HSF Mid-Year Update - July 2023

HSF Mid-Year Update - July 2023


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On this Mandela Day, two of HSF’s researchers, Ezekiel Kekana and Divashnee Naidoo, were selected by News24 as among their 100 “exceptional young individuals” committed to “building the South Africa of Madiba’s dreams.”

Divashnee was cited for her exceptional contributions to the HSF. “From demanding accountability for state capture to enhancing women’s participation in democracy, she works tirelessly for reasoned, fair and just policy-making”

Ezekiel was cited for “fearlessly shedding light on service delivery failures that have left impoverished communities abandoned, actively seeking solutions to remedy these failures  and uplifting communities by securing tangible improvements in their lives.”

Divashnee and Ezekiel both thoroughly deserve this recognition.

The Profiles of the 100 Young Mandela’s can be Read Here.


Last week, the Constitutional Court left in place the Supreme Court of Appeal’s finding that former President, Jacob Zuma was unlawfully placed on medical parole by then National Commissioner of Correctional Services, Arthur Fraser. The HSF was among several parties that submitted arguments to the Constitutional Court as to why the application for leave to appeal the SCA’s judgment should be dismissed.

The Court’s order raises the prospect of Mr Zuma’s return to prison. No one should be sanguine about that prospect – even without reminders of the violence and harm of July 2021 that the recent spate of attacks on trucks across the country occasions. However, it is worth recalling how we arrive at this moment. This most recent Constitutional Court order flows from its contempt of court finding against Mr Zuma, made in the face of his unashamed disobedience of the Court’s ruling to appear before the State Capture Commission and give account for his role in the corruption under investigation there. That initial act of lawlessness was followed by Mr Fraser’s own, ignoring the reasoned, expert opinion of the Medical Parole Advisory Board that Mr Zuma was indeed healthy enough to serve out his sentence. As innocent spectators to these acts of lawlessness, South Africans have been left understandably weary.

As matters now stand, the Commissioner of Correctional Services must determine the remainder of any sentence to be served and may, provided he is so authorised by law to do so, take the time spent by Mr Zuma on unlawfully granted parole into account in determining any application or grounds for release. Then hopefully this sorry chapter may be brought to a close.

Read the Judgments Here.



At our most recent Roundtable discussion held last Thursday evening, our eminent panel reflected on South Africa’s future foreign policy informed by its constitutional and human rights obligations. We were delighted to be joined by businessman and activist, Mcebisi Jonas, Director General at DIRCO, Zane Dangor and HSF’s Director, Nicole Fritz, with Rekgotsofetse Chikane facilitating. We thank the panel members, facilitator and all those who attended for robust and insightful discussion.



HSF Appears Before Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities

Here, HSF researcher, Divashnee Naidoo presents HSF’s submissions on the National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Bill, which proposes to establish a dedicated Council to help fight the scourge of gender‑based violence and femicide in South Africa. In its submissions, HSF welcomed the establishment of the Council but submitted that it should be more inclusive of non‑conforming gender and sexual identities, and that it should be subject to more rigorous oversight in carrying out its functions. HSF views engagements such as these with South Africa’s lawmakers as crucial to a participatory democracy like ours.

HSF’s submission on the National Council for Gender Based Violence & Femicide can be Read Here.


Civil Society Defeats Efforts to Exempt Eskom from Reporting its Wasteful Spending

With no end in sight for South Africa’s electricity crisis, HSF made submissions to the Minister of Finance that vigorously opposed his attempts to exempt Eskom from reporting wasteful and irregular expenditure in its financial statements. When National Treasury announced that it had abandoned the exemption, HSF was listed alongside other members of civil society, and the South African public at large, who had voiced opposition.

HSF’s submission on the Eskom Exemption can be Read Here.