HSF Briefs

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Economy

The National Assembly’s Finance Standing Committee Fakes It
Charles Simkins
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Aug 22, 2018

On 14 August 2018, representatives of the World Bank presented their ‘systematic country diagnostic’ report entitled An incomplete transition: Overcoming the legacy of exclusion to the National Assembly’s Finance Standing Committee.

The Davis Tax Committee Wealth Tax Report - An Overview
Charles Collocott
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Jul 26, 2018

In anticipation of the Davis Tax Committee Wealth Tax Report, the HSF published a series of briefs last year on a wealth tax and whether it was viable method to raise revenue in South Africa. In March this year the Davis Tax Committee published its report on the matter, which this brief considers in the light of the HSF’s work.

Eskom’s 2018 Financial Results
Anton van Dalsen
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Jul 24, 2018

This brief provides a commentary on the main features of Eskom’s 2018 annual financial statements, released on 23 July 2018.

Can we start the long haul now?
Charles Simkins
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Jul 12, 2018

We live in a vertiginous age, in a Dadaesque social and political world. Can the ground be prepared for economic recovery in this politically unstable environment?

Reflections on the Minimum Wage Bill
Jade Tess Weiner
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Jun 13, 2018

This brief considers the current status of the National Minimum Wage Bill, its limitations and whether its impact will achieve its intended purpose – to advance economic development and social justice.

The PIC and GEPF - An Update
Charles Collocott
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Apr 18, 2018

This brief is a follow up on the PIC and GEPF briefs published in the second half of last year. It takes a look at the challenges still facing these organisations in light of the Executive changes and other occurrences that have happened since.

Wealth Taxes VI: Land Tax
Charles Collocott
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Apr 05, 2018

This is the sixth brief of a seven part series and it considers land tax a possible form of wealth tax in South Africa.

Wealth Taxes III: Problems
Charles Collocott
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Apr 04, 2018

This is the third brief of a seven part series and it deals with the problems with wealth taxes. The first brief provided a conceptual framework and the second dealt with the rationales for a wealth tax.

Wealth Taxes II: Rationales
Charles Collocott
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Apr 04, 2018

This is the second brief of a six part series and it deals with the rationales for a wealth tax. The first brief provided a conceptual framework, and the third discusses the problems.

Wealth Taxes I: Conceptual Frame
Charles Collocott
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Apr 04, 2018

This is the first brief of a seven part series. It provides a conceptual framework on wealth taxes. The second brief deals with rationales for wealth taxes, and the third discusses the problems with them.

Cape Town Round Table: 6 February 2018 - The Budget, Growth & Debt - Beyond The Political Noise: Structural Change Is Urgently Needed
Rafael Friedman
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Feb 15, 2018

The Helen Suzman Foundation’s Round Table took place surrounded by banners advertising a State of the Nation Address on 8 February that was not delivered. Instead, an ANC process, drawn out for over a week, has resulted in its National Executive Committee recalling Jacob Zuma from his ‘deployment’ as president of the Republic, ending in his resignation on 14 February.

Municipal Consumer Debt
Helen Suzman Foundation
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Feb 13, 2018

This brief considers the latest figures, composition, causes and consequences of South Africa’s municipal consumer debt. It also discusses programmes instituted by government and State Owned Enterprises dealing with current issues around municipal consumer debt.

Structural Adjustment
Charles Simkins
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Dec 05, 2017

The ratings agencies have put South Africa on terms. Everything now depends on the outcome of Moody’s rating review for downgrade, which may not conclude until after the Budget is presented in February 2018.

The Public Protector’s Bankorp Report
Anton van Dalsen
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Jun 22, 2017

This brief by Anton van Dalsen is intended to provide more detail on the recent Public Protector’s report and on some very disturbing aspects that it contains.

THE PUBLIC INVESTMENT CORPORATION AND THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES PENSION FUND - AN OVERVIEW
Charles Collocott
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Jun 14, 2017

This Brief by Charles Collocott considers the overall structures of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), with a focus on transparency and the framework within which they invest. The need for transparency has been highlighted since the PIC invested over R 1 billion in Independent Media in 2013. The framework for investment is of particular interest since the National Treasury has recently stated that the PIC could possibly become the equity partner in loss-making South African Airways.

Reflections on the Downgrades by the Ratings Agencies
Agathe Fonkam
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May 23, 2017

This brief is a summary of the most recent decisions taken by the credit ratings agencies on South Africa's credit rating following the cabinet reshuffle in March this year. Standard and Poor's and Fitch downgraded the countries foreign currencies to non-investment grade, while Moody's has put the country's sovereign ratings on review for downgrade. The economic implications of the downgrade are evaluated

AGAINST ECONOMIC RECKLESSNESS II - THE VALLEY OF TRANSITION
Charles Simkins
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May 05, 2017

The first brief in this series by Charles Simkins considered reactions to the removal of Ministers Gordhan and Jonas, and the consequent ratings downgrade. Not surprisingly, a number of different and incoherent implicit assumptions were found. This brief sets out a framework for a more coherent assessment of the issues at stake.

AGAINST ECONOMIC RECKLESSNESS III - IT’S NOT ON TOP, IT’S INSIDE
Charles Simkins
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May 04, 2017

The first brief in this series by Charles Simkins considered reactions to the dismissal of Minister Gordhan and Deputy Minister Jonas, and the downgrades which followed. The second brief outlined a way of thinking systematically about the choices now facing South Africa. This brief will suggest ways in which thinking about transformation can be made more productive and more consistent with support for South African democracy.

AGAINST ECONOMIC RECKLESSNESS I - FIVE ILLUSTRATIVE QUOTES AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS
Charles Simkins
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May 04, 2017

This is the first in a series of three briefs by Charles Simkins. It considers five reactions to the dismissal of Minister Gordhan and Deputy Minister Jonas, and the consequent downgrades. The second brief outlines a framework for understanding the choices now facing South Africa and the third deals with aspects of a route forward for empowerment.

SOUTH AFRICA AND THE RATINGS AGENCIES - II FITCH
Agathe Fonkam
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Sep 08, 2016

The first brief in this series discussed the current view of the South African economy held by Moody’s rating agency. The next brief will set out the position of Standard and Poor's.

SOUTH AFRICA AND THE RATINGS AGENCIES - I MOODY'S
Agathe Fonkam
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Sep 08, 2016

South Africa is in the middle of controversies relating to the SA Revenue Service, the Hawks, the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, the National Treasury, and State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs). There are also serious tensions within the government and the ruling party. South African government bonds have lost money for investors as bond yields have increased. This could get worse if the Minister of Finance is to be replaced by someone who is less trusted by investors. There are conflicts between the National Treasury and the SOEs (for instance Eskom, Denel and South African Airways) all of which revolve around the resistance of the Treasury to finance their respective bailouts. The biggest specialist investor in fixed interest in South Africa, Futuregrowth, has taken the decision to suspend financing any new loans to some SOEs, setting conditions for resumption. A Danish Bank (Jyske Bank) has withdrawn financial support from Eskom. Moreover, the IMF reduced its projections of growth in South Africa between April and July 2016, now expecting growth of 0.1% in 2016 and 1.0% in 2017. These recent developments will have an impact on the rating agencies in their next review. In this series of three briefs, one on each rating agency, an account will be given of how agencies evaluated the South African economy in their most recent reviews. Given the deterioration in outlook, there is serious cause for concern about their next reviews.

Informal Trading in Johannesburg
Amy Meyer
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Mar 17, 2015

Informal Trading has always been a part of South Africa's economy, 30% of which occurs in Gauteng. With an unemployment rate of 25.2%, Informal Trade is, for many South Africans, the "alternative to unemployment", and should be viewed as a way to "address unemployment" and "reduce vulnerability"

The 2015/16 Budget and Development
Eythan Morris
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Feb 26, 2015

This brief focuses on how the Budget proposals impact on development. The short term outlook for economic growth is relatively poor, so a better framework for development is needed to offset resource constraints of the current economic outlook. The Budget speech announced steps to improve investment, including investment in human capital and infrastructure, contain corruption, and lower the burden of regulation.

