 website

Pistorius will not appeal sentence : lawyer - 6 July
Oscar Pistorius will not appeal his six-year jail sentence for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp, a member of his legal team said outside the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday. "We respect the decision of Judge Masipa and are not lodging an application for leave to appeal. Oscar will serve his sentence as handed down", Andrew Fawcett told reporters. - Polity website

Oscar Pistorius arrives at Kgosi Mampuru Prison to begin sentence - 6 July
Pistorius was led down the stairs to the holding cells shortly after Masipa read out her sentence. It's understood he has already arrived at the Kgosi Mampuru Prison to begin serving his sentence. - East Coast Radio website

Pistorius family accept Pretoria High Court judgement - 6 July
Spokesperson for the Pistorius family, Annelise Burgess says they respect the law. "It has always been their position that they accept the rule of law and that they respect the legal process. Nothing has changed expect the judgement and that's kind of the position they leave us in", she said. Pistorius's legal team says it will not be appealing the sentence,but the State says it's not ruling out the possibility of appealing the sentence. - East Coast Radio website

'Oscar got away with murder' - 6 July
The six year jailterm handed to disgraced former paralympian Oscar Pistorius on Wednesday was a slap on the wrist, the African National Congress Women's League said. "We are wearing black on our heads, mourning all the women who died at the hands of their partners. It's like we anticipated that we will be hurt further. We are embarrassed and (feel) very insulted at the same time", the ANCWL Gauteng spokesperson Jacqui Mofokeng told reporters at court shortly after Pistorius was sentenced. - IOL website

Oscar's 6-year sentence : speaking volumes on SA - 7 July
Oscar Pistorius's six-year sentence for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp appeared shocking. Judge Thokozile Masipa was careful to explain her reasons, but it's hard not to connect it to the current state of South Africa. When Shrien Dewani was acquitted in 2014 of murdering his wife Anni Dewani, ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa noted how it "has fed into a developing perception in society that, particularly in recent cases involving gender based violence, our criminal justice system serves the rich and prominent in society rather than protecting the most vulnerable ; in these instances the victims who are women". The perception that justice is for the rich could weaken confidence in the system, he said. Given the higher media attention on the Pistorius case and the sentence's significant deviation from the minimum sentence, Kodwa's comments also speak to Wednesday's decision. - Daily Maverick website

NPA to appeal Oscar's 6-year sentence - 21 July
The National Prosecuting Authority has announced it will be appealing Oscar Pistorius's six-year sentence for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. - IOL website

Murder, Inc : NPA appeals Oscar's 'shockingly lenient' six-year sentence - 21 July
The National Prosecuting Authority on Thursday announced it would appeal Oscar Pistorius' six-year sentence for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp, calling it shockingly lenient. While the appeal was welcomed, it is difficult to predict whether it will be successful. Once again, Pistorius' fate will be determined by the SCA. - Daily Maverick website

Oscar Pistorius's dad breaks his silence - 24 July
Oscar Pistorius's father, Henke, believes his son should never have been convicted of murder and is "furious" that his advice on the case was repeatedly ignored by the Pistorius family and their legal team. Henke also lashed out at Advocate Gerrie Nel, saying the State prosecutor's "misleading lies" were an "embarrassment to the country's legal system". - News24 website

Oscar Pistorius rushed to hospital after injuring wrists : report - 7 August
Oscar Pistorius has been rushed to Pretoria's Kalafong Hospital after injuring his wrists in jail – and a cell mate says he did it on purpose. According to News24 services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo however says that the Blade Runner injured himself falling out of bed. According to the report‚ guards told them that blades had been found in Pistorius' cell during a subsequent search. One of the guards at the hospital told News24 that Pistorius was admitted at 12:30pm on Saturday and had 'bad cuts' on his wrists. - Sowetan Live website

Are prison nurses trying to kill Oscar Pistorius? - 14 August
Oscar Pistorius has reportedly laid a complaint of attempted murder with prison authorities against nurses who he allegedly believes are trying to kill him. The City Press on Sunday reported that three senior prison officials had confirmed that the complaint was laid three weeks ago. Pistorius allegedly said that three prison nurses at Kgosi Mampuru II Prison‚ in Pretoria‚ were trying to kill him with "toxic" medication‚ according to the report. Pistorius was apparently placed on suicide watch this week‚ the report said‚ after sustaining injuries to his wrists in prison. - Times Live website

Oscar got time out of prison to attend grandmother's funeral - 17 October
Convicted murderer and former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius was released for a few hours last Friday to attend the funeral of his grandmother‚ Gerti Pistorius. Department spokesman Singabakho Nxumalo said the policy gives a number of privileges for offenders‚ and it was introduced primarily to encourage offenders towards good behaviour‚ to instil a sense of responsibility and to ensure their interest and co-operation in the integration into detention and treatment programmes. - Times Live website

Oscar moved to another jail - 14 November
The government says convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius has been moved at his request to a prison that is better able to accommodate disabled offenders. The Department of Correctional Services said on Monday that the former Paralympian was transferred from Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria to the nearby Atteridgeville Correctional Centre. - IOL website

A hole in Pistorius conman case docket - 23 March
A lack of bandwidth is hampering the roll-out of an e-docket system aimed at reducing the number of dockets that go missing, are stolen or sold to prevent prosecutions. This came to light as Tshifhiwa Radzhadzi appeared in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court yesterday on corruption and extortion charges. He was arrested on Friday for allegedly trying to solicit a R250 000 bribe from convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius to have his murder case quashed. He allegedly claimed to work for the National Prosecuting Authority. Although neither the SAPS nor the NPA's 2014-2015 annual reports has the latest figures on docket losses, a police response to a parliamentary question in 2009 revealed that 688 dockets were lost in that year. But a Soweto detective, who has lost count of the number of dockets he has worked on that have gone missing in his 25-year career, said the e-docket management system did not help. - Times Live website

Pistorius conman case postponed again - 4 April
The case against the man accused of trying to con Oscar Pistorius has been postponed again. Tshifiwa Rudzhadzi has changed his legal representative, and says he needs time to consult his new lawyer before applying for bail. Rudzhadzi is expected to apply for bail on the 12th of April. - eNCA website

Oscar Pistorius conman sentenced to four years in jail - 1 October
The man who promised to quash the criminal conviction of former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius in exchange for R40 000 has been sentenced to four years in prison for corruption. Tshifhiwa Radzhadzhi‚ 33‚ was arrested in a sting operation on March 18 in the act of receiving R40 000 from Pistorius outside the High Court in Pretoria. Impersonating a member of the National Prosecuting authority‚ he had offered to make the athletes case "disappear" but Pretorius [sic] alerted the police. Directorate of Priority Crimes Investigation spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Robert Netshiunda said on Tuesday that Radzhadzhi was also sentenced to eight years imprisonment – wholly suspended for four years - for impersonating a prosecutor. He was sentenced by the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria on Monday. - Times Live website

Cash-in-transit robbers get life sentences, plus 186 years in jail - 10 May
Three of six surviving members of a gang involved in a botched Capitec bank cash-in-transit robbery were each handed five life sentences plus 186 years' jail by the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday. Judge Rishi Seegobin said the murderous attack by the gang of Durban men including accused Thulani Doncabe, 40, Siboniso Mpanza, 22, and Sandile Shongwe, 24, turned the town of Richmond into a war zone in January 2012. There had been wild shooting with powerful weapons as the assailants fled, endangering people going about their business. Seegobin imposed two life sentences on each accused for the point-blank murders of Sicelo Phungula, who was about to load an ATM machine, and police Sergeant Thami Zondi, who was shot dead as assailants were fleeing. - News24 website

See also :

SABC journo faces suspension for Facebook post about Zuma above

R378m prisons tender scandal above

Crimes like Rhodes Park murder case prompt report into reintroduction of death penalty : IRR (Number of violent deaths) above

#RUReferenceList : desperate times, desperate measures below

Anders Behring Breivik, Norway murderer, wins human rights case below

A law for the rich and another for the rest below

McBride calls for investigation into state of criminal justice system below

Silenced forever after threat to expose Sars scam below

Criminal Matters Amendment Act 18 of 2015 (Date of commencement) [Government Gazette Update]

Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill, 2016 [Government Gazette Update]

Traditional Courts Bill [Government and Legislation]

Magistrate forced to defer ex-attorney's multimillion-rand theft trial [Legal Profession]


SA votes against internet freedoms in UN resolution - 4 July
South Africa has joined China and Russia in voting against a United Nations (UN) resolution on the "promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the internet". On Friday, the UN held a vote on the resolution, which seeks to bring political commitment from member states to protect human rights online such as freedom of expression and privacy. The resolution further seeks to ensure the release of those imprisoned for the "legitimate" freedom of expression online. Other key points of the resolution include investigating attacks against bloggers or other internet users, and refraining from preventing access to information online by, for example, shutting down the internet during key times such as elections or terror attacks. Countries such as Russia and China requested four amendments to the draft resolution to remove, for instance, text on freedom of expression and the shutting down of internet access. - Fin24 website

United Nations

27 June 2016
32. The promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet : Oral revisions of 30 June

1 July 2016
Vote on Draft Resolution A/HRC/32/L.20 - "The promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet" submitted by Brazil, Nigeria, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, USA - ADOPTED

Why SA voted with China and Russia on UN internet freedom resolution - 6 July
The South African government has defended its decision to vote against a United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council resolution that seeks to protect human rights and freedom of speech on the internet. Speaking ahead of the vote on Friday, SA's deputy permanent representative to the UN office in Geneva, Ncumisa Notutela, said SA's Constitution "guarantees the exercise of the right of freedom of opinion and expression". "However, incitement to hatred is problematic in the context where we are having our domestic debates on racism and the criminalisation thereof. "This year SA has seen a rise in hate speech and racism, especially on social media platforms". SA, along with 14 other countries including China, Russia, Indonesia, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela, voted against the resolution. - Business Day Live website

Internet more grassroots after US govt split? - 30 November
The nonprofit, California-based ICANN became independent on October 1 after the expiration of an 18-year contract to manage the technical functions of the internet address system which ensure that users arrive at certain websites, such as through domain names including .com or .gov. The separation came despite some critics in the US Congress who argued that Washington was "giving away" the internet, allowing authoritarian regimes to be able to exercise greater control. But ICANN officials and backers argued that the longstanding plan to privatize its functions would give greater credibility to the internet and temper critics around the world who claimed the US controlled the internet. - iafrica website

.africa domain frozen by US court injunction - 14 April
A US district court has granted Mauritius-based DotConnectAfrica Trust (DCA) a preliminary injunction to hold up the .africa geographic top-level domain (gTLD) again. After a two-and-a-half-year battle, South Africa's ZA Central Registry (ZACR) was in March officially given the go-ahead by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to begin operating as the domain's official registry. However, DCA headed to a California district court and on 4 March was granted a temporary restraining order against ICANN, preventing any delegation of .africa until a court hearing this month. On 12 April, the court granted a preliminary injunction "barring ICANN from delegating the rights to .africa until this case is resolved". The battle for who gets to be the official registry operator for .africa has been raging since 2013. DCA's application to be the official registry for .africa was originally rejected in June 2013. ZACR then signed a registry operator agreement with ICANN in March 2014. - ITWeb website

12 March 2014
Cabinet approves National Cyber Security Policy Framework
SabinetLaw website

Cyberspace : the world's largest crime zone. Why it is essential for South Africa to establish and implement cybersecurity measures and legislation - 11 May
The rapid evolution and widespread deployment of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has tremendously increased accessibility to the internet in developing nations where cyber security laws are either non-existent or still in their infancy. Rights such as freedom of expression, freedom of trade and access to information apply equally in cyberspace and need to be both recognised and protected. While the revolutionary socio-economic benefits of Internet accessibility are undeniable, the ease of access facilitated by ICTs poses immense dangers to the security of the electronic information society. The grave magnitude of the increasing threat of cybercrimes has validated the absolute necessity for comprehensive and effective national cyber security laws. - Simone Gill and Bilal Bokhari of Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr on the Lexology blog

Training to help SA tackle cyber crime - 11 April
With cyber crime costing South Africa R1 billion a year, extensive training for police, prosecutors, judges and magistrates was essential to stop online criminals worldwide. At least seven countries, including South Africa, were part of the workshop on the integration of cyber crime and electronic evidence into the judicial training curriculum, being held in Johannesburg. outh Africa was one of the top ten countries seriously affected by cyber crime and it was the first time this workshop was being held on the African continent. - IOL website

Apple's victory comes at a price - 23 March
The US Justice Department's move to postpone a highly anticipated showdown with Apple over unlocking a terrorist's iPhone appears to be a victory for Apple. But it comes at a cost : the suggestion that there may be a gap in the software protecting the contents of recent iPhones. Since 2014, Apple has said that it had no way of breaking into phones using the most recent versions of its software. In resisting the government's order, Apple argued that creating software to do so could endanger all its customers. Late on Monday, the government postponed the case, saying it was investigating a method for getting into the phone without Apple's help. - Business Day Live website

FBI has unlocked iPhone belonging to San Bernardino attacker - 29 March
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has unlocked the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino terrorist attackers, officials said on Monday, ending a heated legal standoff with Apple that had pitted US authorities against Silicon Valley. Apple, backed by a broad coalition of technology giants such as Google and Facebook, was fiercely opposed to assisting the US government in unlocking the iPhone on the grounds it would have wide-reaching implications on digital security and privacy. A key court hearing scheduled earlier in March to hear arguments from both sides in the sensitive case was abruptly cancelled after the FBI said it no longer needed Apple’s help because it had found an outside party to unlock the phone. - Business Day Live website

Google faces EU charge over Android 'abuse of dominance' - 20 April
Google has been issued formal antitrust charges over claims that it abuses the dominant position of its Android operating system. The European Commission sent a statement of objections to the tech firm, alleging that it has breached EU competition law. Google is accused of placing onerous requirements on firms using Android and stifling competition. It said Android was "good for competition and good for consumers". - BBC News website

Straight Talk : It's not a crime to be dominant - 25 April
There can be no question that Google is dominant. But dominance isn’t illegal. - Mark Barnes, South African Post Office CEO, on the Business Day Live website

EU accuses Google Shopping of search 'abuse' - 15 April
The European Union has filed a complaint against Google over its alleged anti-competitive behaviour. The competition commissioner said she had issued a "statement of objections", stating that the firm's promotion of its own shopping links amounted to an abuse of its dominance in search. Margrethe Vestager said Google now had 10 weeks to respond. - BBC News website

