CASAC | Page 5

MEDIA ALERT: BEWARE OF MISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN ON THE TRADITIONAL COURTS BILL

On 29 November a report was compiled by the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) titled “Controversial Traditional Courts Bill Withdrawn”, written by Dennis Cruywagen.

The report erroneously states that “The controversial Traditional Courts Bill is to be withdrawn and will not be brought before Parliament any time soon. This was a unanimous decision taken at its last meeting of the year [28 November], by Parliament’s Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Development.”

The latest ANC Today Newsletter also misreports that the Bill has been withdrawn.

Members of the Alliance for Rural Democracy were present at the Select Committee meeting, on 28 November, to which the false reports refer. We can confirm that the matter of the Bill’s withdrawal was neither discussed nor decided upon.

The Bill has not been withdrawn and is currently being debated by the provinces. The provincial mandates on the Bill are due to be debated by the Select Committee next year. That the Bill remains firmly on the agenda has also been confirmed by the Select Committee’s Secretary.

“We can only imagine that the ANC is involved in a misinformation campaign aimed at misleading its own members in the run up to the ANC Conference in Mangaung. This underhanded move is precisely because rural people have consistently opposed this Bill”, says Sizani Ngubane of the Rural Women’s Movement, a member of the Alliance.

We call on the GCIS and the ANC to cease this misinformation campaign and issue the necessary corrections in regard to the status of the Bill.

Issued by the Alliance for Rural Democracy, 5 December 2012

For more information contact
• Sizani Ngubane – Rural Women’s Movement: 073 8405151
• Aninka Claassens – Law, Race and Gender Research Unit: 084 5102333

The Alliance for Rural Democracy (ARD) is a cross-section of civil society organisations sharing a common concern about the detrimental effects that the Traditional Courts Bill will have on the rural constituencies they serve and support. The ARD includes the following organisations: Association for Rural Advancement (AFRA); Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria; Community Law Centre, University of the Western Cape (CLC);Corruption Watch; Co-operative Policy Alternative Centre (COPAC); Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC);Democratic Governance and Rights Unit, University of Cape Town (DGRU); Embrace Dignity Campaign; Empilisweni AIDS Education and Training Centre; Greater Rape Intervention Programme (GRIP);Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR);Justice and Women (JAW); Land Access Movement of South Africa (LAMOSA);Law Race and Gender Research Unit, University of Cape Town (LRG); Lesbian and Gay Equality Project; Masimanyane Women’s Support Centre; Open Democracy Advice Centre (ODAC);Rural People’s Movement; Rural Women’s Movement; Rural Health Advocacy Project; Section 27; Sonke Gender Justice; South African Constitutional Literacy and Service Initiative (CLASI); Students for Law and Social Justice (SLSJ); Thohoyandou Victim Empowerment Project (TVEP);Treatment Action Campaign (TAC);Triangle Project; Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre (TLAC); Unemployed People’s Movement; Women’s Health Research Unit in the School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town; Women’s Legal Centre Trust. The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) acts as legal advisor to the Alliance.

Media Statement by the Advisory Council of CASAC on the impact of Marikana on South Africa’s constitutional order

3 October 2012

We believe that Marikana represents a turning point in South Africa’s post-apartheid history. The question is: in what direction will we now go?

The serious violations of fundamental constitutional rights that the Farlam Commission must investigate with regard to Marikana are, in fact, a common reality for far too many people who live in South Africa.

The credibility and legitimacy of the police is in tatters. The needless death of Andries Tatane last year was a grave warning of the dangers of the militarisation of the police force and the inadequacy of its public order management capacity.

Zones of illegality, painfully reminiscent of our repressive past, blot the landscape.

As a result, civil liberties are now imperilled, as the apparent collapse of the intelligence services and the partisan political use of state security forces render the country vulnerable to destabilisation –undermining our future prospects and prosperity, and which, more than anything, hurts the poorest members of our society the hardest.