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT AND THE MINIMUM WAGE
Charles Simkins
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Nov 10, 2014

The minimum wage issue has been rumbling for some time. The Parliamentary Labour Committee has started hearings on the topic. Business Day reported on 5 November that the Deputy President will chair a committee on the issue which will include six Cabinet Ministers, among them the ministers of labour, economic development and finance. NEDLAC has been given the task of producing a report on the technical aspects of its introduction by July next year.

Let a Hundred Black Industrialists Bloom
Charles Simkins
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Sep 23, 2014

For some time now, the creation of a hundred black industrialists has been on the government’s agenda. It was discussed at the National Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Summit in October 2013. Last month, the Deputy Minister of Trade Industry, Mzwandile Masina, announced that it was to be done in the next three years.

THE SOUTH AFRICAN ECONOMY IN THE SHORT RUN
Charles Simkins
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Jul 29, 2014

Hardly a week goes by without some fresh depressing news about the current state of the South African economy. The Reserve Bank has twice this year reduced its growth forecast for 2014, from 2.8% at the beginning of the year to 2.1% and most recently to 1.7%. It has also reduced its forecasts for 2015 and 2016. Standard and Poor’s and Fitch have downgraded South Africa’s credit rating and Moody’s has put it on negative watch. The Minister of Finance has warned recently that the period ahead will not be easy.

Business Licensing Bill pt. II
Eythan Morris
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May 23, 2013

The proposed Business Licensing Bill, which has been lambasted by critics as draconian and impossible to implement, will be significantly redrafted to take account of public submissions, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies promised last week. This brief examines the new developments.

Business Licensing Bill
Eythan Morris
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May 09, 2013

This Brief summarises some of the aspects of the Business Licensing Bill and considers what it could mean for business. It showcases State and Private Sector views on the Bill and concludes with some comments from the HSF

Social Security and Opportunity: Growing the Economic Cake
Andre Dumon
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Apr 25, 2013

In this brief the concept of increasing social security is looked at as being complimentary rather than opposed to economic growth. The author argues that in order for social security to become more comprehensive in South Africa, it needs to be made more sustainable through increasing economic opportunity so that people may become less dependent on the State for their micro-economic security.

2011-2012 Consolidated General Report on National and Provincial Audit Outcomes
Ashleigh Fraser
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Mar 14, 2013

The South African Auditor-General Terence Nombembe released the 2011-2012 Consolidated General Report on National and Provincial Audit Outcomes on 12 March, 2013. Whilst Nombembe’s address may have come across as being positive, his sentiments were contradicted by many negative audit outcomes. This brief examines the 2011-2012 Report and highlights the weakness of auditees, causing stagnation and regression.

Zimbabwe I - Demography & Economy
Charles Simkins
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This, the first of two briefs examining the prospects for Zimbabwe following the presidential succession, will consider the demographic and economic context. The second brief will discuss the political implications.

Politics and Governance

Zimbabwe II - Politics
Charles Simkins
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Jan 09, 2018

The first brief in this series outlined key demographic and economic conditions and dynamics. This brief considers their political implications.

Political Party Funding VII - The Treasury Bombshell
Charles Simkins
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Sep 12, 2017

This brief outlines the presentation by the National Treasury on 1 September 2017 to the Parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee on the Funding of Political Parties and considers its implications.

Political Party Funding VI - Civil Society Submissions
Rafael Friedman
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Sep 07, 2017

This is the final brief of a six part series. The first provided a background to the current debate on political party funding. The second brief dealt with the legal position, and the third suggested a framework within which law might develop. The fourth dealt with international experience. This brief deals with submissions made to Parliament by civil society organisations, following on from the fifth brief which looked at political parties’ submissions.

Political Party Funding V - Political Party Submissions
Rafael Friedman
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Sep 07, 2017

This is the fifth brief of a six part series. The first provided a background to the current debate on political party funding. The second brief dealt with the legal position, and the third suggested a framework within which law might develop.

POLITICAL PARTY FUNDING IV - THE GLOBAL PICTURE
Rafael Friedman
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Aug 31, 2017

This is the fourth part of a six brief series. The first provided a background to the current debate on political party funding, the second described with the legal position and the third suggested a framework within which law might develop. This brief deals with international experience. The fifth will deal with submissions made to Parliament by political parties and the sixth with submissions made by civil society organisations.

POLITICAL PARTY FUNDING III - THE IMPLICATIONS WHICH FOLLOW FROM OUR LEGAL FRAMEWORK
Ryan Holtes
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Aug 31, 2017

This is the third part of a six brief series. The first provided a background to the current debate on political party funding, and the second dealt with the legal position. This brief suggests a framework within which law might develop. The fourth deals with international experience. The fifth will deal with submissions made to Parliament by political parties and the sixth with submissions made by civil society organisations.

POLITICAL PARTY FUNDING II -THE LEGAL BACKGROUND
Ryan Holtes
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Aug 24, 2017

This is the second brief of a six part series. The first part provides a background to the current debate on political party funding. This brief deals with the legal position, and the third suggests a framework within which law might develop. The fourth deals with international experience. The fifth will deal with submissions made to Parliament by political parties and the sixth with submissions made by civil society organisations.

POLITICAL PARTY FUNDING I - HISTORY AND THE CURRENT POSITION IN SOUTH AFRICA
Rafael Friedman
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Aug 24, 2017

This is the first brief of a six part series. It provides a background to the current debate on political party funding. The second brief deals with the legal position, and the third suggests a framework within which law might develop. The fourth deals with international experience. The fifth will deal with submissions made to Parliament by political parties and the sixth with submissions made by civil society organisations.

ARE FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SERVICES IN CHARGE OF SOUTH AFRICA?
Charles Simkins
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Jun 01, 2017

In an increasingly fractious political environment, the ANC’s draft policy document on Peace and Stability includes bold claims about interference from foreign intelligence services in domestic South African politics. In addition, the document labels a wide range of groups as accomplices in this plot. This brief, by Charles Simkins, takes issue with this characterisation and looks at why these accusations are concerning for South Africa’s constitutional democracy.

UNDERSTANDING THE ANC'S POLICY FORMULATION PROCESS
Anele Mtwesi
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Jun 01, 2017

This brief deals with the way in which ANC policy is developed. Further briefs will consider the substance of recently released draft policy documents for the June National Policy Conference.

TREASON IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
Rafael Friedman
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Jun 01, 2017

Over the past few years allegations of treason have become more regular in South Africa. While there has only been one major treason case in the 23 years since the end of Apartheid, there have recently been a number of accusations of treason levelled against a variety of individuals, ranging from student activists to senior politicians. These allegations can be seen in the context of the implementation of treason law in southern Africa, with a number of pending treason cases in other countries that have been seen as politically motivated.

Do state-owned enterprises pose a threat to Government’s finances?
Charles Collocott
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Mar 09, 2017

As a result of the publicity which several state-owned enterprises have enjoyed recently, especially from a governance and finance perspective, the logical question is to what degree they pose a real danger to the health of the State’s finances. This brief by Charles Collocott is based on the detailed Budget Review, as published by National Treasury on the date of the budget speech on 22 February 2017.

ACSA cleans up its act but is Government interfering?
Anton van Dalsen
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Feb 16, 2017

This brief sketches the background to attempts by the ACSA Board to address alleged fraud and corruption - and in reaction, the Minister of Transport attempts to fire almost half the Board.

IN DEFENCE OF PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION
Charles Simkins
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Sep 20, 2016

This brief looks at the electoral task team report and its relevance with regards to the outcomes of the latest local government elections.

Golden Handshakes
Anele Mtwesi
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Sep 20, 2016

This brief looks at the extent of golden handshakes in the public sector and legislation governing financial misconduct.

POPULISM
Charles Simkins
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Jun 28, 2016

This Brief is the first in a two part series and this Brief discusses populism.

Governing the people: the slide into totalitarianism
Matthew Kruger and Francis Antonie
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Nov 12, 2015

The recent statement by President Zuma that the ANC, not the country, comes first is not just, or only, an ordinary political assertion that the ANC is best suited to govern the people. It is also a conceptual claim that without the ANC there cannot ‘be’ a country; it is a claim that rests on foundations that are essentially totalitarian in nature.