Meet the Maritzburg cellphone sleuth who's become the scourge of criminals country-wide - 9 March
Pietermaritzburg investigative data analyst Thereza May Botha has developed a system that uses cellphone records to place a suspect at the scene of a crime. In the Pietermatritzburg High Court her testimony based on the system has placed several ATM bombers at the scene of shattered cash machines. A number of people have been shot dead or wounded in some of the incidents. Botha's expertise will also be used in the Port Elizabeth prosecution of Christopher Panayiotou charged with the murder of his teacher wife Jade. - News24 website

Man sues neighbour for R1.3m for Facebook 'hell' - 17 August
The danger of defaming someone on Facebook has again been highlighted in a damages claim instituted by a Centurion businessman whose name was "dragged through the mud" following a run-in with his neighbour. Paul Hechter said in papers before the high court in Pretoria that he was accused of being a Peeping Tom, a pervert and a paedophile. Apart from the community's tongues wagging about his "misconduct", he started to receive threats via Facebook. Hechter said the author of the messages was Michelle Benade, his neighbour. According to him, Benade has a tendency to defame people she has a problem with. He handed in a letter to court, in which it appeared that lawyers acting for Amor Vittone, television personality and former wife of Joost van der Westhuizen, also complained about Benade. - IOL website

Court action in South Africa to stop Facebook trolls - 27 November
The Pretoria News reported that a couple has turned to the Gauteng High Court to get an interdict against two people who use fake Facebook accounts to troll them. According to the report, the couple faced abuse for two years on the social media platform, which included abusive messages and fake Facebook accounts created in their names. They decided to take legal action after pictures of their two young daughters in their swimming gear were posted on the fake Facebook accounts. Pretoria News reported that the abuse started after an extra-marital affair between the husband and one of the people accused of trolling them online. - mybroadband website

Rocker mom' who ducked big restaurant bill shamed into paying up - 29 November
A woman who ploughed her way through R1 300 worth of meals and margaritas with a male companion at a Cape Town restaurant and left without paying the bill‚ has been shamed on social media into settling the debt. Celeste Perry‚ an irate co-owner of the Fat Cactus Cafe‚ posted video footage on her Facebook page of a man and woman‚ who spent most of Saturday afternoon savouring a meal and flirting. "These two people spent the afternoon at our restaurant in gardens on Saturday and ran away without paying their R1 300 bill. Please share! It's not about the money but it is about people knowing about their horrible characters. Let's make them famous #sies"‚ said a post accompanying the video. The video‚ viewed 334 384 times by 1.30pm on Tuesday‚ unleashed a withering storm of criticism on social media. Under South African law‚ a case of fraud can be opened against people who fail to pay their hotel or restaurant charges. The guest may also be sued by the establishment for payment of the bill. - Times Live website

Candidate attorney guilty of 'fixation' with senior partner - 24 August
A former woman candidate attorney who "had a fixation" with a senior partner in a prominent Cape Town law firm, was found guilty on Wednesday on multiple charges that include fraud, crimen injuria and intimidation. Pravina Walabh, 33, of Observatory, in Cape Town, appeared in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Bellville, before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg. She was found guilty on 24 counts of fraud, five of sending out false information on the internet, with intent that the recipients react to it, three of crimen injuria, one of intimidation, one violation of the Communications and Provision of Communication-related Information Act, and an offence relating to her unauthorised access to, interception of or interference with data. The case was postponed to October 25, when the prosecutor and defence attorney Reaz Khan are to address the court in sentencing proceedings. In her judgment, the magistrate said Walabh, at the time a candidate attorney with the Cape Town law firm MacRobert Incorporated, had had a fixation with her supervisor – one of the senior partners, who had become engaged to an attorney at another firm. Walabh's motto was, "Don't get mad, get even", the magistrate said. - IOL website

A Playboy Playmate found this normal woman's naked body gross. So she posted it online - 18 July
Dani Mathers, Playboy's 2015 Playmate of the Year, was at LA Fitness on Wednesday when the body of a fellow gym-goer offended her. The 29-year-old took to Snapchat to post the woman's body - naked, on her story. The caption : "If I can't see unsee this then you can't either". It pictured Mathers, sporting weight-lifting gloves and a Nike tank top, covering her mouth in false-shock. What resulted was likely thousands looking at this woman's nude body, fat-shamed by a blond Playmate, on Mathers's public Snapchat. The backlash was strong - Mathers has been banned from LA Fitness, indefinitely suspended from her radio gig on a popular Los Angeles station and predictably lambasted on the Internet. Los Angeles Police Capt Andrew Neiman said they received a report of "illegal distribution" of the image from the international gym chain. Detectives from the LAPD's west division sexual assault section are investigating, Neiman told the LA Times. - Washington Post website

2015 Playmate of the Year Dani Mathers faces consequences after body-shaming - 15 July
Following the incident, Mathers offered up the lamest of apologies in a series of tweets. The tweets were later deleted when Mathers deleted her Twitter account. While some of her fans may have been willing to overlook the fact that she posted a nude picture of a woman in a gym locker room on social media - seemingly a blatant violation of the Video Voyeurism Act of 2004 - others have not been so quick to accept her apologies. Police, however, have said that, while they are looking into it, because the woman in the photograph has not come forward yet, there is little they are able to do at the moment in terms of charges against Mathers. - Business 2 Community website

Margharet van Wyk's privacy was invaded : law expert - 26 August
The privacy of North West hockey mother Margharet van Wyk was violated after a picture of her genitals was posted on social media, a law expert said on Friday. "Without being privy to all the facts, it appears that her right to dignity and privacy was indeed infringed upon when the picture was published as it was not intended for the general public", associate attorney at Willem de Klerk Attorneys Hugo Homann said. Homann said if it was proven that her right to dignity and privacy was violated, she would be entitled to sue the responsible parties for damages. It was reported that Van Wyk posted the picture of her vagina in a hockey mothers' WhatsApp group. The picture was intended for her husband. According to reports, one of the group's members took a screenshot of the image and posted it online. Homann said the people who shared the picture have some measure of liability. A second law expert, Ryan Ishmail from RC Ishmail Attorneys said if a person sends a photograph like Van Wyk intentionally, he or she could be charged with "flashing" under section 9 of the 2007 Criminal Law Amendment. "If one of the members of the whatsapp group is under 18 they could be charged with section 19 of the same act which relates to exposing pornography to children", he said. - News24 website

Bullying videos : what the SA law says - 15 December
#bullyingvideos was recently trending on Twitter. The effects of a bullying incident going viral, on both the bully and the victim, is problematic. But having video evidence of the assault or harassment means action can now more easily be taken against the bully. It's not a hear-say case for the principal any longer – the evidence of intentional bullying is there for all to see, and in some cases it may even land in court. Can the person taking the video also get into trouble with the law? And if you share this video on social media when it goes viral – can you land in hot water too? We asked two attorneys to help us answer these questions. "Children from the ages of 11 up until 18 are deemed legally liable for their actions", says Diana Schwarz, social media lawyer and a senior associate at Phukubje Pierce Masithela Attorneys. Russel Luck, technology attorney at SwiftTechLaw, says physical bullying should be distinguished from cyber bullying. - Parent24 website

Dating fraudster cons women out of R1,9m - 15 November
An online dating fraudster who posed as a spy and a shipping magnate to swindle single women out of £105 000 (close to R1,9m) was jailed for more than five years on Monday. Zac Langley, 41, signed up to dating website Plenty of Fish and pretended to be a variety of exciting characters to attract, woo and ensare women.  His victims quickly became smitten with the charming conman and agreed to hand over large sums believing he would repay them with his supposed riches. Bournemouth Crown Court heard that Langley – whose real name is Andrew Penfold – contacted his victims four days after his release from prison for similar offences. He has variously posed as a banker, an MI5 spy, director of a £400 million microchip firm, a millionaire wine merchant, a radar maker, a journalist and a lord. - IOL website

Get social media insurance . . . just in case - 28 October
Simon Colman, head of commercial solutions at SHA Specialist Underwriters, said this week that it had launched a product that people could buy to cover expenses for defending themselves against allegations of privacy invasion or defamation on social media. "Parents can also obtain this to cover the actions of their children on social media, as children are often not aware of the real impact their digital footprint can have. This product is aptly named the Social media Liability Insurance Policy (SLip uP)". Blewett said while some content was obviously inappropriate, such as defamatory racial or religious remarks, most people were unaware of the risks involved in posting in "private spaces", such as on a private WhatsApp group or Instagram, and liking or sharing the views of others. - IOL website

See also :

Solicitor mistakenly sent girl's address to father who murdered her below

Mentor hits back at Zuma's denial (Facebook) below

Telephone records a smoking gun in the state-capture probe (Cellphone records) below

Sparrow on trial for racism (Facebook) below

Another 'racist' Facebook rant over crowded Durban beach below

Racist rant on Facebook condemned below

Rhodes Must Fall leader tells waiter : 'We will give tip when you return land' (Facebook) below

Judge under fire over black rape culture comments (Facebook) below

Hout Bay woman in trouble over Facebook post below

Rights body takes Velaphi Khumalo to court over racist rant (Facebook) below

Kohler Barnard's Facebook post 'hate speech' : court papers (Facebook) below

New Zimbabwe law allows seizure of smartphones and laptops as Mugabe turns on social media below

Protection of Information ; Privacy below

The details behind South Africa's grabber spy scandal below

Panama Papers' put spotlight on law firm data security below

Another Ford Kuga catches fire at weekend, leading to talk of a lawsuit (Facebook) below

Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill, 2017 [Government Gazette Update]

Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill, 2017 [Government and Legislation]

Electronic Communications Act 36 of 2005 [Governmenet Gazette Update]

Electronic Communications Act 36 of 2005, as amended [Government Gazette Update]

Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002 [Government Gazette Update]

Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill ('Hate Crimes Bill') [Government and Legislation]

Films and Publications Amendment Bill ('Internet censorship bill') [Government and Legislation]

Debt Collection

Credit abuse, debt relief and debt forgiveness
Parliamentary Monitoring Group website

Constitutional Court
21 April 2016
CCT73/15 [2016] ZACC 12
Nkata v Firstrand Bank Limited and Others
National Credit Act 34 of 2005 - section 129(3) - requirements for reinstatement of credit agreement - payment of credit provider's reasonable costs of enforcement - credit provider unilaterally capitalised the costs in consumer's bond account without demand of payment and taxation or agreement on reasonableness - costs not due and payable - reinstatement not precluded

Constitutional Court to the rescue of debtors - 25 April
A recent Constitutional Court decision has provided a lifeline for homeowners who fall behind with their bond repayments, to stop their homes from being sold. The judgment found that homeowners could reinstate their credit agreement with the bank if arrears on the bond account were paid in full. Importantly, the court said the homeowner only had to pay the arrears owed and not legal costs the bank had charged without these costs being properly discussed with the homeowner. The court was dealing with the case of Western Cape woman Nomsa Nkata whose property was sold in execution for R1 million by First Rand Bank Limited after she fell into arrears and default judgment was granted against her. The Constitutional Court set aside the sale of the property and declared that the credit agreement between Nkata and the bank had been lawfully reinstated. - IOL website

Consumers score big as collecting old debt is illegal - 22 May
Amendments to the National Credit Act making it illegal to collect prescribed debt has contributed to the big drop in civil summonses and judgments for debt, James O'Haughey, CFO of Intelligent Debt Management Group, told Fin24 in a studio interview. "The National Credit Regulator has been quite active in the industry", he said. The latest figures from Stats SA showed that the total number of civil summonses issued for debt decreased by 13.4% in the first quarter of 2016 compared with the first quarter of 2015. The total number of civil judgments recorded for debt fell by 11.2% and the total value of the judgments slipped by 5.8%. - Fin24 website

GroundUp : Legislation to stop predatory wage deductions under way - 11 July
The National Assembly is considering an amendment bill to the Magistrates' Court Act 32 of 1944 to curb predatory wage garnishment orders. Officially known as emolument attachment orders (EAOs), these are court orders that require employers to deduct payments from the salary of an employee to service debts. Under current South African law, there is no limit on how much of a person's salary can be garnished. Most countries place limits on the percentage or amount that can be garnished. - Daily Maverick website

Constitutional Court
13 September 2016
[2016] ZACC 32
University of Stellenbosch Legal Aid Clinic and Others v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and Others ; Association of Debt Recovery Agents NPC v University of Stellenbosch Legal Aid Clinic and Others ; Mavava Trading 279 (Pty) Ltd and Others v University of Stellenbosch Legal Aid Clinic and Others
Magistrates' Courts Act, 1944 - constitutionality of section 65J(2)(a) and (b) - section unconstitutional - emoluments attachment orders - failure to provide judicial oversight - issue of emoluments attachment orders without court authorisation inconsistent with the Constitution - reading in - notional severance - appropriate remedy

Ground-breaking garnishee order judgement a victory for the poor - 13 September
A Constitutional Court judgement which prescribes judicial oversight over the Emolument Attachment Order (EAO) process – so as to ensure that such orders are just, equitable and of an appropriate amount – has been billed as a victory for the poor. However, questions as to whether the country's courts have the capacity to comply have been raised. - Moneyweb website

Hands off my salary! - 20 September
The law as we knew it under section 65J of the Act changed on 13 September 2016, following the Constitutional Court decision in University of Stellenbosch Legal Aid Clinic and Others v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and Others (unreported case no. CCT127/15, 13 September 2016). - Armando A Aguiar and Natalie Keetsi of ENSafrica on the Mondaq website

Concourt confirms your rights on issuing of EAOs - 17 September
Emoluments attachment orders (EAOs), colloquially known as "garnishee orders" - have been abused by unscrupulous credit providers for years. As a result, countless debtors have been denied many of their constitutional rights, including their right to access justice, and have found themselves in debt bondage because of the many EAOs against them. But a decision by the Constitutional Court this week will put a stop to the abuses, because it confirms key orders contained in an important High Court judgment that addresses problems with the law governing the issuing of EAOs, the Magistrates Court Act (MCA). - IOL website

Constitutional Court ends shady practice by creditors - 20 September
Many people who are given credit face difficulties repaying it. The problem that arose for lenders was how to give credit without any security. People with no assets still need access to credit, and previously only had this access in unregulated forms, for instance through loan sharks. So the lenders got these debtors to consent to what is called an emoluments attachment order. Two majority judgments of the Constitutional Court found that the mechanism of emoluments attachment orders is worth preserving, but that it needs greater judicial oversight to protect against abuse. The court therefore changed the wording of section 65J to allow for greater judicial oversight over the granting of emoluments attachment orders. - GroundUp on the AllAfrica website