The ‘state of emergency’, in deed if not in law, that has been in existence in the aftermath of the Marikana massacre demonstrates the duplicitous role of the government swarm intelligence and its security forces. A repressive clampdown with the rule of law seemingly suspended has engulfed the communities grappling with the trauma and grief of the massacre.

The basis on which the police conducted search and seizure operations in the early hours of Saturday 15 September remains unclear; on the same day rubber bullets were again used resulting in the death of ANC Councillor, Pauline Masulo; marches organised by the Women of Marikana have been banned; individuals have been prevented from addressing meetings of workers for no apparent good legal reason; and there have been numerous arrests of workers in other platinum mines in recent weeks – these are all occurrences associated with the repressive apartheid regime in the 1980s. 2

Now is the time to draw a line in the sand and to demand a renewed commitment to the Constitution, its progressive vision of socio-economic transformation, and its principled commitment to the rule of law.

We submit that Marikana cannot be examined in isolation of the socio-economic and political context in which it occurred – a context in which a dangerous culture of intolerance and political violence has persisted, and in which the ability to process peaceful dialogue and to mediate industrial relations has been lost.

The system of collective bargaining established by the 1995 Labour Relations Act has also been dangerously undermined.

Rightly, the Commission’s Terms of Reference require it to consider corporate responsibility. The imperative of creating new decent jobs, with a living wage, has to be a shared social obligation.

Thus must we all reflect candidly on the causes of this crisis, recognising its various components, which include: structural weaknesses in State institutions that have permitted a culture of impunity in the use of State power to grow; acute failure of leadership in both government and in the ANC; deep rifts in and between trade unions; unacceptable levels of wage inequality; the root causes of chronic poverty and long-term unemployment.

While recognizing and affirming the right of all workers to embark on industrial action, to associate freely and enjoy the right to freedom of expression, a society established on the basis of constitutional norms cannot countenance the persistent violence and sense of lawlessness that characterises many public gatherings, strikes and protests. We appeal to all people to exercise the right of assembly without bearing arms and weapons of any kind, and to desist from engaging in acts of violence and intimidation.

We must also acknowledge the fact that the ANC’s looming national elective congress is contributing to the heightened levels of intolerance and conflict as factions within the ANC jostle for power.

There is a conservative trajectory within elements in the ruling party that betrays the noble objectives of the liberation struggle, and which threatens the idea of progressive constitutionalism that was at the heart of the post-1994 social compact. The ANC’s Mangaung Conference will likely determine whether that trajectory is hastened or rejected.

In short, progressive politics are under threat. Progressive organisations and movements must inject new energy and commitment into their efforts to protect our constitutional order, and must commit to work together to pursue rights and secure human dignity.

As the Farlam Commission begins its work in earnest, it must mark the start not only of an open process of unrelenting, unconditional search for the truth about what happened on 16 August, and why, but also a new chapter in our collective resolve to build a society that reflects the vision of our Constitution.

It is an opportunity that must be grasped. The government must do everything possible to ensure that the Commission can do its work, with full access to all relevant information, as well as to all role-players and decision-makers within both the police and the wider security establishment. Any 3

suggestion that evidence is being suppressed or bad decision-making covered up will do untold harm not just to the search for accountability and justice, but to the families of the victims of Marikana.

Their needs and concerns must be the central concern during this time. CASAC calls on the Commission to put the families at the forefront of the Commission and to ensure that they have appropriate support, whether in the form of provision of transport and accommodation so that they might attend the hearings, or in the form of ensuring effective legal representation, and extending to offering counselling for the tragedy they have suffered.

The barbarity and violence of 16 August must be replaced by civility and a newfound respect for human life.