THE NORMATIVE AND PREROGATIVE STATE
Charles Simkins
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Nov 11, 2015

In a land mark study of government in the Third Reich[1] , Ernst Fraenkel distinguished between the normative and positive state. His thesis has been given crisp expression as follows by Richard Evans:

THE GOD THAT FAILED
Charles Simkins
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Nov 11, 2015

The God That Failed was published in 1949. Edited by Richard Crossman, who was later to become a cabinet minister in Labour governments in the United Kingdom, it contained six essays by well-known figures of the time. Three (Arthur Koestler, Ignazio Silone and Richard Wright) were dubbed as the initiates, because they had been members of Communist parties for some time and the other three (Andre Gide, Louis Fischer and Stephen Spender) were ‘worshipers from afar’, because either they were never members or members only for a brief period.

The 2016 Local Government Elections and the Metros - Part III: Swings and Roundabouts
Charles Simkins
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Jul 02, 2015

The second Brief set out the allocation of seats to metros and produced a baseline projection of the outcome of the 2016 local government election based on the 2014 national election party support pattern. This Brief considers the quantitative projections of the elections and the qualitative observations on parties' performances therein.

All’s fair in love and golden handshakes
Joshua Hovsha
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Jun 10, 2015

This brief looks at the 'golden handshake' taken by the former National Prosecuting Authority Head, Mxolisi Nxasana and discusses the pattern of 'golden handshakes'.

The Speaker’s Role in the South African Parliament
Anele Mtwesi
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Mar 26, 2015

This brief seeks to shed light on the role the Speaker ought to play in the South African Parliament. It should not be read as an attempt to discuss the performance of any particular Speaker.

Constitutional Democracy and Revolutionary Talk
Charles Simkins
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Mar 10, 2015

One can support a constitutional democracy on the grounds that it is a better form of government than any other. One can be a revolutionary, dissatisfied with the existing political order and wanting to overthrow it in favour of an envisaged better alternative. But to claim to be a constitutional democrat and a revolutionary at the same time – now that is odd. Yet, we see it constantly in contemporary South Africa. What explains the phenomenon?

Liberalism and Identity Politics II – South Africa
Charles Simkins
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Feb 19, 2015

South Africa has been a segmented society for centuries. It still is. For example, marriages across ethnic and religious lines are relatively rare. Ethnic identities were crystallised into a system of racial classification by the apartheid state. This is a context in which identity politics might have had disastrous consequences and it was often predicted that apartheid would end in a general conflagration. Despite substantial political violence in the decade before 1994, this did not happen. For the last century and a half, infectious disease has been the more important killer. Deaths from AIDS in the opening few years of this century – some of which could have been avoided by more rapid roll out of treatment - exceeded all the mortality from war and political violence since 1850.

Liberalism and Identity Politics I – Conceptual and Global Issues
Charles Simkins
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Feb 18, 2015

Globally, the Cold War era has been succeeded by both the salience of market oriented economic development and the growth of identity politics. Understanding the relationship of liberalism and identity politics is a key issue for our time globally and specifically for understanding South African politics.

Just who is undermining Parliament?
Charles Simkins
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Sep 30, 2014

"[T]he NEC noted the extent to which Parliamentary processes have descended into chaos and the unruly offensive on the ANC in Parliament, Parliament itself and on democracy in our country. Hooliganism and insult are at unprecedented levels and are unfortunately being defined as a tool of engagement. The decorum and dignity of Parliament as an institution is being dragged through the mud under the cover of the right to be robust." - Statement of the ANC National Executive Committee following meeting held 21-29 September 2014

An Assault on Parliamentary Democracy?
Kameel Premhid
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Aug 22, 2014

The recent behaviour of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), and the responses to it by the African National Congress (ANC), and the Democratic Alliance (DA), is worrying and troublesome. This brief explains why their conduct bodes ill for Parliament as an institution which is vital to democracy.

South Africa’s Local Elections
Wim Louw
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May 29, 2014

With the 2014 General elections behind us, it is not too soon to start focusing on Local elections. This brief unpacks the components of South Africa's local elections.

The South African Electoral System
Wim Louw
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Mar 20, 2014

This is the first in a series of Briefs dealing with elections in South Africa. This Brief unpacks some of the main components of the South African General Elections.

Electoral Reform – What Political Parties Have To Say
Ashleigh Fraser
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Apr 25, 2013

Discussions about electoral reform in South Africa have again come to the forefront over the last few weeks. This brief succinctly discusses the attitudes of four political parties towards electoral reform and how reform may or may not effect change to accountability and representation.

Corruption and Accountability

Whistle-blower Protection: Does South Africa Match Up? - Part IV
Cherese Thakur
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Jul 19, 2018

This brief is the fourth in a four part series. The first two briefs consider South Africa's legislative provisions for the protection of whistle blowers against Transparency International's Best Practice Guidelines for Whistleblowing Legislation. The third and fourth briefs discuss procedures and systems which can be used to ensure that those who report wrongdoing are shielded from needless detriment.

Whistle-blower Protection: Does South Africa Match Up? - Part III
Cherese Thakur
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Jul 19, 2018

This brief is the third in a four part series. The first two briefs consider South Africa's legislative provisions for the protection of whistle blowers against Transparency International's Best Practice Guidelines for Whistleblowing Legislation ("TI Guidelines"). The third and fourth briefs discuss procedures and systems which can be used to ensure that those who report wrongdoing are shielded from needless detriment.

Whistle-blower Protection: Does South Africa Match Up? - Part II
Cherese Thakur
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Jul 17, 2018

This brief is the second in a four part series. The first two briefs consider South Africa's legislative provisions for the protection of whistle blowers against Transparency International's Best Practice Guidelines for Whistleblowing Legislation. The third and fourth briefs discuss procedures and systems which can be used to ensure that those who report wrongdoing are shielded from needless detriment.

Whistle-blower Protection: Does South Africa Match Up? - Part I
Cherese Thakur
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Jul 17, 2018

This brief is the first in a four part series. The first two briefs consider South Africa's legislative provisions for the protection of whistle blowers against Transparency International's Best Practice Guidelines for Whistleblowing Legislation. The third and fourth briefs discuss procedures and systems which can be used to ensure that those who report wrongdoing are shielded from needless detriment.

STATE CAPTURE AND CORRUPTION
Anton van Dalsen
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May 29, 2017

This brief deals with the most recent statements and studies on the issues of state capture and corruption in South Africa, which have led to a greater overall understanding of their impact and pervasiveness.

FIGHTING CORRUPTION – THE HUMAN RIGHTS APPROACH
Chelsea Ramsden
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Dec 15, 2016

The South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights and International Law hosted a conference on corruption and human rights. This brief provides an overview of the ideas discussed relating to a human rights approach to addressing corruption effectively.

AFTER THE PRESIDENT PAYS BACK SOME MONEY, IS THAT THE END?
Matthew Kruger
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Aug 02, 2016

In this brief, Matthew Kruger argues that the President's duty to pay back approximately R7.8 million, for the construction at his private residence in Nkandla, is only one of the President's duties arising from the order of the Constitutional Court in March 2016. He might owe us quite a bit more.

Corruption and political party funding: Debating the means to a desirable end
Matthew Kruger
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Oct 14, 2015

Political questions rarely have easy answers. Even when we agree that a particular goal is desirable—end corruption, for example—we often disagree over the appropriate means to that end. Here I consider one possible means by which to combat corruption, namely, the regulation of the disclosure of political party funding, as well as some of the difficulties that accompany its actual use.

TO BRIBE OR NOT TO BRIBE?
Arvitha Doodnath
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Mar 17, 2015

Discussing the issues of bribery and corruption in the police. As well as one's right when being pulled over by the police.

Accountability
Wim Louw
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May 23, 2013

This Brief looks at the concept of Accountability

The Arms Procurement Commission Thus Far
Kameel Premhid
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Mar 14, 2013

In this Brief ('The Arms Procurement Commission Thus Far'), Kameel Premhid, HSF Intern, examines the major issues affecting the Arms Procurement Commission (APC) since its inception. The APC is the first time that the South African Government has indicated that there was potential wrongdoing with the infamous Arms Deal. This is the first time that there exists a possibility to hold those involved in the deal accountable. However, this will not be possible if the APC continues to conduct itself in the way it has.