A victory for the economically disadvantaged - 25 September
The ConCourt has provided protection against the debt misery that helped set the scene for Marikana, writes George Devenish. - IOL website

See also :

Push for debt relief laws for SA's banks above

Draft Courts of Law Amendment Bill [Government and Legislation]

Debt Collectors Act 114 of 1998 [Government Gazette Update]

National Credit Act 34 of 2005 [Government Gazette Update]

National Credit Act [Government and Legislation]

Prescribed Rate of Interest Act [Government and Legislation]

Trade and Industry (Parliamentary Monitoring Group) [Government and Legislation]

Defence -

South Africa successfully hosts first international conference on military law - 9 November
Practitioners of military law in South Africa gathered in Pretoria alongside colleagues from other countries for the first international conference on military law in the country. The conference theme of "contemporary military law" was explored with sub-themes relating to international military law, human rights law, operational law and administration of military justice. The objectives of the conference - to raise public awareness of the importance of military law in a democracy and to stimulate interest in academic research in this specialised field of public law to strengthen the development of South African military law – were successfully met with a number of international and local academics and military professionals presenting research papers, according to the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). - defenceWeb website

Inkwazi jet panic costs R300K 'for no reason' - 6 March
There was very little wrong with presidential jet Inkwazi when it was announced that President Jacob Zuma was "stranded" in Burundi. There was, in fact, a South African shadow plane standing ready in the Burundian capital, Bujumbura, in case something happened with Inkwazi, but the crew did not have the necessary safety clearances to bring Zuma home. This plane was allegedly hired by the department of state security at an estimated cost of R650 000. Siphiwe Dlamini, spokesperson for the defence ministry, said that problems with Inkwazi were unacceptable and pressure would be put on its arms procurement agency, Armscor, for a new jet. City Press reported in November that Armscor was seeking a jet with a range of at least 13 800km. The cheapest new aircraft meeting Armscor's requirements would be an Airbus A330, costing about R3 billion. "In view of Inkwazi's constant problems, we are going to negotiate with Armscor urgently to resolve the issue", said Dlamini. He rejected Rapport's version "with contempt" and described it as a "deliberate attempt to embarrass the military's supreme commander and the defence minister. The department of defence will fulfil its responsibility [for Zuma's safe transport] without fear or compromise". Rapport was told by senior air force officers and those at Bujumbura airport that, last Thursday, en route to the capital – where Zuma was part of the peace talks – Inkwazi developed a "minor" fuel leak. It was repaired by technicians and the plane was ready for the next day's 11am return flight. The leak was allegedly well within Boeing's safety regulations. According to sources, it was decided late that night that the air force's number two aircraft, a Falcon 900, should fetch Zuma. The Falcon 900 was rushed over during the night, despite crew assurances that Inkwazi was fine. - City Press website

Fright flights for VIPs - 8 April
Does the SA Air Force have the ability and money to maintain its VIP aircraft fleet, including the presidential jet? Don't expect an answer because that information is given out only on a need-to-know basis - and the public, says the government, doesn't need to know. As the SAAF struggles to keep the presidential jet, named Inkwazi, and other VIP aircraft from falling out of the sky, Secretary for Defence Sam Gulube says the public does not need to know about the military's capabilities or limitations. His refusal to say how many of the SAAF's VIP transport aircraft are operational comes a few days after one aircraft, carrying Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, had to make an emergency landing. Sunday's emergency occurred weeks after Ramaphosa was unable to attend a government function in Eastern Cape because the VIP aircraft meant to transport him experienced technical difficulties before takeoff. - LexisNexis website

VIP jet now a must-have - 28 April
Weeks after denying that a formal request had been made for a new presidential jet, Armscor - the defence force's acquisition arm - has announced a tender for the lease of an intercontinental VIP aircraft. The aircraft must be able to transport 15 VIPs in comfort for 10000km non-stop. This distance will cover a trip to Moscow, Sao Paulo or Hong Kong. The tender was put out on Friday and closes on Wednesday. Armscor spokesman Lulu Mzili said the lease was a matter of urgency. - Times Live website

VVIP jet will be bought : but not just for Zuma - 11 May
"Buying the VVIP aircraft, we will. But not for [President Jacob] Zuma. There will be a president after Zuma. The VVIP aircraft is not being procured because there is President Zuma who will use it", Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told reporters ahead of her budget vote speech in Parliament. There would be another president after Zuma retired in 2019, even if he was from another party. Mapisa-Nqakula said they had never mentioned the cost of the aircraft, and she did not know where the R4-billion figure had come from. - Polity website

Defence force told to cut troops by 16 000 - 11 December
The South African National Defence Force has started to retrench up to 16 000 personnel. 
This is in response to an instruction by the National Treasury to cut almost R3-billion from its salary bill over the next three years. More than half the defence budget is spent on salaries. In the current financial year about R27-billion, in a budget of R47-billion, was allocated to pay the troops. - Times Live website

Minister explains why Denel suspended execs - 6 April
The investigation into the conduct of three top officials of Denel suspended in September last year should be concluded by the end of June, said Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown on Wednesday. Addressing members of the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises, Brown said the three suspended officials – CEO Riaz Saloojee, CFO Fikile Mhlontlo and group company secretary Elizabeth Africa – asked for more time to give their input into the investigation. Fin24 revealed the trio had been suspended in September 2015, following a tip-off. The suspensions came after Brown rotated the Denel board.Brown said there were discrepancies with a profit declaration previously. "The SOC (state-owned company) said they made a R1-billion clear profit, but it wasn't. It was actually a large ring-fenced amount". - Creamer Media's Engineering News website

US aircraft manufacturer to help solve SA military airlift crisis - 13 April
In a bid to help solve the South African National Defence Force's critical air transportation crisis‚ a high level US military manufacturing company delegation is in the country. The delegation‚ from aircraft firm Lockheed Martin‚ has been meeting with officials from the SANDF‚ its military acquisition company Armscor and the SA Air Force. The air force is currently battling to maintain its heavy-lift capabilities with at least four of its eight C130 aircraft non-operational. The aircraft are used primarily to rotate troops and equipment into and out of peacekeeping missions in Africa. Over 1 200 troops are currently deployed in various United Nations peacekeeping missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Sudan region. - Times Live website

SA troops left in the lurch - 14 April
Hundreds of South African soldiers are stranded in bases across Sudan's violent Darfur region as they wait for chartered transport aircraft to bring them home. The 800 troops, who should have been withdrawn two weeks ago, are part of a UN and AU peacekeeping mission to Darfur. - Times Live website

Minister 'smuggles' friend in a state jet - 22 May
Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula smuggled a Burundian woman with a false passport into South Africa on an air force jet. The minister - who remains defiant about her involvement in the case - yesterday denied she had abused her power, saying : "I'd do it again if I had to". Confronted by the Sunday Times yesterday, Mapisa-Nqakula conceded that she flew from Waterkloof Air Force Base to the Democratic Republic of Congo to fetch Michelle Wege, 22, on January 28, 2014. She was arrested for travelling using fraudulent documents, which had allegedly been organised by Mapisa-Nqakula's sister, Nosithembele Nontobeko Mapisa, who worked in the Burundi embassy at the time. Nosithembele, who was South Africa's deputy ambassador to Burundi at the time, was later suspended for her involvement in obtaining the fraudulent documents. During an interview at her home in Bruma, Johannesburg, late yesterday, Mapisa-Nqakula said she did this to help the woman, who came from an abusive family. "There was nothing wrong in giving Michelle a lift on the air force plane. My sole intention was to save her from abuse, and give her education and love". - Times Live website

Friends with planes : disturbing questions about minister and the passenger without papers - 24 May
An astounding story front-paged in The Sunday Times on 22 May 2016, detailing the "smuggling" of a Burundian civilian in 2014 with the help of South Africa's Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. The minister used an official plane on an official trip for a personal favour which involved evading normal port authorities for the reason that her passenger was entering SA illegally. Even if SA authorities made an exception, it is an astounding one and inextricably linked to the fact that the favour was bestowed on Wege by virtue of her friendship with the minister and the latter's family. - Pikkie Greeff on the Daily Maverick website

See also : What of the NPA's duty to perform its obligations? below

See also :

Another week, another claim of Guptas influencing Cabinet positions below

Protector's report catches Denel's lie below

Treasury did not OK Gupta, Denel deal below

Media Statement by the South African National Defence Union (SANDU) In Reaction to the 31 March 20106 Ruling by the Constitutional Court Regarding Violation of the SA Constitution by President Zuma and Parliament below

Scopa asks Hawks to probe threats against whistle-blower below

Defence Act, 2002 [Government Gazette Update]

Gordhan criticises 'arrogance' of some state owned companies' boards [Government and Legislation]

Arms Procurement Commission -

Keyphrase :
Arms Deal Commission

21 April 2016
The full Arms Deal Report
Times Live website

21 April 2016
Statement by President Jacob Zuma on the release of the Report of the Commission of Inquiry Into Allegations of Fraud, Corruption, Impropriety or Irregularity in the Strategic Defence Procurement Package (Arms Procurement Commission)
Presidency website

Arms deal report 'no whitewash' : Radebe - 21 April
The Seriti Commission of Inquiry's findings into the arms deal were neither a whitewash nor a waste of taxpayers' money, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said on Thursday. The commission's findings into the arms deal had vindicated the government, he said during a briefing following Cabinet's fortnightly meeting. - Polity website

Seriti Commission findings on Arms Deal : it ain't over till ConCourt sings - 21 April
There is little wonder President Zuma expressed his "sincere gratitude and appreciation" to the Chairman of the Arms Procurement Commission, Judge Willie Seriti, for his findings released on Thursday that "not a single iota of evidence was placed before it" showing that bribes had been paid to consultants, public officials or members of Cabinet in the 1999 R90-billion Arms Deal. Zuma, after all, has been deeply implicated in the deal. Opposition party members were unanimous in their condemnation of the findings, calling it a "whitewash" and "an insult to the intelligence of South Africans". - Daily Maverick website

Excerpt :
"The dossier that I took to Parliament in September 1999 led to two prosecutions, Tony Yengeni and Shabir Shaik. Where is Shabir Shaik today? He was found guilty, he was put in jail and then released. He is still very much alive out there and the evidence in his case was heavily weighed against Zuma. When charges were brought against President Jacob Zuma, more than 750, that is when the NPA decided not to prosecute him. I put my faith in our own independence of our judiciary because the Constitutional Court must decide later on this year whether they are going to charge President Jacob Zuma or not. They think that after 17 or 18 years South Africans have forgotten about it. We have not. We know that this whole commission was a whitewash", said De Lille"

Seriti Commission findings on Arms Deal : but what about those two shipping containers full of documents? - 21 April
An eye-watering 4.7 million computer pages and 460 boxes of evidence against BAE, the German Frigate Consortium and the German Submarine Consortium and left in two shipping containers at the Hawks premises in Pretoria were overlooked by the Arms Procurement Commission. With the findings of the commission released on Thursday exonerating everyone, anti-arms deal campaigner Terry Crawford Brown is considering reopening a case he took to the Constitutional Court in 2010. - Daily Maverick website

Excerpts :
"Crawford-Brown told Daily Maverick that "some of us smelled a rat from day one when President Zuma told the ANC NEC in September 2011 that he was going to lose the case that I had brought before the Constitutional Court, and therefore to avoid being dictated to by the CC he would appoint the commission of inquiry that I demanded" "
"The commission also had been plagued by resignations including the resignation of Norman Moabi who had alleging that Judge Seriti was "pursuing a second agenda to silence the Terry Crawford-Browns of this world". Later Judge Francis Legodi, Advocate Tayob Aboobaker and Advocate Barry Skinner also resigned"
"Crawford-Brown said Judge Seriti had refused to admit as evidence the Debevoise & Plimpton report on Ferrostaal and the submarines which found that the Ferrostaal offsets (also just over 2 percent) were mainly "non-refundable loans" ie bribes"

#ArmsDeal report : Shaik speaks - 22 April
Schabir Shaik is considering a fresh challenge against his guilty verdict following the release of the arms deal report, which found no evidence of corruption in the country's acquisition of military equipment worth R43 billion. A key source close to the arms deal at the time has fired the most potent salvo, with fresh claims that he witnessed President Jacob Zuma asking for money to seal the arms contract. "I was present at a meeting between Zuma and representatives from Thomson CSF in which he (Zuma) demanded funds to build his home in Nkandla which amounted to millions of rand. The deal was that the money be paid in exchange for protecting Thomson-CSF against any investigation into the arms deal process and support in any future bids. This directive was then sent as an encrypted note to the French company which gave the go-ahead for the funds - amounting to R500 million per year. The monies were never paid to Zuma after the Scorpions were alerted, but there were others in the process who were not caught out who did benefit". Schaik, who acted as Zuma's financial adviser at the time, was also a shareholder of Thomson SA, the South African arm of Thomson CSF, and a director of African Defence Systems, the company which benefited in the arms deal as part of its joint venture with Thomson-CSF. Approached for comment on the allegation that Zuma had solicited funding to close the arms deal, Shaik said he was aware of the meeting between Zuma and Thomson-CSF. "The findings of the report after a four-year investigation brings fresh hope to my case as it confirms I did nothing wrong. I was not called on to testify, which I would have done had I been asked to, and I am meeting with my legal team today to discuss the impact of the report on my conviction", Shaik told The Mercury. - IOL website

Arms Deal : the military side of the equation - 22 April
The long-awaited report of the Seriti Commission has turned out to be a whitewash, leaving many unanswered questions. But within the findings are two important things that the commission got right: That the procurements were justified and necessary, and that they are being utilised adequately or at least within SANDF guidelines. - John Stupart, editor of the African Defense Review, on the Daily Maverick website

Mbeki slams critics of arms deal commission - 25 April
Former president Thabo Mbeki on Monday criticised those who have rubbished the Arms Deal commission's findings. "This confirms that there are some in our country who are determined to ensure that at all costs, the perception is sustained among our people and the peoples of the world that the government President Nelson Mandela led was corrupt", Mbeki said. - Polity website

Criticism of Seriti's findings based on 'stereotype that Africa is corrupt', says Mbeki - 26 April
Former President Thabo Mbeki on Monday expressed frustration that even after the outcome of a judicial commission of inquiry, allegations of corruption in SA's arms deal continue to persist, saying this was based on a "stereotype" that African governments were corrupt. Mr Mbeki was addressing a media briefing at his foundation on illicit financial flows after the Seriti Commission of Inquiry found that the multibillion-rand acquisitions made in SA's arms deal were above board. - Business Day Live website

