Media Statement

Legal Challenge to Ingonyama Trust

07 November 2018

The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) yesterday (6 November 2018) filed an application Court in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on behalf of Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC), the Rural Women’s Movement (RWM) and Seven Informal Land Rights Holders challenging the conversion of Permission to Occupy (PTO) or informal land rights to long term lease agreements by the Ingonyama Trust.

A number of persons hold a PTO or informal land rights on land vested or registered in the name of the Ingonyama Trust. In this case CASAC, RWM and the Seven Informal Land Rights Holders (the Applicants) act in their own interest, as members of and in the interest of the group constituted by persons who hold PTO’s or informal rights to land vested or registered in the Ingonyama Trust; on behalf of members of that group who cannot act in their own names; and in the public interest.

For full statement click here

Notice of Motion

Founding Affidavit

IEC Commissioner Interview Report released

CASAC and My Vote Counts (MVC) have released a report following the IEC Commissioner interviews held on 26-27 June 2018. This report is aimed at identifying and highlighting pertinent statements made by the eight shortlisted candidates – it also includes prior research that was conducted by CASAC and MVC on each of the candidates which was made available to the interviewing Panel ahead of the interviews.  The report and accompanying affidavit was sent to the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs for consideration.

For the Report click here 

For the Affidavit of Mr Mosotho Moepya click here

Media Statement – Report on IEC Commissioner Candidates Released

My Vote Counts and the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) have compiled a comprehensive report on the 26 shortlisted candidates who have been shortlisted for interview for the three vacancies as Commissioners for the Electoral Commission (IEC).

A panel consisting of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, the Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission Prof Bongani Majola, the Deputy Chairperson of the Commission on Gender Equality Ms Tamara Mathebula and the Public Protector Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane will interview the candidates from 25 to 29 June 2018. The panel has whittled down the 119 applicants to a shortlist of 26 candidates for interview.

For full statement click here 


IEC Shortlisted Candidates Names Released

The Office of the Chief Justice recently released a media statement on the shortlisted candidates to fill vacancies at the Electoral Commission. Twenty six (26) candidates were shortlisted after the 31 May 2018 closing date.

Comments on the suitability of  shortlisted candidates to hold office at the IEC, must be submitted to Mr Sello Chiloane

or alternatively Tebogo Phaahlamohlaka at  by 11 June 2018.

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed from 25-29 June 2018.

For the full media statement from the Office of the Chief Justice click here

CASAC seeks personal costs order against Public Protector

CASAC is a seeking a punitive personal costs order against Public Protector, Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane, in its application to review and set aside the Report on the Vrede Dairy Farm.

Following receipt of the record of decision (The Rule 53 Record) from Adv Mkhwebane it is clear that she had deliberately curtailed the investigation and acted in a manner inconsistent with the demands of an independent office. In its supplementary affidavit, CASAC’s Executive Secretary, Lawson Naidoo highlights the following aspects revealed by the Rule 53 Record:

• A National Treasury Report which had previously not been made public pointed to the active involvement of senior politicians, former Premier Ace Magashule and former MEC for Agriculture, Mr Mosebenzi Zwane, in facilitating the unlawful project, and recommended that disciplinary action be taken against the head of the Department of Agriculture, Mr Peter Thabethe and its CFO, Ms Dlhamini – no such action has been taken;
• The Final Report on the ‘Vrede Integrated Dairy Project’ released by Adv Mkhwebane on 8 February 2018 made no reference to a Provisional Report having been prepared as is the custom in such investigations by the Public Protector. However the Record now shows that such a Provisional Report was concluded by former Public Protector, Adv Thuli Madonsela. Of particular concern is that it now appears that Adv Mkhwebane altered that Provisional Report in material ways to exonerate the officials named above. In the Provisional Report, Adv Madonsela found that:
o the accounting officer (Mr Thabethe) was guilty of improper conduct, abuse of power and maladministration Yet Mkhwebane’s report said that the Premier institute disciplinary action against “implicated officials’, removing the specific reference to Mr Thabethe
o a proper accounting and forensic investigation and audit be conducted by the Auditor General was necessary to verify all expenditure incurred in the project and whether there was value for money – this was inexplicably excised from the Final Report
o the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) should conduct a forensic investigation into maladministration, improper conduct by Departmental officials, and the unlawful expenditure of public funds – this was also removed from the final report by Adv Mkhwebane.

In his supplementary affidavit, Naidoo states:
“In the absence of any explanation from the Public Protector, CASAC submits that the only possible inference, which the Court should not hesitate to draw, is that she deliberately curtailed the Report’s findings and remedial action in an effort to protect Department officials, and thereby acted for an improper purpose and in bad faith.”
CASAC question’s Adv Mkhwebane’s motives in pleading that she will not oppose its application and that she will abide by the decision of the court. This appears to be a feeble attempt to avoid having to explain the inconsistencies between the provisional and final reports and her motives in sanitising Adv Madonsela’s provisional report. As a result CASAC has also amended its Notice of Motion and no longer seeks to compel the Public Protector to investigate the complicity of senior political figures – she cannot be trusted to do so.
We also point out that Adv Mkhwebane has misled Parliament. Appearing before the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on 17 April, she indicated that she will now institute an investigation into the politicians involved in the project without disclosing that she had amended the provisional report to specifically exclude them from further scrutiny.
In terms of her affidavit filed together with the Rule 53 Record, Adv Mkhwebane argues that resource constraints precluded her from conducting a more thorough investigation, yet fails to explain how she was so constrained. We point out that she did not subpoena any witnesses, nor did she attempt to speak to any of the supposed beneficiaries of the project. This would not have required any significant resources, and she therefore failed to conduct a rational, reasonable and lawful investigation into the Project notwithstanding any financial constraints.
CASAC seeks orders declaring that Adv Mkhwebane has failed to discharge her duties in terms of the Constitution as well as the Public Protector Act, and that her Report into the Vrede Dairy Project be set aside as being unconstitutional, unlawful and invalid.

Amended Notice of Motion

CASAC v PP – Supplementary Founding Affadavit


CASAC has embarked on a joint constitutional literacy project in high schools in the Western Cape in partnership with the Human Upliftment Project (HUP)

The HUP is a student led non-profit company and human rights organisation, committed to advancing the human good and achieving constitutionally mandated human rights through various outreach programs. The project aims to impart the ability to construct academic arguments independently and develop critical analysis skills, to grade 10 and 11 high school learners.

All constitutional literacy projects are currently underway at Beacon Hill Secondary School in Mitchell’s Plain and Thandokhulu High School in Mowbray.