 

Honorary Members

 

: Bobby Godsell, Emma Mashinini, Roelf Meyer, Prof Njabulo Ndebele

 

Advisory Council Members

 

: Prof Cathi Albertyn, Mr Oupa Bodibe, Prof Richard Calland, Prof Hugh Corder, Adv Susannah Cowen, Prof Pierre de Vos, Mr Mukelani Dimba, Adv Fanie du Toit, Ms Jackie Dugard, Mr Ebrahim Fakir, Ms Judith February, Ms Isobel Frye, Ms Nomboniso Gasa, Dr Frene Ginwala, Prof Adam Habib, Adv Adila Hassim, Mr Sello Hatang, Mr Mazibuko Jara, Prof Sandra Liebenberg, Dr Tshepo Madlingozi, Ms Basetsana Molebatsi, Mr Mosibudi Mangena, Ms Sisonke Msimang, Mr Lawson Naidoo, Adv Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, Dr Nomfundo Ngwenya, Prof Velile Notshulwana, Ms Liepollo Pheko, Sipho M. Pityana (Chairman),Adv Paul Pretorius SC, Bishop Jo Seoka, Adv Tseliso Thipanyane, Mr Siyabonga Titi, Adv Wim Trengove SC, Mr Mathatha Tsedu, Adv Faranaaz Veriava

Letter to the Minister of Basic Education

29 August 2012

Casac calls for the reinstatement of Solly Tshitangano, a Limpopo textbook corruption whistle-blower

Dear Minister

The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) is deeply concerned that Mr Solly Tshitangano, the former Acting Chief Financial Officer in the Limpopo Department of Education, was dismissed in December last year despite playing such a valiant role in exposing evidence of corruption and maladministration in that Department.

We believe that Mr Tshitnagano has been victimised for his role as a whistle-blower with regard to the irregular awarding of the tender for the supply and delivery of school textbooks. In the on-going fight against corruption we should be lauding such loyal public servants as Mr Tshitangano and honouring their commitment to efficient government. Instead Mr Tshitangano has had to resort to the Labour Court to seek to have his contract of employment reinstated.

Ironically, in defending the claim by EduSolutions for the reversal of your Departments decision to revoke the tender, your Department has made use of the information made available by Mr Tshitangano. You therefore implicitly acknowledge the important role he has played in highlighting the irregularities that led to the tragic delay in delivering textbooks to learners in Limpopo province this year.

As part of its Red Card Corruption campaign, CASAC has emphasised the importance of protecting whistle-blowers, and we have indeed called for greater protection for these individuals. We therefore call on you to take all necessary measures to ensure that Mr Tshitangano is expeditiously reinstated.

Laws such as the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004 (PACCA) and the Financial Intelligence Centre Act 38 of 2001 place a responsibility on citizens to report corrupt and other unlawful conduct of individuals and organisations. It is surely incumbent on your Department to encourage and foster a culture of whistle-blowing so as to rid ourselves of the plight of corruption and maladministration that hampers government efficiency.

By reinstating Mr Tshitangano you will be demonstrating that Government acknowledges the important role played by whistle-blowers, and is committed to protecting them and punishing the beneficiaries of corrupt practices.

Yours sincerely

LAWSON NAIDOO

Executive Secretary

073 158 5736

The Wolpe Dialogue in association with Wits University and the Harold Wolpe Memorial Trust

The Department of Sociology, Wits University and the Harold Wolpe Memorial Trust

Invite you to a

Wolpe Dialogue  

 

in honour of the late Harold Wolpe, renowned academic and activist.

 

Thursday, July 26, 4:45pm for 5pm to 7pm

 

The Constitution, Policy and the State:

The Agenda for Economic Distribution


Sipho M Pityana

Chairman, The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC)

Venue:

Wits University, Southwest Engineering Building,

Ground Floor, Room 10.

Safe Parking at Yale Road, Wits

Anti-Corruption Youth Essay Competition:“Fighting Corruption in Africa: a Youth Perspective”

Anti-Corruption Youth Essay Competition:“Fighting Corruption in Africa: a Youth Perspective”

 

 

 

UNITED NATIONS

ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR AFRICA

    

 

African Union Advisory Board on Corruption

 

  

Anti-Corruption Youth Essay Competition:

Fighting Corruption in Africa: a Youth Perspective”

 

Are you an African youth concerned about corruption on the continent?

Have you or anyone close to you been a victim of corruption?

Do you believe your future is in any way threatened by corrupt practices?

Would you want your voice to be heard on the issue of corruption?

And do you have a passion for writing?