See : Arms Procurement Commission (report) [Government Gazette Update]

19 July 2016
Terry Crawford-Browne files ConCourt application (CCT 161/16) to set aside Seriti Commission Report
Politicsweb website

End of road for arms deal critic - 17 November
The Constitutional Court has rejected a bid by activist Terry Crawford-Browne to have the findings of the multibillion-rand arms deal set aside. It is effectively the end of the road for Crawford-Browne, a long-time campaigner against the deal. The Seriti Commission into alleged corruption in the arms procurement deal found no wrongdoing after Crawford-Browne could not produce evidence, nor could other anti-deal campaigners such as Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille, who first blew the whistle. After a long and arduous battle over many years, the Constitutional Court was Crawford-Browne's last legal option. Yesterday, he said it was "highly regrettable" the court dismissed his application. But he says he is not done yet. "In anticipation that the Constitutional Court would attempt to duck the political hot potato of the arms deal scandal, I have already engaged a highly reputed firm of foreign lawyers, who specialise in international corruption and fraud, and who are looking at alternative resolutions to this saga. Thus, whilst local remedies may have been exhausted by the Constitutional Court's decision, the arms deal saga continues". - IOL website

Corruption Watch and R2K review of Seriti commission findings continues in high court - 21 November
Corruption Watch and the Right2Know Campaign says their application to review and set aside the findings of the Seriti Commission on the arms deal continues‚ despite another application being dismissed by the Constitutional Court on November 9. - Times Live website

The Arms Deal and state capture : stopping a future cover-up - 21 November
You wouldn't know it from Faith Muthambi's statement, but the Constitutional Court did not make any findings about the credibility of the Seriti Commission and its final report. It merely ruled that Arms Deal critic Terry Crawford-Browne's direct application to the Constitutional Court is not in the interests of justice ; in other words, an application must be made to the High Court in the usual manner. Crawford-Browne got it wrong by trying to go straight to the highest court in the land. - Paul Holden on the Daily Maverick website

Crawford-Browne to fight arms deal overseas - 17 November
Arms deal critic Terry Crawford-Browne says he will continue his fight against the multi-billion rand deal outside of the country. e says now that he has exhausted all local avenues for recourse he is turning to courts overseas for a resolution. - News24 website

Democratic Alliance -

Change That Moves South Africa Forward Again : the DA's 2016 local government elections manifesto
Democratic Alliance website

Former Jozi FM DJ Donald Sebolai sentenced to 20-years - 4 March
Convicted murderer, former Jozi FM DJ Donald Sebolai was on Friday sentenced to 20 years behind bars for the murder of his girlfriend Dolly Tshabalala. Judge Cassim Moosa handed down the sentence on Friday at the Johannesburg High Court, sitting at the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court southeast of Johannesburg. Sebolai, also known as DJ Donald Duck, was sentenced to 20 years for murder and to 5 years for attempting to defeat the ends of justice. The sentences will run concurrently. - Times Live website

Trollip in hot water over fire hose pics? - 14 June
The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality on Tuesday said that it has launched an internal investigation after pictures emerged of Democratic Alliance (DA) MPL Athol Trollip at a scene where firefighters were busy extinguishing a house fire in a Port Elizabeth suburb at the weekend. According to municipal spokesman Kupido Baron‚ councillor Fikile Desi‚ mayoral committee member for safety and security‚ said that the investigation is "of critical importance as the city cannot allow a situation where professional firemen and women could have been impeded during the execution of their duties". Eastern Cape MPL Christian Martin lodged an official complaint against Trollip for "interfering" while firefighters were extinguishing the blaze. Trollip was pictured assisting firefighters on Saturday‚ carrying a hose to help douse the fire. "Clarity is now sought if the Fire Brigade Services Act was transgressed as members of the public could easily emulate Mr Trollip's actions by attempting to extinguish a fire without protective clothing and the relevant training while professional men and women are at the scene"‚ Baron added. - Times Live website

See also :

Kenny Kunene has naked Zille and Maimane in his bedroom above

ANC policy bungling keeps data costs high above

Hlaudi Motsoeneng : another court defeat, but still fighting above

Hlaudi Motsoeneng's friends are no friends of the court in DA's High Court case above

SABC refuses to air DA election ads above

DA picket to get Jackson Mthembu 'to walk the talk' on SABC above

'SABC 8 must be given SAPS protection' above

The politics of another Khayelitsha murder above

Probe EFF MP's k-word slur : DA below

Hawks to investigate Duduzane Zuma and Guptas below

Fana Hlongwane's alleged role in Zuptagate must be investigated by the Hawks below

Why the Guptas and Zuma's son really quit Oakbay : DA below

Democratic Alliance rejects request for meeting by Oakbay CEO Nazeem Howa below

Lawsuits against Guptas loom after Gordhan court bombshell below

Political parties oppose Zuma, Van Rooyen court applications below

DA heads to Constitutional Court on Zuma's failure to launch state capture inquiry below

Outcry over #PennySparrow sentence below

Kohler Barnard's Facebook post 'hate speech' : court papers below

ANC welcomes IEC's dismissal of DA complaint against Parks Tau below

DA to approach court to have ICC withdrawal set aside below

DA considering contempt charges for Zuma over Bashir below

Zuma has spent almost R10m on legal fees and 'exorbitant legal counsel" : DA below

Ramaphosa challenged to live on R3 500 below

Zille's statement on Scheepers, 'spook' articles below

Convicted criminal appointed to MDDA board, Zuma admits below

SA postpones nuclear deal as court case looms below

Maimane wants poo thrower fired below

Msimanga prepares to slash Tshwane's bloated salary bill below

Durban councillors got Minaj tickets : for R1.7 million below

Zuma orders Msunduzi probe below

PMB manager's suspension shrouded in secrecy below

Democratic Alliance v Acting National Director of Public Prosecutions and Others (North Gauteng High Court) below

DA's Jiba inquiry application dismissed below

President Zuma has a duty to fire Jiba without delay below

Maimane faces fine for ethics 'oversight' below

Democratic Alliance v Speaker of the National Assembly and Others (Constitutional Court) (Persons creating disturbance) below

Economic Freedom Fighters v Speaker of the National Assembly and Others ; Democratic Alliance v Speaker of the National Assembly and Others (Constitutional Court) ('Nkandla' judgment) below

Debate to remove President below

Nkandla excesses expose the glaring gap in founding law (Tony Leon writes) below

Nkandla : DA to move for rescindment of Nhleko reports below

DA walks out because ANC won't let it put executive 'on the spot' below

This man is a thief below

DA wants breakdown of Zuma's Nkandla legal bill below

No Confidence : ANC's diversion-spin goes into overdrive for Zuma, again below

Process to replace Madonsela gets under way below

Public protector CEO hasn't landed a job with the DA below

DA to call on committee over unaffordable Commonwealth Games below

Gordhan fires 'political bazooka' at Molefe below

Pressure is mounting for NPA's Shaun Abrahams to resign below

Country's judges the last line of defence against government abuse : Breytenbach [Government and Legislation]

Breytenbach lashes out at Mbete, Zuma, Mantashe [Government and Legislation]

It is time to relegate these laws to the scrapheap : Michael Cardo [Government and Legislation]

Broadcasting Amendment Bill [Government and Legislation]

Draft Critical Infrastructure Protection Bill [Government and Legislation]

Films and Publications Amendment Bill ('Internet censorship bill') [Government and Legislation]

DA highlights faults in new liquor bill [Government and Legislation]

Domestic Violence

Woman gets 10 years in bathroom door murder case - 15 April
Judge Tshifiwa Maumela was caught in a quandary on Thursday when he sentenced Tertia Vukomanovic, the woman convicted of murdering her husband Tomislav. On the one hand, Tomislav had been physically, emotionally and financially abusive to his younger wife, with their final argument being the reason for the crime of passion. On the other, the loss of life had left Tomislav's mother destitute and the couple's child - who was in their home at the time of the killing - psychologically damaged. Vukomanovic was convicted in December of murdering her husband by firing a gun through a closed bathroom door as their intense argument became increasingly violent. Vukomanovic has been appearing in the high court sitting in Palm Ridge in connection with her husband's murder. The judge acknowledged the State had not contested Vukomanovic's claims of abuse, as she had documented proof of the domestic violence charges she had laid against him. But he also noted that, like many victims of abuse, she returned to her husband time and again. Despite Vukomanovic's lack of remorse, Judge Maumela said compelling circumstances, namely the abuse she suffered, meant he would be able to deviate from the minimum sentence of 15 years in prison. Vukomanovic was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with three years suspended. - IOL website

Panayiotou in new bid for bail - 12 March
Christopher Panayiotou, who is accused of orchestrating the murder of his wife Jayde in April last year, appeared briefly in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Friday afternoon with co-accused Sizwezakhe Vumazonke and Sinethemba Nenembe. Alwyn Griebenow, representing Panayiotou, indicated that he had been instructed to arrange a bail application based on new facts and that he was looking at a date in May to proceed. State prosecutor Marius Stander said both the defence and state would meet with a judge to arrange for a date in May for the bail application to proceed. Mr Stander said the State's case was nearing conclusion. - Business Day Live website

Panayiotou murder case postponed - 18 April
Almost a year since the death of Jayde Panayiotou, the case against her husband Christopher is expected to be transferred to the Port Elizabeth High Court soon. Panayiotou and his two co-accused, Sizwezakhe Vumazonke and Sinethemba Nenembe, appeared in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Monday in connection with the school teacher's murder. State Prosecutor Marius Stander said the state wanted to transfer the matter to the Port Elizabeth High Court but this was being delayed by Nenembe having obtained new legal representation. Magistrate Esti Petzer said that she would no longer tolerate any postponements. The case was postponed until May 3 where the matter will likely be transferred for a pre-trial conference at the Port Elizabeth High Court. - eNCA website

Panayiotou murder case brings out rival picketers - 3 May
At Port Elizabeth Magistrates' Court today, where Christopher Panayiotou, 28, stands accused of murdering his wife, Jayde, two groups of women picketed against each other. Outside, holding placards with 'Justice for Jayde' written on them, the Democratic Alliance Women's Network (DAWN) stood silently at the main entrance to the court. Inside the court, the situation was different. Employees of Panayiotou sat in the front row to show their support for him. They wore T-shirts with 'Innocent' written on them. Regional spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority, Tsepo Ndwalaza, said the State was prepared for trial. "We are a bit frustrated on our side because we thought we were going to the High Court today. The third accused, Nenembe, apparently informed us that he wants to change his legal team. The case was therefore postponed to 16 May". - allAfrica website

Panayiotou prosecutors ordered to hand over part of docket to defence - 20 September
Standing in for Judge Glenn Goosen in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Tuesday, Judge Elna Revelas ordered state advocate Marius Stander to furnish the defence with a copy of the statement of their cellphone expert, Thereza Botha. However, Revelas dismissed Panayiotou's application to receive section B of the docket because it contains "sensitive information regarding correspondence between police and various stakeholders within the state, police and prosecutors". - Dispatch Live website

Too many documents to print as Panayiotou case begins - 11 October
The much anticipated trial of Christopher Panayiotou, who stands accused of orchestrating his wife Jayde's murder in April last year, will get underway in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Tuesday. Courtroom A, where the trial will be held, has been fitted with a number of computer monitors to allow for a completely digital court case. All documents in the case will be displayed electronically. This is due to the vast amount of information that will be presented as part of the case. - All4Women website

Court hears dramatic details of Jayde's final moments - 11 October
On Tuesday the Port Elizabeth High Court heard how Jayde Panayiotou raised her hands in surrender before she was shot through the head execution-style just outside Kwanobuhle in Port Elizabeth by alleged triggerman Sizwezakhe Vumazonke. During the first day of the trial against Christopher Panayiotou and his two co-accused, Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko, State Prosecutor Marius Stander said the Riebeek College Girls's High School teacher was shot twice through her back and then fell to the ground. After being driven to a remote area on the outskirts of Kwanobhule where the killing took place, the State claims that Vumazonke fired two shots through Jayde's back. "She then fell to the ground, the shooter then stood over her and shot her through the head, the State will lead evidence that she raised her hands as gunshot residue was found on her left hand", said Stander. According to the State, shortly after Vumazonke pulled the trigger he visited a sangoma (traditional healer) to be "cleansed". He had in his possession Jayde's bag and laptop. The State is expected to rely heavily on cellphone records and cellphone mapping. - IOL website

Panayiotou's mother threatened and bribed for evidence - 12 October
Christopher Panayiotou claims that an ex-employee, Mawonga Ndedwa, who is now a "material State witness" allegedly threatened his mother Fanoula and told her to cough up R150 000 in exchange for potential evidence. During the first day of the trial against Panayiotou and his two co-accused, Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko, Defence Advocate Terry Price read out his client's plea explanation. - All4Women website

Court hears different sides to Panayiotou marriage - 12 October
Jayde Panayiotou was lonely in her marriage to the man on trial for her murder, her sister testified in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Wednesday. Toni Inggs said she was aware of unhappiness in Jayde's marriage to Christopher Panayiotou and had spoken to her about it. Jayde told her she was incredibly lonely because she and Panayiotou lived separate lives. Prosecutor Marius Stander read from Jayde's notebook, which was found in her dressing table. "I don't know if I can live this life. I don't know how much more I can take. Why does he hide so much from me and why is it so impossible to communicate with him?". During cross-examination, Panayiotou's lawyer Terry Price countered her statements with the picture of a loving, thoughtful marriage. He said Jayde was not the author of the poem and had taken it off the internet. Price denied that Jayde was not allowed to access his phone or that it was grabbed from her. - News24 website

Juicy details of Christopher Panayiotou's affair revealed - 13 October
News24 website

Panayiotou's dirty laundry aired in court - 13 October
Dirty laundry was aired in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Thursday when a close friend of Chanelle Coutts, described the intimate relationship between murder accused Christopher Panayiotou and Coutts, his mistress. Clarishka Kapp testified on the third day of the murder trial against Panayiotou. During most of Kapps's testimony, Panayiotou dropped his head and stared at the floor. Arguably the most embarrassing evidence by Kapp of was a photo she had stored on her phone of Christopher and Coutts in bed together, and five days after Jayde went missing, Kapp said she was told to delete the photo. - IOL website