Crime and Police

Ongoing litigation concerning the Head of the Hawks
Francis Antonie
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Apr 20, 2016

A message from the Director following the High Court's dismissal of the urgent court application brought against Ntlemeza by the Helen Suzman Foundation and Freedom Under Law.

REFLECTING ON THE CRIMINAL REGULATION OF MARIJUANA: Cancer, drugs and the long arm of the law
Matthew Kruger
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Mar 08, 2016

On more than one occasion Helen Suzman spoke out against arbitrary and abusive laws criminalising the production and use of marijuana. In this series of briefs, we revisit these issues in three parts. In the first brief, Matthew Kruger provides some context, by commenting on the prosecution of a married couple for their production and personal use of medical marijuana. He also explores the neglected value of freedom, explaining that sometimes the state can only fulfill its duty to respect and protect our rights by leaving us alone. In the second brief, Arvitha Doodnath considers the science relating to and social impact of marijuana and debunks some common myths. The series concludes with Kimera Chetty considering how we should go about regulating actions that do in fact negatively affect the interests of others, but whose criminal prohibition would also cause harm to individuals and the community.

The Mess Deepens
Helen Suzman Foundation
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May 05, 2015

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Police is reported as having invited the Minister of Police to discuss the McBride suspension and the Werksmans Report. As indicated, below, we believe that the Minister of Police will have some explaining to do.

The Hawks and the Alleged Zimbabwean Rendition: Let the Courts Decide
Helen Suzman Foundation
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Feb 25, 2015

The recent unlawful suspension of senior Hawks officials has centered on alleged renditions of Zimbabwean Foreign Nationals and the Reports made by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate to the National Prosecuting Authority. Some confidential documents have leaked into the public domain.

Press Release - The Unlawful Suspension of the National Head of the Hawks
Helen Suzman Foundation
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Jan 23, 2015

This morning judgment was handed down in the Pretoria High Court by Prinsloo J following an urgent application brought by the HSF in the wake of the suspension of the National Head of the Directorate of Priority Crimes Investigation ("the National Head") (“Hawks”). The HSF was of the view that this suspension was irregular, and that the Minister of Police (“Minister”) had acted unlawfully.

Suspension of the National Head of the Hawks
Helen Suzman Foundation
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Jan 09, 2015

The HSF has approached the High Court in Pretoria to declare invalid the suspension of the National Head of the Hawks and the appointment of an Acting Head.

SAPS Amendment Act Case: Confirmation Proceedings and Application for Leave to Appeal
Luke von der Heyde
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Feb 21, 2014

In December 2013, the HSF received favourable judgement in the case of Helen Suzman Foundation v President of the Republic of South Africa and Others. The case involved the HSF’s on-going engagement with the establishment of independent policing and prosecutorial bodies that are sufficiently protected from political interference. The full bench of the Western Cape High Court found certain sections of the SAPS Amendment Act 2012 (the “Amendment Act”) to be unconstitutional to the extent that they undermine the structural and operational independence of the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI – also known as "the Hawks"). The HSF maintains that independent anti-corruption units are a vital part of the institutional State apparatus in South Africa and welcomes the unanimous judgement of the High Court.

Health

NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE FUNDING HOW MUCH DO WE KNOW? II - PROJECTIONS
Charles Simkins
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Jul 10, 2017

This brief is the second of two. The first brief assesses the extent to which government thinking has progressed on the funding of the health system. This brief will consider the extent to which quantitative modelling can help us think about the system’s future.

UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE V – Conclusions
Charles Simkins
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May 12, 2016

Charles Simkins reviews the previous four briefs, pulling together themes and proposing how the government could affect genuinely meaningful change to South Africa's public health system.

UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE III – Two Tier: Israel and the Netherlands
Andrew Barlow
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May 11, 2016

The second brief in this series dealt with the insurance mandate systems used by Austria and Germany to finance UHC. This brief reviews the two tier systems of Israel and the Netherlands. Two-tier health care is so named because it involves a publically funded basic health package being provided, with a secondary private tier of additional – and often better quality – services available for those who can afford it.

UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE II – Mandated Insurance: Austria and Germany
Andrew Barlow
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May 10, 2016

The first brief in this series introduced the concept of Universal Health Coverage, as defined by the World Health Organisation. It looked at how the NHI White Paper released late last year conceives of UHC, and posited that this ambitious single payer system should not be rushed into before other financing systems are considered. This brief describes the UHC systems in Austria and Germany.

THE SCIENCE BEHIND MARIJUANA
Arvitha
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Mar 30, 2016

This Brief looks at the science behind marijuana and discusses that marijuana is not as bad as Governments want us to think.

SORTING OUT MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
Arvitha
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Mar 31, 2015

This brief reviews the Minister of Health's comments on the Medical Malpractice Issues in the Health Sector and responses to such comments

SELLING YOUR GAMETES – THE NEW BLACK MARKET?
Arvitha Doodnath
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Mar 04, 2015

A discussion of the international egg donation programmes which are exploiting South African women amongst other women for the selling of their eggs. The procedures of the egg extractions are also discussed.

Hunting for Healthcare: In pursuit of the NHI White Paper
Kate Francis
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May 23, 2013

This Brief reports on a recent seminar hosted by the Albertina Sisulu Executive Leadership Programme addressing the progress and challenges facing National Health Insurance. The Brief focuses on the NHI pilot districts, the concept of Universal Coverage, and raises questions about financing healthcare.

Medical schemes versus health insurance: What is the difference and why you should care
Kate Francis
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Apr 10, 2013

This brief aims to explain the key differences between medical schemes and health insurance and why demarcation between the two is important. Medical schemes, under the protection of the regulation of the Medical Schemes Act, have a large part to play in ensuring the right of access to healthcare. Similar protection is not afforded to other health insurance products. The right to healthcare may, therefore, be watered down if insurance companies, which are not governed by the Medical Schemes Act, are permitted to provide health insurance products similar to those provided by medical schemes.

Land

Section 25 Of The Constitution - What Happens Next?
Charles Simkins
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Aug 20, 2018

The purpose of this brief is to set out the framework within which developments in relation to the potential amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution will unfold, in relation to expropriation without compensation.

Parliamentary Submission: Section 25 (Property Rights)
Anton van Dalsen & Mira Menell Briel
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Jun 19, 2018

As part of its public participation process, the Joint Constitutional Review Committee of Parliament called for submissions on the review of Section 25 of the Constitution (the Property Clause), following a motion passed by the National Assembly on 27 February 2018, relating to expropriation without compensation.

The Case for Retaining the Cutoff Date for Land Restitution Claims (Section 25 (7) of the Constitution)
Charles Simkins
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Oct 07, 2014

Section 25 (7) of the Constitution established the right of individuals and communities who were deprived of property after 19 June 1913, as a result of past racial laws, to either restitution of their property or equitable redress. It is now being debated whether the cutoff date is appropriate or whether it was a compromise made in 1994 which should now be rescinded if sufficient support can be found in Parliament. At present, the ANC would need the co-operation of other parties to muster two thirds of the votes necessary for a constitutional amendment. The EFF has already promised to make its supporters available for such a move.

SOUTH AFRICA’S NOUVELLE CUISINE: SLICING AND DICING PROPERTY RIGHTS
Charles Simkins
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Aug 21, 2014

Historically, redistribution of assets has taken a number of forms. It may take place at the end of a war or as an outcome of a revolution. It may be the result of special action of greater or lesser legality under an authoritarian government. South Africa is developing an approach which differs from all the above. It has the following characteristics:

International and Comparative

The State Of The South African Refugee Protection Regime: Part I - Current Status
Tove van Lennep
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Oct 30, 2018

Once applauded by UNHCR’s Antonio Guterres as ‘one of the most advanced and progressive systems of refugee protection in the world’, the South African refugee regime has deteriorated beyond recognition.This brief - the first in a three-part series - explores the state of protection and what it means for asylum-seekers within our borders.

Zimbabwe II - Politics
Charles Simkins
|
Jan 09, 2018

The first brief in this series outlined key demographic and economic conditions and dynamics. This brief considers their political implications.

