Karel | Oct 12, 2017
Secretary of the State Capture Commission v Zuma I

The Secretary of the State Capture Commission (“the Applicant”) brought an urgent application directly to the Constitutional Court seeking various declaratory and mandatory orders. These orders are aimed at ensuring that Mr. Zuma, the former President of the Republic of South Africa who is at the heart of the allegations of state capture, corruption and fraud being investigated by the Commission, complies with the Commission’s summonses and directives by appearing before the Commission and satisfactorily answering any questions put to him.


The SCA concluded that the conduct of government in failing to take steps to arrest and detain, for surrender to the International Criminal Court (ICC), the President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, after his arrival in South Africa in June 2015, was inconsistent with its obligations under the Rome Statute, when read with section 10 of the Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act, 2002 (the ICC Act). The government, it held, acted unlawfully.


On 14 December 2017, the HSF filed an application to review and set aside a series of unlawful, improper and/or corrupt exercises of public power.


The HSF was admitted to the Constitutional Court as amicus curiae in 2011 in the case of Glenister v President of the Republic of South Africa and Others.

Hawks / Ntlemeza

The Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (DPCI - also known as the Hawks), is a key component in the administration of justice. Integrity within the Hawks, especially its leadership, is essential.

ICC Withdrawal

In 2016, an application was launched by the Democratic Alliance, to challenge the South African Government’s decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute and from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Independent Police Investigative Directorate

The HSF is concerned about the erosion of the rights of independent state institutions. As a result, in 2015 and 2016, the HSF acted in court proceedings as an amicus curiae, with the intention of securing IPID from undue political interference.

IPID: Renewal process of Executive Director

In April 2021, following lengthy litigation, the HSF filed an application with the Constitutional Court on the proper interpretation of a provision in the Independent Police Investigative Directorate Act (IPID act) dealing with the renewal processes of the head of IPID.

Judicial Service Commission

The Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) filed a review application against the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) in June 2013. The case involves certain decisions made by the JSC which expose deficiencies in the process for the selection of judges.

Magistrates Commission

The HSF intervened as amicus curia in this matter which concern the appointment procedure followed for magistrates. This matters concerns the application of section 174(1) and (2) of the Constitution. The HSF put forward factors to be considered by the Commission.

Manuel Chang

The HSF intervened as amicus curiae in a matter concerning the extradition of Mr Manuel Chang, the former Minister of Finance and member of Parliament in Mozambique.

National Prosecuting Authority

In November 2016, the HSF’s and Freedom Under Law’s (FUL) lawyers sent a letter to President Jacob Zuma urging him to institute an enquiry into the fitness to hold office of National Director of Public Prosecutions, Adv Shaun Abrahams, Dr Torie Pretorius SC and Adv. Sibongile Mzinyathi and to suspend them pending the enquiry.

President of RSA

On 31 March 2017, the President reshuffled Cabinet, replacing Mr Pravin Gordhan and Mr Mcebisi Jonas with Mr Malusi Gigaba and Mr Sfiso Buthelezi as Minister and Deputy Minister of Finance respectively.

Removal of Adv Nxasana as Head of NPA

In 2017, the HSF acted as amicus curiae in the application to the High Court which requested the agreement between the President and Adv Nxasana for the latter’s removal from his post for a consideration of R17 million, to be declared unlawful and invalid.


On 1 July 2016, the Helen Suzman Foundation ("HSF") launched an urgent application against the SABC, its Board of Directors, the Minister of Communications and Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

SAPS Amendment Act

In the landmark decision in Glenister v President of the Republic of South Africa and Others 2011 (3) SA 347 (CC), the HSF intervened as a friend of the court in challenging the constitutionality of various sections of the SAPS Act 68 of 1995 ("the SAPS Act") for its failure to secure the independence of the unit charged with investigating and combating corruption and organised crime.