Alleged hitman pleaded for 'cleansing' after Jayde's murder - 17 October
A sangoma who is also the aunt of Jayde Panayiotou's alleged triggerman, Sizwezakhe Vumazonke, on Monday told the Port Elizabeth High Court that she felt "unwell" and "shocked", after her nephew visited her at her home in Kwanobuhle during April 2015. Zoleka Zekani was called to the stand as a witness on the fourth day of the murder trial.  During proceedings on Monday, the State made an application in terms of section 3 Law of Evidence Amendment Act – this in order for the court to hear Vumazonke's utterances made to his aunt. "I know that it is hearsay evidence, and hearsay is inadmissible but section 3 does allow for the certain circumstances whereby hearsay can be heard.The nature of the evidence will not have any direct implication on the accused before the court", said Stander. But both Advocate Terry Price and Advocate Peter Dabermann argued their clients would be prejudiced if hearsay evidence were to be allowed. - IOL website

State to continue Panayiotou case after 'confession' setback - 18 October
The trial of Christopher Panayiotou, accused of the murder of his wife Jayde, enters its fifth day in the High Court in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday. On Monday, the State's case was dealt a blow when Judge Dayalin Chetty ruled the hearsay "confession" of the deceased alleged hitman, Sizwezakhe Vumazonke to his sangoma aunt, Zoleka Zekani, was inadmissible. Vumazonke died in a Port Elizabeth hospital in September. - News24 website

Bullet 'perforated Jayde's head' : ballistics expert - 18 October
Captain Gideon Olivier of the SAPS Ballistics unit ended the day's proceedings after describing how he had received a sealed evidence bag containing three 9mm parabellum cartridges and a brown envelope with a piece of cloth cut from the back of a sweater. "The cloth had two bullet entrance holes", Olivier, who has 17 years and more than 4 500 cases under the belt, said. Olivier said no bullet residue was found, meaning the shots were fired at a distance. "Taking my observations and what we found at crime scene, I'm of the opinion the first shot went out the chest. The second went through spine", he said. - Herald Live website

Bank manager accused of giving Jayde's husband confidential info - 19 October
A business manager from Nedbank appeared to be feeling the heat on Wednesday, after murder accused Christopher Panayiotou's lawyers pushed her to confirm she had provided the businessman with confidential information on his wife's bank account the day she went missing. Estelle Burger, who oversaw the Panayiotou business finances, testified in the Port Elizabeth High Court on the sixth day of the trial against Panayiotou and his two co-accused. Burger told the court that on the night of the April 21, she received a phone call from Phillip Vosloo, an ex-colleague, requesting that she change Jayde's cell phone banking notifications to go through to Christopher's phone. She said she was not authorised to make that change but discovered at work the next morning that the bank had effected an alteration on Jayde's notifications. - IOL website

Panayiotou registered R2.2m house in his own name before Jayde's death - 19 October
Christopher Panayiotou bought a R2.2m house in Lovemore Heights, Port Elizabeth, less than a month before his wife Jayde was killed, the Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth heard on Wednesday. According to testimony by the conveyancing attorney, Deon van der Merwe, the property was registered only in Panayiotou's name. The full purchase price was R2.2m and transfer costs, deposit and rates of R390 000 would take the amount due by Panayiotou up to R2.512m. A bond would cover the R2.2m, and the rest was paid in separate amounts on the same day. Clarity on why these amounts may be important is expected. - News24 website

Panayiotou needed R750 000 to start sports bars, gambling business : ex-partner - 26 October
Murder accused Christopher Panayiotou needed at least R750 000 to open sports bars and betting businesses across the Eastern Cape, the High Court in Port Elizabeth heard on Wednesday. Panayiotou's former business partner, Kevin Neil McLoughlin, told the court that he and Panayiotou had plans to set up five sports bars with gambling machines : one each in Port Elizabeth, East London and Butterworth, and two in Mthatha. Property leases had already been signed, but they needed about R1.8m for the businesses to get off the ground. Without the gambling licences, the total costs came to R1.5m, which would require an investment of R750 000 per person. - News24 website

No love lost between Christopher Panayiotou and his dad after court hears of his 'forced marriage' - 30 November
In a recording of a conversation between a policeman and a close family friend of the Panayiotou family played on Wednesday it came to light that there was little love lost between Christopher and his father, Costa. In the recording it can be heard how Warrant Officer Leon Eksteen and the family friend, Phillip Vosloo, talk about a serious fight between the father and son after Costa found out about Christopher’s relationship with Chanelle Coutts. - YOU website

Panayiotou to spend Christmas behind bars as trial postponed to 2017 - 1 December
The Eastern Cape High Court has postponed the murder trial of Christopher Panayiotou and his two co-accused until next year Judge Dayalin Chetty postponed the matter due to unavailability of both counsel. The trial will commence again on April 19 until May 5, and then June 12 until June 30, 2017. On Thursday, defence advocate Terry Price brought yet another application before court which was dismissed by Chetty. Price requested state witnesses be made available to consult with the defence. At this stage, a trial within a trial is underway, dealing with the admissibility of a video recording taken during an undercover police sting operation in which Panayiotou allegedly implicates himself. - All4Women website

State withdraws murder charges against Nico Henning - 10 October
The State has withdrawn its case against Nico Henning, the Pretoria businessman accused of murdering and conspiring to murder his wife Chanelle. The announcement came as a shock to the gallery, as the trial was expected to begin on Monday. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel told the court that the State was not in the position to proceed with the matter and had subsequently withdrawn its charges against him. - News24 website

Is this why Nico Henning walked free? - 11 October
Pretoria lawyer and businessman Nico Henning is believed to have walked out of the dock a free man on Monday with a little help from his old friend and convicted murderer Andre Gouws. While no reason was given for withdrawing charges against Henning, speculation was rife that Gouws did not keep his promise to take the stand against Henning. Gouws holds the key to the reasons for the murder of Henning's estranged wife Chanelle on November 8, 2011. He said his close friend Henning, whom he referred to as "The Godfather", asked him to find someone to kill Chanelle. However, the man accused of masterminding the murder of his estranged wife knows that the charges can be reinstated at any time. - IOL website

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Employer confirms killing of KZN woman caught on CCTV footage - 1 December
A video that purportedly shows a man fatally shooting his girlfriend has emerged on social media. Her employers confirmed that the woman depicted in the video worked for them and that she was shot on the company premises. - Times Live website

Woman shot five times allegedly by her ex-boyfriend - 5 December
As we commemorate 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children, a family mourns the loss of their 27-year-old daughter allegedly killed by her ex-boyfriend outside her workplace in Rossburgh in KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday evening. Annelene Pillay, a customer service controller at a shipping company, was shot five times, allegedly by her ex-boyfriend. According to CCTV footage, the deceased is seen leaving her workplace and approaching her vehicle in the car park after clocking off her time, she notices a black car pull up and is immediately alarmed. As she runs up the staircase, the suspect fires five shots through the gap of the staircase rail from where she falls and he flees the scene. According to a family representative, the deceased was frequently stalked, harassed and threatened with murder. The suspect appeared in court on Friday and has pleaded guilty. - IOL website

Killer son puts family in crisis - 28 March
The brutal stabbing of Pietermaritzburg businessman Ashraf Mohideen (57) at the behest of his son and the killers he hired, has thrown his family into crisis and caused his business to close down. This emerges from a victim impact statement which was handed to Judge Rishi Seegobin by state advocate Candy Kander before he sentenced Jibraeel Mohideen to 20 years' imprisonment and hired killer Zandisile Mtshali to 25 years' imprisonment for the murder last week. Replying to Jibraeel's legal aid lawyer Ishi Khan's submissions that Jibraeel's uneasy relationship with his father led to the murder, the judge commented that he seemed to be a "spoilt brat" who had everything on a plate but wanted more. He said he could have left home if he wanted to, but chose murder instead. In his plea, Jibraeel described his father as someone who projected the persona of a "loving father in public but in private was a bully who constantly ridiculed and belittled me". Judge Seegobin said the case reflects the fact that society has lost "all ability to engage in constructive dialogue to resolve issues". - News24 website

Cops who cracked killer son - 28 March
A trio of Alexandra Road police station detectives whose investigative skills secured a 20-year sentence for father killer Jibraeel Mohideen, say they are confident his accomplices will also be convicted. In an exclusive interview with The Witness, three detectives described how they put the pieces of the puzzle together and secured the confessions that led to Jibraeel Mohideen and his accomplice, Zandisile Mtshali, being imprisoned. - News24 website

Woman denies part in murder - 10 May
Emily Mchunu (52) is charged with murder and/or conspiracy to murder Ashraf Mohideen on February 25 at his home in James Niven Road, Scottsville. Yesterday she told Magistrate M Boikhutso she has "no knowledge about this matter" and asked the court to grant her bail. She also denied that she knows her co-accused, Joshua Nxumalo, who sat in the dock alongside her, and who the state alleges is her boyfriend. Mchunu allegedly arranged with Nxumalo to do the job and Mohideen handed her R10 000 to pay the killers. Mchunu said she can afford to pay bail of R1 000. - News24 website

Domestic worker, lover murder trial set to begin - 5 July
Domestic worker Emily Mchunu, 52, accused of conspiring to murder her employer, and her co-accused, her alleged boyfriend, Joshua Nxumalo, have been indicted to the high court to commence their murder trial. The two appeared briefly in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate's Court on Monday where they were served with indictments and ordered to appear in the city's high court for trial on November 14. Mchunu's bail was also reduced from R10 000 to R5 000 by Magistrate M Boikhutso on Monday after it was noted that Mchunu's family could not afford the initial amount. Mchunu was granted bail a month ago, but has remained in custody due to her family not being able to raise the R10 000. - IOL website

Seasoned legal minds face each other in Van Breda court case - 14 June
Two seasoned advocates faced each other on Tuesday as Henri van Breda appeared in the Stellenbosch Magistrate's Court to face charges relating to a fatal axe attack on his family. Senior advocate Susan Galloway represented the State, while advocate Pieter Botha represented murder-accused Van Breda. The matter would head to the Western Cape High Court in September. - News24 website

Van Breda family murder suspect granted R100 000 bail - 14 June
Henri van Breda, the son of the Stellenbosch family killed by axe in January last year, was granted R100 000 bail on Tuesday. He handed himself over to police on Monday, 18 months after his father Martin van Breda, mother Teresa, and his brother Rudi were murdered in their home in the upmarket De Zalze Golf Estate. Henri's sister, Marli, survived but sustained serious head injuries and developed amnesia. At the time it was reported that Henri suffered scratches. He lived with relatives following the incident, before handing himself over to police. Van Breda was granted bail with nine conditions. - eNCA website

Van Breda's legal team gets tough - 19 June
After a police investigation spanning 18 months, it was pressure from Henri van Breda's legal team that compelled the state to finally arrest him. The decision to prosecute was taken on Monday in a meeting between the investigation team and advocate Adrian Mopp, deputy director of public prosecutions in the Western Cape. Before his arrest, his legal representative, Pieter Botha, said he drew a line in the sand by telling the prosecution they had to make a decision because his client couldn't carry on with this sword hanging over his head. According to sources close to the investigation, the role players around the table on Monday decided they had to charge Van Breda "so that it couldn't be said later that we didn't do our jobs". - City Press website

Marli a possible State witness in Van Breda case - 4 July
Henri van Breda's sister Marli could testify against him in his trial on charges of killing their parents and brother. Marli, 17, is number 113 on the list of 114 state witnesses, Netwerk24 reported on Sunday. - News24 website

Marli van Breda curatorship to be reviewed before January 2018 - 11 October
A teenage girl who survived a family axe murder in Stellenbosch will remain under curatorship. The Western Cape High Court has extended a ruling stipulating advocate Louise Buikman has the authority to make decisions related to Marli van Breda's therapy and schooling. - Eye Witness News website

Camps Bay murder accused was a sweet man : nephew - 6 May
The Guatemalan man accused of killing his American girlfriend, Gabriela Kabrins Alban, at a Camps Bay hotel was a sweet and kind man, his nephew said on Friday. "It was a shock to us. It was totally out of character for a person we have known our whole lives", said Javier Ocano, who had flown from Guatemala to support to his uncle Diego Dougherty Novella, and his uncle's family. Ocano described conditions at Pollsmoor Prison, where his uncle was taken after his arrest, as "hell". His lawyer, William Booth, had already asked that Novella not have to share a cell with up to 40 people. "It is just sad to see that that's a correctional centre. That's where people go to get better," said Ocana. He was distressed by delays in the case, particularly regarding the presentation of evidence. Friday's appearance was in the "backlog court" in Cape Town, a cramped room in a run-down building, housing the Cape Town Community Court. The case was delayed over the possibility of a media application for Magistrate Grant Engel to lift a ban on publishing Novella's picture. The ban was put in place so an identity parade could be held. The case was moved to the main magistrate's court building. - News24 website

Lawsuit drama in Shaw murder - 23 August
The violent death of Susan Shaw on a remote country estate is again under scrutiny in the high court due to a multi-million rand law suit by her husband, Hilton. He alleges he was maliciously arrested and prosecuted for her murder. Susan Shaw was shot dead at Lake Lyndhurst in Fort Nottingham on June 3, 2007 while she and her husband were alone on the estate. The trial centred around whether Shaw shot his wife, if she was killed by an intruder, or had committed suicide. On June 15, 2009, Judge Vivienne Niles-Duner found Shaw guilty of his wife's murder and sentenced him to 12 years' imprisonment. However, two years later, on July 19, 2011, a full bench of the KZN high court consisting of then Judge President Chiman Patel, Graham Lopes and Daya Pillay, upheld his appeal and set aside the verdict and sentence. Following his acquittal Shaw instituted a R9,4 million damages claim against the state. - News24 website

Man sues after being acquitted of wife's murder - 23 August
IOL website

Estate agency boss Jason Rohde arrested over wife's death - 23 August
Jason Rohde‚ the CEO of Geffen International Realty Franchises‚ was arrested on Tuesday morning in connection with the death of his wife Susan. - Times Live website

Property mogul hires top team to fight murder charge - 24 August
Property mogul Jason Thomas Rohde has armed himself with a top-class pathology expert and an entire team of lawyers as he prepares to defend himself against allegations that he killed his wife Susan at Spier Wine Estate last month. Rohde's attorney, Tony Mostert, explained that, once Rohde and his legal team noticed the police investigation was moving "in a certain manner", they called for an independent pathologist's view in order to "safeguard our client's position". "Since crucial evidence necessary for pathology is lost once a body is buried, it was necessary to act fast", he said. According to Mostert, the arresting officers did not present Rohde with a warrant of arrest, but rather a letter from an advocate at the Directorate of Public Prosecutions which requested his arrest. "There are going to be consequences", he warned. - IOL website