Immunity of heads of states: The Al Bashir case
Michelle Toxopeüs
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Aug 01, 2017

In both the South African Supreme Court of Appeal and the International Criminal Court, the Al Bashir case centred on immunity enjoyed by heads of state. Both courts concluded that President Omar Al Bashir did not enjoy immunity on his June 2015 trip to South Africa. This brief outlines the basis of each court judgment as it relates to immunity and concludes that its application is often open to interpretation.

Authoritarianism in Zambia
Rafael Friedman
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May 23, 2017

On the night of the 11th of April 2017 the Zambian Police broke down the gate of Hakainde Hichilema’s compound and began their quest to arrest the country’s main opposition leader. All of this less than a year after Hichilema had disputed the result of a close-run presidential election. Both the election and the arrest speak to worrying trends in Zambian democracy amidst the backdrop of a stony silence by the South African government and other international actors.

American Foreign Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa: Where to from here?
Rafael Friedman
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Mar 29, 2017

Policy in the United States of America towards Sub-Saharan Africa has been a relatively stable issue over the course of the past few presidential administrations. In stark contrast to the debates that exist around American foreign policy in many other regions, American policy towards Africa has largely enjoyed bipartisan support from both Republicans and Democrats since the end of the Cold-War. This policy has been focussed on three main areas, which are likely to remain at the core of America’s relations with Sub-Saharan Africa; trade, foreign aid and security cooperation. Rafael Friedman explores what impact, if any, the shock election of Donald Trump will have on these.

America’s War on Terror in Africa
Rafael Friedman
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Mar 23, 2017

The growth of America's Global War on Terror has raised a number of questions for the African continent. Including the scope of American involvement and the impact that it has, and is likely to have, on counter-terror efforts in Africa. Rafael Friedman explores these in this brief.

Mozambique’s severe financial and economic problems
Anton van Dalsen
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Jan 24, 2017

This brief provides some background regarding a huge increase in Mozambique’s foreign debt and the serious impact on the country’s financial and general economic situation. It highlights the dangers of ill-considered and opaque government action and draws attention to the potential impact on South Africa of a grave deterioration in the economic situation of a neighbouring country.

After Al-Bashir: Part II
Matthew Kruger
|
Apr 12, 2016

In Part I of this brief, I explained that although the decision of the Supreme Court of Appeal in the Southern African Litigation Centre matter, involving Mr Al-Bashir, represents an important victory in the struggle for international justice, it is potentially quite limited in its future scope and impact. I then outlined the nature of South Africa’s political community—a sovereign state that is also a member of the family of nations—and thereafter connected this conception of statehood to crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide. In doing so, I explained that these crimes, by their nature, harm all people everywhere. In this brief, I explain why these crimes also directly violate the Constitution. I also argue that the nature of this violation is such that it renders unconstitutional and therefore not binding any rule, either international or domestic, that purports to afford sitting heads of state absolute immunity in relation to such crimes.

After Al-Bashir: Part I
Matthew Kruger
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Apr 12, 2016

Last Friday, 8 April 2016, the Minister of Justice and others filed papers in the Constitutional Court. They are appealing the Supreme Court of Appeal’s finding that government’s failure to take steps to arrest and detain, for surrender to the ICC, Mr Al-Bashir when he visited South Africa in 2015 was unlawful.

Brazil's Travails, And Ours
Charles Simkins
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Mar 10, 2016

Charles Simkins looks at Brazil and the dire straits the country finds itself in, drawing instructive comparisons between the political and economic situations of South Africa and our troubled BRICS partner.

Six Lessons From Stalingrad
Charles Simkins
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Dec 15, 2015

This Brief looks at the turning point in Nazi Germany's Eastern Offensive. It identifies six principles that underwrote Hitler's humiliating defeat, and which remain relevant today.

South Africa and the African Growth and Opportunity Act II : The game of ‘chicken’ and calling our bluff
Andrew Barlow
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Dec 02, 2015

As part of the out of cycle review of South Africa’s eligibility under AGOA, a call for comments was included. The American Chamber of Commerce in South Africa (AmCham), the organisation that represents 250 US companies operating in SA, responded by detailing which issues were of concern to its members. In what follows, I consider at length the two most pressing issues raised by AmCham. I suggest that the poultry dispute has set a new and strong-armed precedent to economic relations between the two countries, and that our future under AGOA is far from certain.

South Africa and the African Growth and Opportunity Act I : Much ado about chicken
Andrew Barlow
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Dec 02, 2015

A fifteen-year poultry trade dispute between South Africa and the US came to a head recently. Relations thawed, and the US gave our government a 60-day ultimatum in which to remove trade barriers to US bone-in chicken cuts that have blocked them from the SA market since 2000. But US concerns over South Africa's future commitment to meeting eligibility criteria are not limited to trade. The protection of existing investment through the legal recognition of property rights, as well as the creation and conservation of an environment conducive to foreign investors, are at least as important to the US government. In this pair of briefs, I begin by analysing the context the ultimatum was delivered in. I look at the nature of Agoa and our commitments under it, I chart the history of the trade dispute, and I consider the grounds and motivations underlying each side's actions. In the second brief, I examine the two most pressing issues impeding our future inclusion under Agoa. I conclude that US patience has likely run dry, and our future eligibility is far from certain.

THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY: IV - RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE ECONOMIC PROGRAMME
Andrew Barlow
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Nov 17, 2015

The third brief in this series considered the economic programme of the SADC as it evolved since 2001. The original Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan has been revised recently, a Tripartite Free Trade Area has been launched, and a long-term economic strategy centred on industrial development and resource beneficiation has been approved. Discussing and evaluating the new economic trajectory that these changes signify is the subject of this final brief.

THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY: I - HISTORY TO 2001
Andrew Barlow
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Nov 17, 2015

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is an inter-state organisation based in Gaborone, Botswana that pursues a comprehensive regional integration agenda through both socio-economic and political cooperation. This year represents a turning point in the socio-economic programme of the Southern African Development Community. The launch of the Tripartite Free Trade Area and a pivotal overhaul in socio-economic integration strategy make 2015 a seminal year in the evolution of the SADC and present a choice opportunity for an extended series of briefs. This is the first of four briefs. In it, I chart the history and development of the SADC from its inception in the regional liberation struggles of the 1960’s and 70’s. In the second, I explicate the institutional framework and decision-making structure of the organisation. In the third, I outline the many problems that the SADC has encountered in pursuing its economic integration agenda in the last decade. And in the fourth and last, I discuss what measures the SADC has taken this year to overcome these obstacles, and evaluate their prospects for success.

The power and the duty of the NPA to prosecute genocidaires, war criminals and other enemies of all humankind – IV
Matthew Kruger
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Oct 27, 2015

In this final brief I consider two issues. First, is the power afforded to the NPA under section 179(2) of the Constitution discretionary and, if so, what is the relevance of this fact? Second, does the NPA have a duty to prosecute foreign nationals who prima facie appear to have committed genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes and, if so, what is the relevance of this fact? Before addressing these two issues, though, I will provide a brief summary of the conclusions of the first three briefs. According to the SALC decision, the SAPS has a duty to investigate allegations against foreign nationals of crimes against humanity. In coming to this finding, Majiedt AJ said that the NPA does not have a duty to institute criminal proceedings; it has a discretionary power. The concepts of duty and discretion, though, are not mutually exclusive, as Majiedt AJ appears to have assumed. The source of the court’s mistake was its insufficiently thorough analysis of the relationship among ‘power’, ‘duty’ and ‘privilege’. Whether a power is accompanied by duties and/or discretion is a normative question, the answer to which requires consideration of the reasons for and against vesting the NPA with different types of power.

The power and the duty of the NPA to prosecute genocidaires, war criminals and other enemies of all humankind - III
Matthew Kruger
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Oct 27, 2015

In the first two briefs of this series I outlined the fact that, according to the SALC decision, the SAPS has a duty to investigate allegations of crimes against humanity. I explained, however, that in coming to this conclusion, Majiedt AJ said that the NPA has the power to institute criminal proceedings, but does not also have a duty; rather, it just has a discretion. In other words, he thinks that where a power is discretionary, the person vested with that power does not have a duty to exercise it. I concluded the second brief, however, by explaining that the concept of a duty and the concept of a discretion are not mutually exclusive. In this brief, I provide a possible reason for why the court thought otherwise.

