HSF briefs

Helen Suzman Foundation | Apr 08, 2015
The Political Economy Of Corruption
May 02, 2019
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Charles Simkins

Pierre de Vos published an article entitled Why Ramaphosa is probably not in a position to end corruption and patronage in Daily Maverick on 29 April, drawing on a study by Wits Professor Karl von Holdt. This brief discusses the completeness and the plausibility of their arguments.

Genocide
Apr 25, 2019
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Charles Simkins

The particular horror evoked by genocide exists for three main reasons. Genocide is murder at a mass scale, it is usually perpetrated against the defenseless and, although tensions may build up over decades or even centuries, it can flare up very rapidly.

Sexual Assault - Part 3: Sexual violence as a Weapon of War
Apr 18, 2019
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Lee-Anne Germanos

A very popular, yet grossly under recognised, feature and weapon of war is sexual violence. Sexual violence, like artillery, is used to cause destruction through the terrorisation of a population or as an assertion of power by belligerent forces. Rape, when committed as part of a widespread attack, is also an effective tool for bringing about the destruction, in whole or in part, of a national, ethnical, racial or religious group – otherwise known as genocide.

Sexual Assault - Part 2: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Apr 18, 2019
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Lee-Anne Germanos

According to legislation, employers have a positive legal duty to ensure that the workplace is free from unfair discrimination. What the legislature and disciplinary bodies alike do not take into consideration are the delicacies of the power differentials between men and women (not only as between superiors and subordinates) in the workplace and the trauma suffered by the victims of sexual harassment. Until there is an understanding of these inherent power dynamics that exist in the workplace, sexual misconduct will continue to persist in that space.

Sexual Assault - Part 1: Sexual Offences in the Criminal Justice System
Apr 18, 2019
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Lee-Anne Germanos

Crimes of a sexual nature, the world over, are prosecuted distinct from any other form of crime. The burden of proof in sexual offence cases is more stringent (although it is not permitted to be). The tests and defences used are subjective as opposed to objective – as with all other crimes. Unlike other crimes, commissions of sexual offences, it can be argued, are skewed predominantly against women and children. They are also the only crimes in which the victim’s behaviour is the focal point, as opposed to that of the accused.

The Traditional Courts Bill - a problematic piece of legislation
Apr 09, 2019
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Anton van Dalsen

This brief provides a summary of the Traditional Courts Bill, which was approved by the National Assembly on 12 March 2019. It discusses the place of customary law in South Africa and points out that this Bill leads to various problematic legal issues, against the background of a questionable political agenda.

A commentary on the National Health Summit 2018 report
Mar 26, 2019
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PJ Hamilton

In October 2018, the inaugural Presidential Health Summit took place. The Summit sought to invite key stakeholders to deliberate on the issues causing our health system to fail. With the release of the Presidential Health Summit Report 2019, the drafters of the report came to a number of conclusions and recommendations which require comment.