Rohde 'murder' twist - 24 August
A Cape Town estate agent has appointed an attorney after Monday's arrest of the CEO of Geffen International Realty Franchises, Jason Rohde, following the alleged murder of the businessman's wife. When contacted by The Times, the woman referred all queries to her lawyer, Leon van der Merwe. Asked about claims his client had been having an affair with Rohde, Van der Merwe said : "I am not going to comment right now". On Monday, Rohde was being driven to Stellenbosch. His legal team wanted to fly him and a police officer from Johannesburg to Cape Town after his arrest early yesterday at his Bryanston home. But officers allegedly insisted the father of three be driven. According to his attorney, Daniel Witz, Rohde was arrested at 6.30am despite an agreement that he would turn himself in if police wanted to arrest him. - Times Live website

Sotheby boss's wife's death a suicide : pathologist - 25 August
A marriage counsellor on two occasions warned that the wife of property mogul Jason Rohde was a suicide risk. This emerged in the Stellenbosch Magistrate's Court on Thursday when he made his first appearance in connection with her murder. The CEO of Sotheby's International Realty South Africa has been charged with the murder of his wife, Susan Rohde. Rohde has hired a private investigation team which includes an independent pathologist who concluded that her death was consistent with suicide. The pathologist's report was handed to the court and states that an upper bone in Rohde's wife's throat would have been fractured if she was strangled. This, however, was not the case. The blood splatter report coupled with DNA evidence, as well as evidence gathered from Susan's cellphone, that of her husband and the Rohde family's laptop all form part of the investigation, the Stellenbosch Magistrate's Court heard. - IOL website

Susan Rohde needed counselling, court hears - 26 August
Spier murder accused Jason Thomas Rohde denies he played any role in the death of his wife, Susan. In an unusual move, the Sotheby's International Realty chief executive laid bare his defence to the Stellenbosch Magistrate's Court on Thursday. Rohde has known for the last month he was a suspect in Susan's murder and hired an investigation team, including two private investigators, a digital investigator and an independent pathologist, and a team of five lawyers to help him prove that did not kill her. The court heard the pathologist concluded Susan committed suicide because there was no "definitive fracture of the thyoid bone or the thyroid cornu" - an injury that usually occurred with manual strangulation. The private investigation team also picked up "sloppy and inept" police work because the window of the bathroom where his wife's body was found, had been left open and anybody could gain access to the crime scene. In addition, Rohde provided the State and the court with a report from a marriage counsellor expressing fears that Susan was a suicide risk and advising immediate counselling, and proof that her life policies excluded a payout in the event of suicide. - IOL website

Chilling details of Rohde murder - 27 August
Shocking details about the suspected murder of real estate mogul Jason Rohde's wife have emerged, with a post-mortem suggesting she was strangled and smothered, before injuries were inflicted on her neck post-death. A pathologist also believes Susan Rohde, 47, died around 5.40am on July 24, it was heard in the Stellenbosch Magistrate's Court on Friday. These findings contradict what Rohde and his defence team insist happened - that Susan committed suicide by hanging herself after 7am that morning. - IOL website

Susan Rohde may have been kicked, beaten : report - 30 August
Real estate executive Jason Rohde's wife Susan might have been in a physical altercation a few hours before her death, a source has told Netwerk24. According to Netwerk24's source, injuries on her body could indicate she had defended herself. The injuries, apparently listed in the State pathologist's report, allegedly indicate she was beaten and kicked. Initially thought to be suicide, an inquest docket was opened after the post-mortem indicated foul play might have been involved. - News24 website

Rohde's R100K bail paid in cold, hard cash - 31 August
Property mogul Jason Rohde paid his R100 000 bail in cold, hard cash and within 20 minutes of the order being granted at the Stellenbosch Magistrate's Court on Tuesday. The amount was paid 10 minutes before 3pm and officials immediately rushed off to bank the staggering sum, while police arranged for Rohde to be released. An additional R1 million surety must be put up in two weeks. Rohde will not be under house arrest, but a probation officer will monitor him, and he has been confined to the Western Cape. He is expected to live with his brother-in-law near Melkbosstrand until his next court appearance on September 23. On that date, the State will reveal its attitude towards him returning to his home in Bryanston. In the interim, he has to report to Melkbosstrand police three times a week. He has been given strict instructions to refrain from communicating with State witnesses. - IOL website

New, old injuries allegedly found on Susan Rohde's body - 1 September
An independent forensic pathologist's report allegedly shows that there were several old and new injuries on Susan Rohde's body, Netwerk24 has reported. Netwerk24 was informed by a reliable source that Dr Reggie Perumal had done an autopsy on her body at Doves in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, at Jason Rohde's request on August 1. Perumal's report allegedly indicated that she had suffered pulmonary oedema, and a pathologist confirmed to Netwerk24 that this was typical in people who suffocated or suffered heart failure. Susan's heart was healthy according to the autopsy report.  According to Netwerk24's source, there were many injuries on her body that were still in the process of healing. One of these was a bruise of 26cm x 16cm on her right thigh and another one of 7.5cm x 4.8cm on her left thigh. There were also "many healing bruises on her lower limbs". The source told Netwerk24 that there were many new injuries on her neck, left shoulder, left side of her brow, below and behind her right ear, on a finger and knuckle of her left hand, left wrist, left forearm and a toe on her left foot, as well as on her neck, jaw and chin. The report allegedly also indicated that there was a deep new bruise on her tongue. Ribs 2 to 5 on her left side, ribs 3 to 6 on her right side, and part of her breast bone were also broken. According to the report, she died due to ligature strangulation, Netwerk24 reported. Her husband insists that she had committed suicide. - News24 website

Susan Rohde's friends speak out - 2 September
Rohde's husband was released on R1.1 million bail on Tuesday - R100 000 was payable immediately and the R1m balance has to be put up as surety by September 14. He will appear in the Stellenbosch Magistrate's Court on September 23. - IOL website

Cops seize estate agent's gadgets for Rohde case - 25 September
Police have confiscated electronic equipment from the woman who allegedly had an affair with Jason Rohde, the multimillionaire accused of murdering his wife, Susan. The Sunday Times has established that police swooped on Cape Town estate agent Jolene Alterskye on Thursday before she left the country for a two-week holiday in London. Her computer, electronic storage devices and cellphone were taken. Leon van der Merwe, Alterskye's lawyer, said he had been informed that police had confiscated her devices after obtaining a warrant. "According to the investigating officers, she is a witness in the case". - Times Live website

Murder accused Jason Rohde suspended from Sotheby's - 23 September
Murder accused Jason Rohde plans to report to work at Lew Geffen Sotheby's International Realty on Monday, despite the company confirming he has been suspended for an "internal HR matter". According to Rohde's court documents, he learnt he had been placed on extended leave via a group e-mail. His lawyer, however, said on Friday it was the first they had heard of his suspension. - News24 website

Judge blasts Shahiel's killers - 15 November
Callous and merciless is how Durban High Court Judge Dhaya Pillay described the mother and daughter who were convicted on Monday of the brutal murder of their 9-year-old relative, Shahiel Sewpujun. Rajwanthie Haripersadh, 56, and her daughter, Kavitha Naicker, 32, were convicted of murder and were sentenced to 25 years and life in prison, respectively. The judge deviated from imposing a life sentence for Haripersadh because she said she had to consider the woman’s age and illnesses. The State alleged that they killed Shahiel by hitting him on the head with a chisel and then placing a piece of tape over his mouth and nose, thereby suffocating him, on February 5 last year. His body was found in a stormwater drain. - IOL website

Vanderbijlpark mom admits to strangling daughter - 26 July
The mother of a 9-year-old girl appeared in the Vanderbijlpark Magistrate's Court on Monday after she was arrested for her daughter's murder. Soniya Koekemoer's lawyer Francois de Kock told 90.6 FM Stereo News that Koekemoer, 34, had confessed to the murder of Michelle, 9. Michelle was found dead in her bed on June 9, Vaal Weekblad reported. She had been strangled. - News24 website

'It must have taken her a while to strangle the child' - 28 November
The state prosecutor, Erik van der Merwe, described the circumstances around the death of Sonia Koekemoer's daughter during her appearance in the Vanderbijlpark regional court on Monday. Her legal representative, Francois de Kock, claimed that Soniya only made the decision to take Michelle's life mere minutes before carrying out the murder - as such, it was not premeditated. He also urged the court to consider a lighter sentence due to the fact that Soniya pleaded guilty and has shown remorse for her actions. He insisted that Soniya is not a danger to others. During his address the state prosecutor claimed that the murder was premeditated or planned by Soniya. He maintained that Sonia was supposed to be looking after her daughter and that it would take have taken her a long time to physically strangle her to death. - YOU website

Everyone failed you, magistrate says as he sentences mom for murder - 30 November
"You are not in the dock alone. Your parents, your husband and your community have failed you". These were regional Magistrate Robert Button's words to Sonia Koekemoer, 34, as he sentenced her to 18 years in jail on Tuesday in the Vanderbijlpark Magistrate's Court for strangling her 9-year-old daughter Michelle to death with a rope in June, Netwerk24 reported. Button said his intention with this sentence was not for her to lose hope, but "Michelle is the most important person in this case". Koekemoer originally claimed a robber climbed through a window in their flat and strangled her child. Button had harsh words for the justice system, Koekemoer's community, parents and estranged husband. The fact that she tried to commit suicide 27 times and got no help is an indictment on the community. Button asked her after sentencing if she was taking her anti-depression medication and if correctional services was looking after her properly. She said yes and smiled. "You have to take it. The state has money for medication for people in jail", he said. He said she would not have to spend 18 years in jail as she could be released on parole sooner. "It all depends on you. You have your whole life ahead of you", he said. - News24 website

Poppie's mother denied bail - 20 December
A 45-year-old woman accused of the murder of her three-year-old daughter was denied bail in the Brits Magistrate's Court in North West on Monday. The court ruled that Louisa Koekemoer's life would be at danger should she be released on bail. Koekemoer was called as a state witness in the bail application of her husband, Kobus Koekemoer, charged with the murder of his three-year-old step-daughter, Poppie van der Merwe. He allegedly kicked her to death at a farm in Mamogaleskraal near Brits on 25 October. She died on arrival at a hospital. After the police questioned people associated with the Koekemoer couple they decided to arrest Louise as well. She was arrested on 15 December. Prosecutor Hanna Conradie, opposing bail, told the court that it was not in the interests of justice not to grant her bail as her life could be in danger. He told the court that after her daughter was murdered, Koekemoer was kidnapped and assaulted. "The community had been involved in this matter since 25 October". Adriaan Nel, for Koekemoer, said there was no evidence linking his client to the murder of her daughter, she was not a flight risk and she would not interfere with investigations or intimidate witnesses. He added that Koekemoer had been the state's star witness until she had been arrested. Conradie argued that Koekemoer had done nothing when her husband assaulted Poppie. "She should have reported at the social welfare, the police in Orania or church leaders ". The cause against Louisa Koekemoer was postponed to 25 January for investigation and for the murder charge against her husband to be extended to Koekemoer. - eNCA website

Two sets of Bloemfontein parents in court on rape charges - 19 September
Two horrifying stories of neglect and rape have been detailed on charge sheets against two sets of parents living on small holdings outside Bloemfontein. In the first case, one of the allegations against the Bloemspruit couple is that when their 11-year-old daughter was raped by several men the parents laughed at her pleas for help, Netwerk24 reported. In the second, the father of three girls, who are 5, 8 and 13 years old, is alleged to have raped each of them several times from 2011 to 2015. Their mother was aware of the rapes, their charge sheet reads. Both couples are appearing in the Free State High Court in October and November in separate trials. - News24 website

'House of horrors' mom sent for psychiatric evaluation - 7 November
The wife of the man accused of the decade-long abuse of his five children will be sent for psychiatric evaluation, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Monday. According to hearsay evidence there was a possibility that the mother could not be held accountable for her actions because she was dyslexic and had a low IQ, prosecutor Jennifer Cronje told the court. If there was a possibility that she could not be held responsible for her actions, she needed to be sent to Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital for 30 days of observation. Cronje said there was no waiting list and she could go immediately. She asked Judge Eben Jordaan for a postponement until Thursday in order for them to arrange for her to go to Weskoppies. - News24 website

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Eastern Cape -

See : Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act 74 of 1996 [Government Gazette Update]

Economic Freedom Fighters -

South Africa's Julius Malema warns Zuma government - 23 April
South African politician Julius Malema says the opposition "will run out of patience very soon and we will remove this government through the barrel of a gun" if the ruling African National Congress (ANC) continues to respond violently to peaceful protests. The exchange, in Sunday's episode of Talk To Al Jazeera, began when Jonah Hull asked Malema how far he was willing to go in his "war" against President Jacob Zuma and reminded him of his 2014 threat to make the entire Gauteng province ungovernable. "We are a very peaceful organisation and we fight our battles through peaceful means, through the courts, through parliament, through mass moblisation. We do that peacefully. But at times, government gets tempted to respond to such with violence. They beat us up in parliament and they send soliders to places like Alexandra where people are protesting. We will run out of patience very soon and we will remove this government through the barrel of a gun". - Al Jazeera website

Malema's utterances are treasonable : ANC - 25 April
The ANC plans on laying criminal charges against Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema. This was after Malema told Al Jazeera that his party would "remove this government through the barrel of a gun". "His utterances are treasonable and constitutes a violation of the IEC charter which was signed by all political parties . . . committing them to a free and fair election", ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa told News24. "We would expect the state to act against this conduct. The state must investigate treason charges against him [Malema]". - News24 website

See also : "Lawfare, the use of law as a replacement for political warfare, has become common place in South Africa" (Western Cape High Court) above

Firebrand Malema rallies South Africa's poor pledging land, jobs, wifi - 30 April
The firebrand leader of South Africa's Economic Freedom Fighters on Saturday launched his party's campaign for what are expected to be closely-fought local elections, promising to rescue voters from poverty, unemployment and corrupt government. EFF president Julius Malema chose the highly-symbolic backdrop of Soweto, Africa's most famous township outside Johannesburg and just a stone's throw from Nelson Mandela's last home before his arrest, to lay down his challenge to the ruling African National Congress whose youth wing he once headed. - Reuters website