The power and the duty of the NPA to prosecute genocidaires, war criminals and other enemies of all humankind – II
Matthew Kruger
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Oct 27, 2015

In the first brief I explained that the purpose of this series of four briefs is to determine whether the NPA has a duty to prosecute foreign nationals who prima facie appear to have committed crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide. I indicated that I think such a duty does exist and that this duty is sourced in the Constitution itself. My explanation of why this duty exists began with an outline of the Constitutional Court’s judgment in the SALC decision, a case dealing with the duty of the SAPS to investigate foreign nationals accused of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide. I ended the first brief by claiming that the finding of the court that the NPA has a discretion but not a duty to institute criminal proceedings presents certain problems—especially given the decision by the ANC to withdraw South Africa as a member of the ICC. In this second brief, I will explain the significance of the Constitutional Court’s conclusion and I will begin to interrogate the basis of this conclusion.

The power and the duty of the NPA to prosecute genocidaires, war criminals and other enemies of all humankind - I
Matthew Kruger
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Oct 27, 2015

This is a series of four briefs. In this series I consider whether the NPA has a duty to prosecute foreign nationals who prima facie appear to have committed genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity. I conclude that although the NPA has a discretion when exercising its power to institute criminal proceedings, it also has a duty to prosecute alleged perpetrators of such crimes. This duty is grounded in the Constitution, with domestic legislation and international law concretising, particularising and duplicating this duty. This conclusion has important implications for any decision by the NPA not to prosecute alleged perpetrators of such crimes. It also means that South Africa’s membership of the ICC is not critical to the NPA’s duty to prosecute such persons. The arguments that I make in this series include a fair amount of legal and conceptual analysis. As such, the ideal approach to reading this series of briefs would be for the four briefs to be read in a single sitting (or, at least, without much break in between reading each brief). In the likely event that such dedication is not possible, however, I have provided short summaries of the preceding briefs in the second, third and fourth briefs of this series. These three summaries, I hope, will be adequate to remind the reader of the more essential arguments of the preceding briefs.

The SADC Tribunal's Disappointing Rebirth
Kameel Premhid
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Sep 09, 2014

The adoption of the newest SADC Tribunal Protocol has sought to rebirth the Tribunal after a long gestation period where it underwent significant review. The latest manifestation indicates that the region’s efforts at taking the rule of law, and regional integration, seriously are nothing short of being stillborn

BRICS: THE NEW DEVELOPMENT BANK (NDB) AND THE CONTINGENT RESERVE ARRANGEMENT (CRA)
Charles Simkins
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Aug 04, 2014

On 15 July, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa signed agreements to establish the New Development Bank and the Contingency Reserve Arrangement. The provisions of each have to be incorporated into the law of each country. Once this is done, probably by 2016, the institutions can start operation. How will they work?

SADC Tribunal Back in the Spotlight
Kameel Premhid
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Jul 29, 2014

The recent announcement by the Tanganyika Law Society to challenge the disbandment of the SADC Tribunal (before the High Court in Tanzania) has once again put the demise of this organisation in the spotlight. This Brief tracks the history of the Tribunal and explains why it is so important for the Rule of Law.

RIP: SADC Tribunal
Kameel Premhid
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Mar 20, 2014

The latest ruling by the African Commission of Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) -that no individual can access the SADC Tribunal as a means of recourse in a dispute with a member state may well be the death blow for that institution. This Brief explains why this is the case.

Some Notes on Sovereignty
Kameel Premhid
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Jul 25, 2013

The Helen Suzman Foundation has already written about the Constitutional Court’s decision in Government of Zimbabwe v Fick. In this brief, we look at whether the concept of sovereignty should have meant any different.

The SADC Tribunal Lives On… Kind Of.
Kameel Premhid
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Jul 12, 2013

The Constitutional Court’s decision in Government of Zimbabwe v Fick is a partial victory; the disbandment of the SADC Tribunal remains a travesty of justice. This Brief examines this in greater detail.

The SADC Tribunal: The rule of power versus the rule of law - The Tribunal Tragedy
Andre Dumon
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Mar 14, 2013

The future of the neutered SADC Tribunal is dependent upon the SADC Summit in August and perhaps the pending ruling of the South African Constitutional Court on the case of dispossessed Zimbabwean famers. At issue is also the link between the rule law and economic development. In the case of Zimbabwe the rule of power still trumps the law, and as a consequence the economy suffers. This provides portents for the SADC leaders.

Zimbabwe I - Demography & Economy
Charles Simkins
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This, the first of two briefs examining the prospects for Zimbabwe following the presidential succession, will consider the demographic and economic context. The second brief will discuss the political implications.

Minerals and Energy

Eskom’s 2018 Financial Results
Anton van Dalsen
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Jul 24, 2018

This brief provides a commentary on the main features of Eskom’s 2018 annual financial statements, released on 23 July 2018.

Mining Charter Third Version: What are the legal issues?
Michelle Toxopeus
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Sep 12, 2017

Following the publication of the third version of the Mining Charter, the Chamber of Mines filed an urgent application in the North Gauteng High Court to interdict the application of the Charter pending its review by a court. The application will be heard on 14 and 15 September 2017.

The Government’s nuclear power plans: is a rational debate possible?
Anton van Dalsen
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Feb 16, 2017

This brief follows other recent pieces which we have published on the issue of nuclear power in South Africa (see our briefs dated 18 November 2016 and 15 December 2016). It provides an update to the debate surrounding Government plans for new nuclear power, highlighting two issues that continue to crop up in the public debate and which can be confusing without the necessary background. It also provides the essential facts relating to the court application by Earthlife Africa and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute, set down for hearing in the High Court on 22 February 2017.

Developments in the South African energy debate
Anton van Dalsen
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Dec 15, 2016

We recently published a set of three briefs on the South African Government’s policy on nuclear power. The Department of Energy has now published a draft new Integrated Resource Plan, whose purpose is to provide the basis for long-term planning in the provision of electricity. This brief aims to provide a succinct summary of the latest developments and, more specifically, to draw attention to the most important issues that have arisen in this process.

Governance at the Strategic Fuel Fund
Anton van Dalsen
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Nov 28, 2016

Since press reports first surfaced in May 2016 about the sale of 10 million barrels of crude oil by the Strategic Fuel Fund NPC (SFF) from its strategic reserves, the SFF has received continuous media attention not only on account of that sale but also as a result of its other activities. This brief provides a summary of the current status of the issues that have arisen at the SFF, a state-owned enterprise, within the wider context of governance at state-owned entities.

The South African Government’s policy on nuclear power I – Current status
Anton Van Dalsen
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Nov 18, 2016

This is the first of three briefs on nuclear power. It considers the current status of the new nuclear power project. The second discusses the policy framework for energy and the role of nuclear power within it. The third brief will deal with technical and financial issues and will come to conclusions.

MINING, LAND, AND COMMUNITY IN COMMUNAL AREAS I - WHAT COULD BE ACHIEVED AND WHY IT IS NOT
Tamara Jewett
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Aug 11, 2016

This Brief deals with an overview of how issues of mineral and land rights and community governance undermine individuals and communities in interactions with mining companies. The argument is that future suffering can be prevented by keeping the basic principle that mining must benefit South Africans while changing the structure and, most importantly, the application of some of the law. Two follow-up briefs will delve more deeply into each issue.

Infrastructure

Eskom’s 2018 Financial Results
Anton van Dalsen
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Jul 24, 2018

This brief provides a commentary on the main features of Eskom’s 2018 annual financial statements, released on 23 July 2018.

Parliamentary Submission: Section 25 (Property Rights)
Anton van Dalsen & Mira Menell Briel
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Jun 19, 2018

As part of its public participation process, the Joint Constitutional Review Committee of Parliament called for submissions on the review of Section 25 of the Constitution (the Property Clause), following a motion passed by the National Assembly on 27 February 2018, relating to expropriation without compensation.

The Future
Agathe Fonkam
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Mar 08, 2018

This brief is the last in a series of six on urban transport and discusses the planned future of the transport system in the five largest metros.

Minibus Taxis
Anton van Dalsen
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Mar 08, 2018

This brief is the fifth in a series of six on urban transport and discusses minibus taxis. The first two briefs present statistical material which delineates key current features of transport in metropolitan and urban areas.

Buses
Rafael Friedman
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Mar 08, 2018

This brief is the fourth in a series of six on urban transport and discusses buses, including bus rapid transport systems. The first two briefs present statistical material which delineates key current features of transport in metropolitan and urban areas.

Metrorail
Jade Weiner
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Mar 07, 2018

This brief is the third in a series of six on urban transport. The first two briefs presented statistical material which delineates key current features of transport in metropolitan and urban areas.

Demography and Youth

Free Basic Services At The Municipal Level
Rafael Friedman
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Feb 13, 2018

On 30 September 2017, South African municipalities were collectively owed R143.6 billion by consumers, according to the latest National Treasury report on municipal finances. R101.6 billion of this amount was household debt. If consumer debt is limited to below 90 days, then the actual realistically collectable amount is estimated at R22.9 billion.

STAYING AT HOME AND LEAVING II - DETERMINANTS
Charles Simkins
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May 30, 2017

The preceding brief constructed and tested an indicator of whether a young person stays at home or has left it. This brief considers the reasons for leaving home and their impact. Some of the argument in this brief is quite technical. Readers uninterested in technique are advised to read only the introduction and the summary and conclusions.

STAYING AT HOME AND LEAVING I - MEASUREMENT
Charles Simkins
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May 30, 2017

Leaving home is one of the transitions made by young people. This brief constructs an indicator of whether a person has left home from information in the 2015 General Household Survey and sets out what the indicator reveals.

Youth Migration
Charles Simkins
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Apr 20, 2017

This is a brief specifically focusing on the movement of youth and it uses the same methods as two published briefs on migration among the population as a whole.

What Does The 2016 Community Survey Tell Us About Internal Migration?
Charles Simkins
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Apr 12, 2017

This is the second of two briefs considering contemporary evidence on movement of the population between mid-2011 and mid-2016. The first brief dealt with immigration and emigration of the foreign born. This brief considers movement between municipalities within South Africa, preceded by a summary of the findings of the two briefs together.

How fast is the South African population growing?
Charles Simkins
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Apr 04, 2017

This brief considers the differing population growth estimates from international and domestic sources for the periods between 1990 and 2015 and makes observations about the changes in the age distribution of the population.

Zimbabwe I - Demography & Economy
Charles Simkins
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This, the first of two briefs examining the prospects for Zimbabwe following the presidential succession, will consider the demographic and economic context. The second brief will discuss the political implications.

Education

THE DEPARTMENT OF BASIC EDUCATION’S THREE STREAM POLICY
Charles Simkins
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Jan 17, 2017

This brief outlines recent proposals from the Department of Basic Education on adding a third skills and vocational stream to the school system. Details have yet to be worked out, and the process will not be easy, but it is clear already that the third stream will have implications for currently uniform Grade 1 to Grade 9 education.

IS THE PROPORTION OF MATRICULANTS WITH POST-MATRIC QUALIFICATIONS DECLINING?
Charles Simkins
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Jan 17, 2017

He [the Statistical General] said parents were better skilled compared with their children, arguably owing to changes in the education system after 1994. “What we know is that the nursing schools, the teacher training schools and where people used to do trades, [those] schools were closed and they were converted into part of the university system. The net result has been they, those who are 15 to 34, do not have the skills of their parents, so hence the skills crisis, in part, in the country.” – Mail and Guardian, 18 June 2014

STRAIT IS THE GATE THE MATRIC CONUNDRUM I – THE SYSTEM
Charles Simkins
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Jan 12, 2017

This brief is the first in a series which will discuss the circumstances in which young people live. Some briefs will be supported by technical reports which set out additional detailed information for those interested in it. The first brief will consider the objectives and the extensive structure of the National Senior Certificate system. The second will deal with published information on National Senior Certificate outcomes.

THE UNIVERSITY CATTLE KILLING I - THE EXTENT
Charles Simkins and Anele Mtwesi
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Nov 02, 2016

This is the first of three briefs on the unrest in universities. It deals with its extent and costs. The second deals with the economic and fiscal context within which university and student financing has to be considered. The third deals with prospects for resolution.

THE UNIVERSITY CATTLE KILLING II - THE ECONOMIC AND FISCAL CONTEXT
Charles Simkins
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Nov 02, 2016

The first brief in this series discussed the extent and costs of the recent unrest in universities. This brief describes the economic and fiscal context within which student and university financing has to be considered. The final brief will deal with prospects for resolution.

THE UNIVERSITY CATTLE KILLING III - THE PROSPECTS
Charles Simkins
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Nov 02, 2016

The first brief in this series discussed the extent and cost of the unrest in universities. The second described the economic and fiscal context within which university and student financing has to be considered. This brief deals with the prospects for resolution.

OPTIONS FOR IMPROVED FINANCING OF HIGHER EDUCATION
Charles Simkins
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Nov 10, 2015

The first two briefs in this series were entitled “Principles of Student Financing 101” and “The University Funding System”. The second brief identified two things which need to be done immediately. This brief sets out options for consideration in the longer term.

The University Funding System
Anele Mtwesi
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Nov 05, 2015

This brief is the second in a series on university finance. The first was titled “Principles of student financing 101” and it can be found on the HSF website (www.hsf.org.za). This brief sets out the structure of university funding and considers the rising cost of university education to students as a whole.

What is the Gauteng Department of Education smoking?
Charles Simkins
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Jul 21, 2014

City Press reported on 29 June [1] and IOL reported on 10 July 2014 [2] that the Gauteng MEC for education, Panyaza Lesufi, plans to merge former Model C schools with township schools. This is new. The Gauteng Department is smoking. The HSF has observed the smoke signal and we are trying to interpret it. In our efforts, we have posed ourselves the following questions:

Rivonia Primary School Case
Sarah Tobin
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Oct 17, 2013

This brief provides a breakdown of the events leading up to the Rivonia Primary School case and a brief analysis on what the outcome of the case means for schools. 17 October 2013

The NDP’s vision on Education
Zamambo Twalo
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Sep 06, 2013

This brief examines the National Development Plan’s (NDP) vision and policy proposals on the reform of the education sector in South Africa.

The Right to Basic Education
Anele Mtwesi
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Apr 25, 2013

It is widely accepted that education plays a vital role in lifting people out of poverty, empowering women and children, and promoting human rights and democracy. This brief aims to define the right to basic education in South Africa

Justice and Public Interest

Parliamentary Submission: Competition Amendment Bill, 2018
Helen Suzman Foundation
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Aug 30, 2018

On 17 August 2018, The Helen Suzman Foundation Made Written Submissions In Response To The Portfolio Committee On Economic Development’s (The Committee) Call For Public Comment On The Competition Amendment Bill, 2018 (The Bill).

Constitutional damages: Recent decisions in focus
Michelle Toxopeüs
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Jun 14, 2018

This brief explores the concept of “constitutional damages” in South Africa and why they were awarded to the loved ones and survivors in the Life Esidimeni arbitration, but not to Michael Komape’s family.

Judging the Judges
Jade Weiner
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May 10, 2018

This Brief considers circumstances in which judges can be impeached for gross misconduct specifically considering the case of Judge Nkola Motata

The Constitutional Justice Report: Judging The Judges II - Assessment
Cherese Thakur
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Feb 08, 2018

This is the second part of a two-part brief concerning the Assessment of the Impact of the Decisions of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal on the South African Law and Jurisprudence (Report). It will consider questions arising from the findings of the Report and highlight some issues of concern.

The Constitutional Justice Report: Judging The Judges? Part I - Context And Main Findings
Cherese Thakur
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Feb 08, 2018

This is the first part in a two-part brief concerning the “Assessment of the Impact of Decisions in the Constitutional Court and Supreme Court of Appeal on the Transformation of Society” , otherwise known as the Constitutional Justice Report: an assessment of South Africa’s highest courts commissioned by the Minister of Justice.