Probe EFF MP's k-word slur : DA - 3 May
The Democratic Alliance on Tuesday said it would refer the alleged use of the word "kafir", an arabic term meaning non-believer or infidel, by an Economic Freedom Fighters MP against one of its members to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and Parliament's Ethics Committee. The altercation between EFF MP Nazier Paulsen and DA MP Yusuf Cassim happened while National Freedom Party MP Shaik Emam was speaking during the budget vote debate of the international relations department. Emam accused the DA of oppressing the people of Palestine by supporting Israel. - IOL website

7 June 2016
EFF will use Municipal powers to abolish landlessness
Statement by Julius Malema, EFF CIC and President on the Politicsweb website

EFF 'will be riotous against the Riotous Assemblies Act' : Ndlozi - 7 November
EFF leader Julius Malema will appear before a regional court in Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal on Monday, where he is expected to be charged with contravening the apartheid-era Riotous Assemblies Act. This is for comments he made at a freedom charter rally on June 26, when he encouraged EFF members to occupy any vacant land they came across. He initially made this call at the EFF's National People's Assembly in Mangaung in December 2014. Malema is also due to appear at a regional court in the Free State for similar comments he made on November 14. - News24 website

Malema addresses crowds after court matter postponed - 7 November
EFF leader Julius Malema appeared in the Newcastle Magistrate's Court in KwaZulu-Natal on Monday on two charges relating to the contravention of the Riotous Assemblies Act of 1956. Malema's council asked for the matter to be postponed for 6 months, telling the court they intend to bring an application to declare the Riotous Act unconstitutional. - eNCA website

As it happened : 'no white person is the rightful owner of land in SA' : Malema - 7 November
The case against Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema for allegedly urging his supporters to invade land was postponed in the Newcastle Magistrate's Court on Monday. Malema made a brief appearance and the matter was postponed to December 7. Magistrate Ian Colditz agreed to provisionally postpone the matter pending proof of the application, after which the matter would be heard on May 5 2017. - News24 website

EFF does not want the slaughter of white people 'for now', Malema says - 7 November
EFF leader Julius Malema‚ undeterred by an appearance in court for calling on people to occupy vacant land around the country‚ walked out of the courtroom and promptly made the same call again. - Business Live website

Malema puts old law to a new test - 9 November
The Riotous Assemblies Act was widely viewed as the apartheid government's response to the 1955 Congress of the People, which led to the adoption of the Freedom Charter, a seminal foundational document of the ANC. It boldly proclaims, "The land shall be shared among those who work it!" and "all shall have the right to occupy land wherever they choose". By charging Malema under the act, the NPA has cast Malema as the defender of the Freedom Charter in the face of a repressive, apartheid-style state. Perhaps not the smartest move, politically. Editorial. - Business Live website

Malema : whites will get land too and won't be driven into the sea - 27 November
White South Africans will stand to benefit from the EFF's land policies, party leader Julius Malema told HuffPost SA in an interview on Friday. "I never said there is no white man who will get a piece of land in South Africa", he said. "They stand to benefit from it. Why? Because South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white". Malema said his statements had been misconstrued and recast them as mere caveats, saying that he does not know what the future may hold. - Huffington Post website

See also : Parliament defeats EFF motion to review and repeal apartheid laws [Government and Legislation]

State capture investigation : 'kill Zuma's deal' - 13 November
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe allegedly "pleaded" with Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema to help him scupper President Jacob Zuma's Gupta-linked nuclear plans when they met to discuss post-municipal election coalitions. In a recorded interview, conducted under oath with then public protector Thuli Madonsela concerning her probe into state capture, Malema spoke of a meeting he had had with Mantashe and at least two other EFF colleagues during the August municipal coalition talks. Mantashe has denied Malema's allegations. Malema told Madonsela in the September 22 interview that the ANC boss pleaded with the EFF to include the scrapping of nuclear projects as part of its conditions for a coalition with the ANC – because the ANC was worried that government was desperate to ram the deal through at a huge cost to the fiscus, and it was likely to result in the country's collapse. - News24 website

Guptas granted warrant to seize EFF property - 8 December
The Guptas have obtained a warrant to seize property, worth about R180 000, at the EFF's head office in Johannesburg in order for it to be auctioned off. According to a writ of execution granted to the Guptas and several of their companies by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Thursday, the sheriff's office in Johannesburg has been instructed to seize "moveable goods" at the EFF's headquarters in Braamfontein in order to cover the Guptas' legal costs relating to an earlier court battle with EFF leader Julius Malema and his party. In February, High Court Judge Willem Louw granted an interdict in favour of the Guptas and their companies against Malema and the EFF. - News24 website

See also :

Fees Must Fall student leader back in court below

South Africa : the power of the family business below

Guptas and Zuma arranged R6 billion drop off in Dubai : Malema below

Lawsuits against Guptas loom after Gordhan court bombshell below

Political parties oppose Zuma, Van Rooyen court applications below

Judge Jansen robbers wanted Malema's tax files below

White woman 'refuses' to make space for EFF member at #CoffinAssault case below

Judicial Interviews - April 2016 below

Judicial Interviews - October 2016 below

Ramaphosa challenged to live on R3 500 below

Economic Freedom Fighters v Speaker of the National Assembly and Others ; Democratic Alliance v Speaker of the National Assembly and Others (Constitutional Court) ('Nkandla' judgment) below

Mantashe says decision not to remove Zuma due to lessons from Mbeki's removal below

Debate to remove President below

EFF ejected from Parliament after refusing to let 'illegitimate' Zuma speak below

Malema may face same fate as Boeremag treason trialists : ANC chief whip below

Appeal court rules in favour of Malema over 2014 eviction from Parliament below

Court dismisses application to declare NA Rule unlawful, affirms power to maintain internal order and discipline below

Ombudsman finds Weekend Argus in serious breach of Press Code in story about suspension of Parliament's Head of Security below

Orania could fall to Juju's EFF below

Process to replace Madonsela gets under way below

Expropriation bill doesn't answer colonial question of land : EFF [Government and Legislation]

Education - ; 

Basic Education

Motshekga faces court battle - 29 November
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga could again be dragged before the courts for failing to provide basic amenities to schools, following years of promises and legal wrangling. Tuesday is the deadline for the Department of Basic Education to meet the norms and standards for school infrastructure provision, but few of the nine provincial departments look set to meet the target. The norms and standards are legally binding, and all the provinces were required to meet the three-year deadline, stipulating that all schools have water, sanitation and electricity. Motshekga published the norms and standards in 2013 but provincial departments have failed to meet the targets. - IOL website

Minister Motshekga receives draft "Jobs for Cash" report
Thuto v.80(3), March 2016
Education Department website

'Jobs for cash' report to be released this month - 10 May
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is expected to release the 'jobs for cash' report later this month. The release of the report was postponed twice, with the last postponement being as a result of an agreement between the Minister and the Ministerial Task Team (MTT) to allow stakeholders to make their inputs into the report. The Minister was speaking to the media ahead of tabling the Department of Basic Education's Budget Vote in Parliament. - allAfrica website

21 May 2016
Basic Education Minister releases Ministerial Task Team report into "jobs for cash" investigation
Education Department website

18 May 2016
Report of the Ministerial Task Team appointed by Minister Angie Motshekga to investigate allegations into the selling of posts of educators by members of teachers unions and departmental officials in provincial education departments
Education Department website

DBE briefs Portfolio Committee on jobs for cash progress - 23 November
The Department of Basic Education, led by Minister Angie Motshekga, today gave the Portfolio Committee for Basic Education a very detailed progress report on the "Jobs for Cash Report". The Minister committed to bring the report back to Parliament once it was completed and she has done so in line with her commitment to her parliamentary obligations. - Education Department website

Not all of us are corrupt criminals : Sadtu on jobs for cash scandal - 30 November
Teachers' unions appeared before Parliament on Wednesday and continued to lash out at the "jobs for cash" report, slamming the speed at which it was compiled, the generalisations it contained and some its recommendations. They also called for those implicated to be handed over to the police, instead of entire unions being painted with the same brush. The unions, including the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu), National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa, Suid Afrikaanse Onderwyserunie, Professional Educations Union (PEU) and the National Teachers Union (Natu) appeared before Parliament's basic education committee on Wednesday. This was in relation to the ministerial task team's report on the "jobs for cash" scandal, which stemmed from an investigation into allegations of teacher posts being "sold". - News24 website

Location should play no role in admission to schools : EE - 4 May
On Thursday, 5 May 2016, the Constitutional Court will hear the matter of FEDSAS v Member of the Executive Council and Head of Department, Gauteng Department of Education(CCT 209/15). Equal Education has been admitted as amicus curiae (friend of the court). The matter concerns a challenge by the Federation of Governing Bodies for South African Schools (FEDSAS) against various aspects of the Gauteng Regulations for Admission of Learners to Public Schools. The battle over the Regulations follows a history of cases where school governing bodies of predominantly more well-resourced schools have fought to preserve control over admissions at schools. EE holds that the use of geographical location will continue to reinforce racial segregation, as learners' in poorer areas are unable to access better education opportunities in better resourced areas, amounting to unfair discrimination. EE submits that the default regime which determines school feeder zones solely on the basis of proximity coincides with racially based apartheid urban divisions.  The result is the reinforcement of inequality as learners in poorer areas are unable to access better education opportunities in better resourced areas. - Politicsweb website

Constitutional Court
20 May 2016
CCT 209/15 [2016] ZACC 14
Federation of Governing Bodies for South African Schools (FEDSAS) v Member of the Executive Council for Education, Gauteng and Another
Regulations Relating to the Admission of Learners to Public Schools in Gauteng - validity of amendments promulgated in 2012 - no conflict between national and provincial legislation - impugned regulations are rational, reasonable and justifiable - cooperative governance to ensure universal access to basic education - MEC to determine feeder zones

Court ruling to alter face of SA schooling - 23 May
The Constitutional Court judgment, which focused on school admissions regulations in Gauteng, will probably impact significantly on the education system across South Africa, the Governing Body Foundation has said. In addition, Equal Education said the decision should also prompt governing bodies and provincial education departments to re-examine their admissions policies. Friday's judgment was a victory for the Gauteng Education Department and, according to Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, "finally broke the backbone of apartheid planning". "Today, all our schools belong to all our children, NOT the privileged few! The judgment empowers us, as government, to declare new feeder zones, thus burying the transitional 5km radius! "No parent will be asked a salary slip before their children are admitted in our schools", Lesufi wrote in a Facebook post. - IOL website

KZN teen gets 7 years for killing bully - 18  April
In sentencing a 17-year-old to seven years' imprisonment, a Pietermaritzburg magistrate said on Friday that the court could not allow itself to be swayed by public opinion, and his rehabilitation needed special attention. The ruling was met with disappointment from Portia Nakile, the mother of Akhona Nakile, 15, who was shot dead outside a high school in Copesville in November 2014. Magistrate Rose Magwera said detention had to be the last resort when sentencing a child offender. - IOL website

See also :
Pupil who killed bully to be tried - 29 July [2014]
IOL website
InfoUpdate 18 of 2014]

Stellenbosch school bully appears in court - 7 December
The court case of a Stellenbosch school girl accused of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm was postponed on Wednesday and will only be heard in January 2017. National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesman in the Western Cape‚ Eric Ntabazalila‚ said the hearing was held at the Stellenbosch Magistrate's Court. The case has been transferred to the Child Justice Court in Stellenbosch and will be heard on January 25. The Grade 8 pupil from Luckhoff High School was filmed viciously assaulting a classmate on November 24. The accused is seen shaking her classmate's head and smashing a knee into her face. She was left bleeding from the head. - Times Live website

Pupil loses use of hand after hosepipe caning - 18 April
Siphokazi Tyalidikazi was 13 when she was caned with a hosepipe, allegedly by her Grade 5 English teacher, for not completing her classwork, resulting in her losing the use of her right hand. Despite the Western Cape Education Department finding the teacher guilty, she continued to teach Siphokazi for the rest of the academic year because her mother never asked for her to be moved. Last Friday, Siphokazi and her mother Nobantu waited outside the Blue Downs Magistrate's Court where the case of assault against her teacher, Linda Fadane of Nal'ikamva School in Mfuleni, was due to be heard. The case was postponed to May 30. The family claimed the school's governing body had sided with Fadane and was encouraging people to support her during her court appearances. "We want justice to be served", said Nobantu. They hoped she would be found guilty and that they would get compensation. The Western Cape Department of Education said it had charged Fadane with assault, found her guilty, and sanctioned her. - All4Women website

Parents lose bid to have daughter promoted to matric - 27 June
While a pupil's performance at school was a joint responsibility between teachers and parents, there was no provision in the relationship guidelines for illiterate and unsophisticated parents or guardians. This was the view of Durban High Court Judge Nkosinathi Chili who called on the relevant ministers and officials to bear this in mind when revisiting the guidelines. The matter before the Judge was an application launched earlier this year by the father of a schoolgirl who had failed Grade 11, allegedly with no earlier warning being given to her parents about her poor academic performance. The father wanted the court to order that she be promoted to matric, but the judge dismissed the application. In his reasons handed down last week, he said the teenager had not met any of the requirements for progression. Regarding allegations that her parents had not been alerted to her academic problems, the judge said he did not believe that they had not received her reports, as alleged. - IOL website

Humiliated schoolgirl tries to kill herself - 1 July
An 11-year-old tried to kill herself after allegedly being placed in a lower grade as punishment. Allegations are that when the Grade 5 pupil at a private Catholic school in Johannesburg laughed in class, the teacher accused her of laughing at her and sent her to Grade 4. The teacher also wrote a letter to the mother, saying her daughter had been put back a grade as she often misbehaved. Going back to Grade 5 would be dependent on her attitude. When the girl arrived home, she took a concoction of pills and was in a hospital's intensive care unit for two days. - IOL website

Furious mom hits son, other pupils - 5 July
Bewildered pupils at a Johannesburg private Catholic school allegedly ran out of a school hall screaming and crying when a mother of one of their peers attacked them. When the children got there, she allegedly started hitting her son with "something that looked like a sjambok", saying she wanted to embarrass him in from of his peers. In the midst of the beating, the boy managed to escape. Then the woman went for other children in the hall, hitting them too. The woman later sent a letter to the mothers of the children who were in the hall, apologising for her behaviour. - IOL website

Learners told to shave their heads or leave school - 17 August
More than 40 learners at a Pietermaritzburg high school, some of them writing matric, have been suspended  from class until they shave their hair. The Department of Education has promised to investigate. The learners at Sobantu Secondary school, all male and in grade eight to grade 12, were told to leave the school premises by their teachers yesterday. - GroundUp website

Black girls' hair a national debate - 29  August
Public figures and former pupils of Pretoria High School for Girls spoke out on Monday in support of scholars protesting the school's rules for black pupils. - eNCA website