Judicial overreach: a purely South African phenomenon?
Anton van Dalsen
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Jun 23, 2017

Much has been said recently in South Africa on whether courts were interfering in the realm of the executive. This brief by Anton van Dalsen shows that this discussion doesn't just take place here.

The Traditional Courts Bill: Are they getting it right?
Richard Griffin
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Feb 14, 2017

This brief discusses the recently published Traditional Courts Bill. Earlier versions of this Bill were introduced in 2008 and 2012, but were withdrawn following public opposition to them. The brief considers whether the revised version of the Bill deals with the objections to earlier versions, and whether it should be passed.

IN DEFENCE OF SECTION 16(2) OF THE CONSTITUTION: A reply to David Saks
Matthew Kruger
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Jul 18, 2016

In this brief, Matthew Kruger replies to David Saks (Associate Director of the South African Jewish Board Deputies), criticising Mr. Saks' support for the Board's proposal to amend the Constitution and thereby limit further the right to freedom of expression.

In Defence of Harm, Offence and Hate: Part II
Matthew Kruger
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Jul 06, 2016

In Part I of this brief, it was explained that the proposal by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies ("SAJBD") to amend section 16 of the Constitution is conceptually confused and should be rejected. In Part II, it is explained why we must not only reject the proposed amendment, but also reassert our freedoms to harm, offend and hate certain people.

DEMOCRATIC QUALITY IN TESTING TIMES
Charles Simkins
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Apr 05, 2016

The extent of democratic consolidation is not manifest in tranquil times. It becomes visible in testing times. Choices made then determine whether the quality of democracy improves or deteriorates. Crises rule out the option of continuing business as usual

A critical analysis of the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill, 2015: III – Authoritarian, anti-democratic and unconstitutional
Matthew Kruger
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Dec 08, 2015

In the first of this three-part series, Matthew Kruger analysed aspects of the democratic foundations of the Constitution and argued that the source and formation of customary law is essentially democratic in nature. In the second brief, Chris Pieters provided a summary of some of the existing legal framework regulating traditional rule, as well as the attitude of the ANC to this form of rule. The third and final brief offers insight into the constitutionality of aspects of the Bill’s structure and content.

A critical analysis of the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill, 2015: II – The current regulation of traditional leadership
Chris Pieters
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Dec 08, 2015

In the first of this series of briefs, Matthew Kruger analysed the democratic foundations of the Constitution and explained that the nature of the source and formation of customary law is essentially democratic. This second brief is a short summary of some of the existing legal regulations of traditional rule, as well as the ANC’s attitude towards this form of rule. The third and final brief will offer some insight into the constitutionality of aspects of the Bill’s structure and content.

A critical analysis of the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill, 2015: I - The Constitution, democracy and customary law
Matthew Kruger
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Dec 08, 2015

This is a series of three briefs that critically analyses aspects of the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill, 2015. The first brief, written by Matthew Kruger, outlines some important features of the nature of South Africa’s constitutional democratic state that are relevant to the Bill. The second brief, written by Chris Pieters, provides a short summary of some of the existing regulation of traditional rule, as well as the ANC's attitude to this form of rule. The third brief, written by Matthew Kruger, argues that the Bill is in certain respects unconstitutional, in that its structure and content are inconsistent with the democratic foundations and values of the Constitution. The issues that we consider are broad and complex. As such, the various arguments made and conclusions reached in these short briefs are neither final nor complete. We hope, rather, that they contribute to an existing discussion around a Bill that we think is constitutionally unacceptable.

Transformation of the Legal Profession: Briefing Patterns in the Spotlight (Legal Aid)
Kameel Premhid
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Dec 04, 2015

This brief addresses transformation of the legal profession through the reformation of Legal Aid. This policy option may be unpopular in some quarters but could provide answers to the Bar’s problems. This brief is occasioned by correspondence between the author and a high-ranking official at Legal Aid, and demonstrates the need for radical policy thinking to address complex societal problems.

Helen Suzman Memorial Lecture 2015
Andrew Barlow
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Nov 05, 2015

Summary of the seventh Helen Suzman Memorial Lecture, delivered by Ms Gill Marcus at the Gordon Institute of Business Science on the 3rd November, 2015.

The rise and fall of Uniform Rule 49(11)
Chris Pieters
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Oct 22, 2015

Uniform Rule 49(11) was used as a method of enforcing court orders while the appeal process was underway. This has been repealed and its empty place is a reminder of how rules can be managed.

The Sidelined State Attorney
Chris Pieters
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Mar 12, 2015

In recent legal interventions involving the unlawful suspension of the National Head of the Hawks, the Helen Suzman Foundation became aware that the Minister of Police had, at the expense of taxpayers, sought the help of a large private firm. The State Attorney is the Office charged with the functions of dealing with State litigation. This revelation leaves one wondering what the State Attorney is doing.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse: A beginner’s guide…
Chris Pieters
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Nov 21, 2014

One consequence of the recent litigation engaged in by the HSF – involving the independence of the Hawks as well as the processes adopted in the appointment of judicial candidates – relates to a range of inquiries concerning the legal system and its processes. This Brief seeks to elucidate the legal processes that are followed.

The Public Protector - a Jewel in South Africa's Constitutional Crown
Chris Pieters
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Sep 17, 2014

The Office of the Public Protector is not beyond review or criticism. But there is an important line that needs to be drawn beyond which criticism can degenerate into abuse whether of the incumbent or the office. This brief seeks to elucidate that very line.

Understanding the Spy Tapes Saga
Kameel Premhid
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Sep 01, 2014

The ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) that the ‘Spy Tapes’ are to be released to the Democratic Alliance (DA), is an important decision for the rule of law. This brief tracks the case’s history and explains what the next steps will be.

Report back: Roundtable on Consultation and the Constitution
Chris Pieters
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Sep 01, 2014

On 26 August 2014 the HSF hosted a Roundtable event on Consultation and the Constitution. The event featured Mtende Mhango, Iraj Abedian and John Jeffery. This brief summarises some of the main themes of the evening.

The HSF and the JSC
Helen Suzman Foundation
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Aug 05, 2014

This brief details the HSF's ongoing litigation against the JSC.

Parliament Clarifies ‘Motion of No Confidence’ Rules
Kameel Premhid
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Mar 20, 2014

With the release of the Public Protector’s Nkandla Report, questions will arise concerning a possible ‘motion of impeachment’. It is important that Parliament clarifies how ‘motions of no confidence’ should work in light of the Constitutional Court’s Mazibuko ruling.

The Meaning of the Marikana Judgment
Kameel Premhid
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Sep 06, 2013

The Marikana costs judgment recently handed down by the Constitutional Court is a result of Constitution’s commitment to the separation of powers.

Tlokwe and the Rule of Law
Kameel Premhid
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Aug 16, 2013

Tlokwe (Potchefstroom) has been the site of an intense political battle between the ANC and the DA. The unfolding of the drama there provides incisive lessons on the rule of law.

HSF Takes JSC to Court: Update
Kameel Premhid
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Jun 20, 2013

This Brief gives an update on the HSF’s pending court case against the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

Service Delivery: What does the Constitutional Court say?
Kameel Premhid
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May 23, 2013

This Brief examines the recent judgment of the Constitutional Court in Rademan v Moqhaka Municipality and Others delivered on 26 April 2013. This case dealt with the non-payment of rates on the grounds of lack of service delivery. The findings of the Court are important for future service delivery disputes of this kind.

POSIB: President urged to act
Kameel Premhid
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May 09, 2013

This Brief looks at the passage of POSIB and argues that the President should not sign the Bill.

Public Interest Litigation Threatened by Legal Practice Bill
Kameel Premhid
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Apr 10, 2013

In this Brief (‘Public Interest Litigation Threatened by Legal Practice Bill’), Kameel Premhid, HSF Intern, examines proposed changes to fee structures in the legal profession and what negative implications this could mean for the work conducted by NGOs like the HSF.

Introducing HSF Briefs
Helen Suzman Foundation
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Mar 06, 2013

As part of our mandate to facilitate and stimulate dialogue on matters relating to our liberal constitutional democracy, the Helen Suzman Foundation is embarking on a project to research and publish a series of Briefs.