We don't allow braids at all : Soweto principal - 29 August
Two Soweto high school principals have sided with Pretoria High School for Girls in the debate about black girls' hair, saying pupils need to abide by a schools' code of conduct. Meadowlands High School's Ntuli Hlayisani said he did not find any fault with the Pretoria school's stance, unless parents were not consulted.  Another Soweto principal, who wished to remain anonymous, said no braids or dreadlocks were allowed at her high school. "Does this mean that we are racist? These rules are explained to parents on the first day of school and even when they apply for school. We need to support the rules and make sure kids follow the rules. If it applies to all, then let it be." - News24 website

Panyaza Lesufi suspends Pretoria Girls High code of conduct on hairstyles - 30 August
The section of the Pretoria Girls High School code of conduct that deals with hair has been suspended with immediate effect. And other schools in Gauteng with similar rules may face similar action After a meeting with the school's governing body on Monday, Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said a resolution had been reached and all hostilities at the school would cease. - Business Day Live website

Rules have not moved with the times - 31 August
When I was a pupil at Pretoria High School for Girls, way, way back in the 1980s, in the depths of apartheid, every facet of our appearance was regulated, from the length of our fringes (above the eyebrows) to the height of our white bobby socks (one fold only). Not even the teachers were spared ; they weren't allowed to wear trousers. And what about the men? Well, there were no male teachers on staff. At a school that's supposed to be producing young, independent women, proud of their bodies and their heritage, there should be little room for unbending rules that promote uniformity. - Robyn Leary on the IOL website

Pretoria Girls High will study dept's report on racism - 6 December
Pretoria High School for Girls (PHSG) is studying a report presented to them by the department of education into allegations of racism, it said on Tuesday. The school governing body (SGB) is currently studying the report containing a law firm's findings and resultant recommendations, SGB chairperson Graeme Wilson said in a statement. On Friday, Lesufi said black pupils at the school were victims of racism. The report's recommendations include that action be taken against the teachers responsible and that the school's code of conduct be reviewed. The school should implement diversity training and cultural awareness programmes. Within three months of the diversity training, an independent agency had to conduct an anonymous "cultural survey" to get the views of pupils on progress made. Lesufi apologised to those affected by the traumatic and humiliating experience of racial abuse. The department intended working with the school to rebuild a culture of trust and mutual respect among teachers, parents, and pupils, he said. - News24 website

Pretoria High School for Girls to change discriminatory policies - 7 December
The Pretoria High School for Girls says it is willing to change discriminatory policies at their institution. SGB chairperson Graeme Wilson said the school will take steps to "improve sensitivity for cultural and religious inclusion towards improving the social cohesion in our school in the interest of all the learners". Wilson said the school has already apologised to pupils who were victimised and racially abused. "We will ensure that no proven racist conduct or inappropriate rules will be left unaddressed. We will move forward as one inclusive proud South African school that recognises the diversity of our society with the sensitivity it requires", Wilson said. Wilson said all "inappropriate rules" at the school will be changed. - IOL website

Now PE high school hit by protests over hair - 30 August
Another school has been hit by protests from pupils over alleged racism, this time in Port Elizabeth. Grade 12 pupils at Lawson Brown High School, in Millard Grange, PE, were apparently meant to sit for trial exams on Tuesday but were allegedly told they would not be allowed to write if they had braids or afro hairstyles. Students, joined by Economic Freedom Fighters supporters, then lay down in the street in front of the school in protest before moving to the school hall. They demanded an apology from the school principal and teachers who made alleged racist comments about afros and braided hair. - IOL website

Parktown High School for Girls amends hair policy - 31 August
Parktown High School for Girls has amended its hair policy, as the issue gains traction throughout schools in the country. The school had been trying to address racism proactively, instead of reactively, it said in a post on its Facebook page on Tuesday. It had been holding workshops about race, racism and diversity, and was trying to ensure there was no subtle or structural racism. "In the light of this, we made the decision yesterday to amend our school's hair policy making it possible for all girls to attend school feeling comfortable with what they consider to be their natural hair", it said. - News24 website

More complaints emerge over Sans Souci's code of conduct - 1 September
More complaints of alleged discrimination and racism at a top Cape Town school have surfaced. Former and current pupils have told Eyewitness News the Sans Souci Girls High School's code of conduct, specifically policies on language and uniform, infringes on their rights. Nicole Jones says during her term as head prefect in 2014 she had to enforce school rules which made her feel uncomfortable. "I found that the school gave us no choice in enforcing these violent policies against the girls. The fact that we were made to write demerits for not speaking English, inappropriate hair, is in itself a violent experience". - Eye Witness News website

Long hair, man-buns, earrings for boys at Cape Town school - 17 November
Hair and jewellery regulations will be the same for boys and girls at a high school in Cape Town after the school decided to take out any reference to gender in its policy. This followed extensive consultation with parents and pupils who came out strongly in favour of change. Westerford High School Principal Rob le Roux said the changes for 2017 were made during a governing body meeting two weeks ago. The school started with a uniform revision survey last year, gathering opinion from pupils in class and parents online. The principal said they were still working out the finer details of their changed policies, with input from staff, parents and pupils. - News24 website

See also : Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill ('Hate Crimes Bill') [Government and Legislation]

See also : MPs want Hawks head to take notes at grillings below

Further Education

Universities can't take law into their own hands : court - 23 September
Universities can not simply take the law into their own hands and evict students from residences without a court order, even if the students were involved in violence, a high court judge has warned. The remarks by acting judge S M Wentzel followed protracted litigation between the Tshwane University (TUT) and members of its students' representative councils in the wake of the university's decision two years ago to close all residences and evict students without a court order after violent student protests erupted at TUT. The University initially ignored an urgent court order obtained by the students to be allowed back into the residences and tried to have the order set aside, but eventually complied with the court order after several days on condition that the evicted students signed an undertaking renouncing violence. - The Citizen website

Student protests staunchly backed by Constitution - 21 September
One of the surprising (but to me, gratifying) aspects of the ongoing student protests is that many protesting students are framing their actions – either explicitly or implicitly – with reference to the human rights guarantees contained in the South African Constitution. It is unclear whether the current protests would have been possible in a state in which the basic rights contained in the Constitution were not protected. - Pierre de Vos on the Daily Maverick website


Higher Education : saving the 'missing' middle - 21 April
With a new system of student financial aid set to be announced later this year, the higher education system in South Africa is waiting to exhale. Central to tertiary education troubles is the "missing middle" – working and middle-class children too rich to qualify for financial support, but too poor to pay university fees. A new financial support regimen is going to Cabinet for approval shortly, but Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande ahead of his budget vote on Thursday reiterated there could be no free education for all : "Those who can afford to pay, must pay". - Daily Maverick website

Newsmaker : Justice Yvonne Mokgoro : calming the campus storms - 6 March
Former Constitutional Court Justice Yvonne Mokgoro, who served on the Bench of the country's highest court between 1994 and 2009, announced the launch of Access Thuto, in collaboration with the Nelson Mandela and Ahmed Kathrada foundations. Last Friday, she said the new body was established to mediate between students and management to soothe continuing tensions at universities around issues of funding, accommodation and transformation. Two universities have since taken her up on the offer. - City Press website

See also : Public Protector offers to intervene on university fees deadlock below

R100m damage in UJ arson attack - 16 May
An estimated R100m in damage was caused by an arson attack at the University of Johannesburg on Monday, an official said. Speaking to the media, UJ Deputy Vice Chancellor Mpho Letlape said the attack had also affected students who were due to write exams in June. Vice Chancellor Ihron Rensburg said in a statement that the perpetrators would be found and jailed. - News24 website

Alleged UJ arsonists can continue with studies - 10 August
A group of 17 University of Johannesburg students who were suspended after they allegedly set an auditorium on fire can continue with their studies if they apply to do so, the institution said on Wednesday. They would however be granted limited access to the institution. If they wanted to collect their belongings from their residences, that had to follow a similar process. Last week, the students, mainly Progressive Youth Alliance members, sent a lawyers' letter to UJ’s student affairs department, demanding that their suspensions be lifted, suspended deputy SRC president Justina Komana said. Komana said their lawyers had given management until the end of business on Wednesday to respond to their demands. The SA Students' Congress (Sasco) had threatened to shut down the campus if the suspensions were not lifted. - News24 website

Wits investigating cause of worker's death - 27 September
Wits University says investigations are underway to determine what caused the death of one of its workers who died amid the ongoing protests over free education. It's understood the cleaner had been working at the Jubilee Hall when protesting students allegedly triggered one of the fire extinguishers. The worker was treated on the campus before being rushed to hospital, but died shortly after being discharged. - Eye Witness News website

Mcebo Dlamini's lie is no reason to deny him bail : lawyer - 8 November
Fees Must Fall leader Mcebo Dlamini lied during his bail application, but this was no reason to punish him, his lawyer told the High Court in Palm Ridge on Tuesday. "Yes, Mr Mcebo lied", Tembeka Ngcukaitobi said, adding that this had no legal relevance. Dlamini is appealing the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court's decision to deny him bail on October 19. During Dlamini's bail application in the magistrate's court at the time, he told the court he was due to write a test as one of the reasons he should receive bail. He, however, lied about having to write a test. His lie was one of the fundamental reasons he was not granted bail. Prosecutor Steven Rubin said Dlamini's lie indicated that he had a propensity to mislead the court. - News24 website

Student leader Mcebo Dlamini brings in big guns - 9 November
Former Wits student leader Mcebo Dlamini will know his fate today after he brought in a high-profile legal team to appeal against a decision to deny him bail. The 32-year-old postgraduate law student roped in the help of senior counsel Dali Mpofu and Tembeka Ngcukaitobi yesterday to appeal against the Johannesburg Magistrate Court's decision not to grant him bail and to argue that it would be in the interests of justice to see him released. Dlamini was charged with public violence, theft, malicious damage to property, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and possession of a dangerous weapon last month. Mpofu argued that the case against Dlamini was politically motivated, saying the state was trying to keep his client off the campus through the introduction of "spurious charges" and "detention without trial". "The days of solving political problems through detention without trial are over. "These charges don't hold water. If you look at the charges, it's actually pathetic", Mpofu told the court. - Times Live website

UCT protesters accuse security guards of racial profiling - 3 October
Protesters outside the UCT law faculty have accused security guards of racially profiling students after they were barred from entering the building on Monday. "What's the difference between a student and a protester?" a student leader asked someone from the faculty. Protesting students claimed that white students had been allowed to attend a lecture inside, while black students were locked outside. Someone in the crowd muttered that it was ironic that the law department was pulling an "illegal" move by keeping out paying students. The group planned to move from the middle campus back to the upper campus to ensure lectures did not take place. - News24 website

UKZN Maritzburg campus closed after student protests - 16 August
The Pietermaritzburg UKZN campus was closed on Monday and will remain closed on Tuesday in the wake of student protests over possible fee increases. Police and University Risk Management Services and the Public Order Policing Unit are monitoring the situation at the campus. Van Jaarsveld said the University Council has not deliberated on issues relating to fee increments as it awaits a directive from the Department of Higher Education and Training. The Department of Higher Education and Training said on Monday that it expected to reach a decision on the fee increment at universities by the end of August, after consultations with stakeholders. Department spokesman Khaya Nkwanyana said the view held by the Council on Higher Education that a 0% fee increase for 2017 would place close to 20 institutions in financial trouble was fully supported by Nzimande, because those institutions were already in financial "dire straits". UKZN student representative council (SRC) leader Senzo Ngidi said that for now only their Pietermaritzburg campus had been on strike. Quizzed on what the reasons for their disgruntlement was, Ngidi, said : "We want free education. The government must declare education free, the payment of the fees will be undertaken by the government. That's what the main call is". - IOL website

Bail for 24 UKZN student protesters - 8 September
Although there were mild smiles and relief for the 24 University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) students on Wednesday who secured bail, they still spent last night in Westville Prison. The students, arrested on Tuesday at the Westville campus, packed the tiny Pinetown Regional Court room as their case went on past 4pm. This meant that the cashiers who would receive their bail money could not process their release. Police had initially arrested 25 students - including the UKZN Central SRC president, Senzo Ngidi - but State senior prosecutor Phumzile Nyogonyoti withdrew charges against partially-blind student, Sanele Thethwayo. The 25 men faced charges of public violence, contravention of a court order, interfering with police work, and were being linked to the torching of the six cars and the Senate building at the Westville campus on Monday night. The students were represented by attorneys Edward Zwane and Pearl Lugomo, who secured bail at R1 000 each. Nyogonyoti said the State had only verified the addresses of three students and was pushing for a postponement to verify the details of the remaining students. He also told the court that students had provided false names when arrested. - IOL website

UKZN student was not raped on campus, says vice-chancellor - 9 September
Claims that a student was raped on campus and that police used live ammunition during student protests at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), are false, says vice-chancellor Dr Albert van Jaarsveld. - Business Day Live website

A burning desire to set the record straight on student anger - 9 September
Dinner conversations and small talk became quite interesting this week, with the student movement dominating much of the conversation. This time, it was the University of KwaZulu-Natal that took centre stage and, because (most of) our media is impeccably consistent, it must mean something was set on fire. It was a small section of a library this time and, true to form, people banded together in classic Rainbow Nation-style lamentations of futures burnt to a crisp and condemnation of the hooligans who trampled on Mandela's legacy and so on. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm sad that books were burnt. Here are my sadness receipts : I have five library cards and I had spent so much time at the Exclusive Books sale the other week, people started thinking I worked there. The burning of buildings, particularly at institutions like UKZN, are not random acts of violence, as so many would have us believe. In fact, UKZN has been shut down since mid-August, but we only seem to take notice when something burns down. - Pearl Pillay on the Daily Maverick website

Law profession should examine its elitist practices - 13 September
I was heartbroken when I saw the images of the gutted and charred remains of Howard College law library at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, which was torched last week.  I accept that the burning of the library was, in a way, a rational step. In the weeks of struggle leading up to the incident, the demands of the students were all but ignored by the public. And this was not just about fees. Law tends to be conservative and slow to change. Laws are supposed to be the codification of the collective values of society. This means legal change is often a step behind social change. So, the legal fraternity tends to be slow to change too - it is full of traditions and conventions absorbed as a result of colonialism. - Franny Rabkin on the Business Day Live website

Fahrenheit 451 : the temperature at which books and common sense are burnt - 12 September
This past week, students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal burnt part of their law library in anger. Much ink has been spilt about whether burning books and torching a library is justifiable in a democratic South