 

Then you should seriously consider participating in this year’s ‘Anti-Corruption Youth Essay Competition,’ co-organized by the Governance and Public Administration Division (GPAD) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the Secretariat of the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption (AU-ABC). This is within the framework of annual festivities to mark the International Anti-corruption Week, which is a major item in the Regional Anti-corruption Programme for Africa, developed by the UNECA, in collaboration with the AU-ABC.

 

The Regional Anti-corruption Program for Africa aims at up scaling the fight against corruption on the continent with a view to ensuring a corruption free, better governed and economically prosperous African continent.

 

As you are well aware, corruption negatively affects all segments and groups in society, particularly the youth, who constitute the majority in many African countries. This essay competition is therefore intended to serve two main purposes: firstly, to establish the level of awareness, among African youths of the manifestations and impact of corruption; and secondly, provide a platform for African youths to present their perspectives on the causes, manifestations and impact of corruption and corrupt practices.

 

This year’s theme is “Fighting Corruption in Africa: A youth Perspective” If you have a story or an experience to share relating to this theme, this is a wonderful opening for you – make your submission and let your voice count.

 

The authors of the best three essays will be flown to the host city for the 2012 International Anti-corruption Week, to directly take part in the festivities. More significantly, the five leading authors will participate in a final competition, during which they will make oral presentations (of their essays) to a panel of judges, who will select the three top winners who will then receive special awards from African dignitaries and officials from the two convening institutions.

 

Eligibility Criteria:

 

–       Applicants must reside in an African country

–       Applicants must be currently attending secondary or high-school

–       Essays must be between 4-7 pages long (single line spacing)

–       Submissions must be the unaided work of applicants

–       Submissions should be either in English or French

–       Applicants must be willing and fit to travel

 

To submit an entry:

 

Email your essay with your name, age, school, country of origin, and contact information (email address, telephone number) to: John I Gbodi (e-mail: Gbodij@africa-union.org) and copy Francis Ikome (e-mail: fikome@uneca.org.

 

 

The deadline for submission is: 15th August 2012­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­____________________

 

 

 

 

 

UNITED NATIONS

ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR AFRICA  

 

 

African Union ADVisory board on corruption

  

  

Concours d’ Essai de Jeunes sur  la Lutte contre la Corruption:

“La Lutte contre la corruption en Afrique: La Perspective des Jeunes”

 

Etes-vous jeune Africain concerné par la corruption sur le continent?

Avez-vous personnellement ou un proche de vous , été une fois victime d’un acte de corruption?

Pensez-vous que votre futur est de quelque façon menacée par des actes de corruption?

Voudriez-vous que votre voix soit entendue sur le problème de la corruption?

Avez-vous de surcroît la passion d’écrire?

 

Alors, vous devriez sérieusement envisager de participer au Concours d’Essai de Jeunes sur la lutte contre la corruption, organisée cette année, par le Département de la Gouvernance et l’Administration Publique (DGAP) de la Commission Economique des Nations Unies pour l”Afrique (CEA) et le Secrétariat du Conseil Consultatif de l’Union Africaine sur la Corruption(CCUAC). Ce concours s’inscrit dans le cadre de la commémoration annuelle de la Semaine Internationale de Lutte contre la Corruption, qui constitue une activité majeure du Programme Régional de Lutte contre la Corruption, développé par la CEA en collaboration avec le CCUAC.

 

L’objectif du Programme Régional de Lutte contre la Corruption est d’accélérer la lutte contre la corruption sur le continent aux fins de bâtir une Afrique épargnée de corruption, une Afrique mieux gouvernée et une Afrique économiquement plus prospère.

 

Comme vous le saviez certainement, la corruption affecte négativement, plusieurs secteurs et groupes de la société, et plus particulièrement la jeunesse, qui constitue la majorité de la population dans plusieurs pays en Afrique. Ce concours d’Essai a donc pour but d’une part de s’enquérir du niveau de prise de conscience des jeunes sur l’existence et les conséquences  de la corruption et d’autre part, de fournir une plate-forme aux jeunes aux fins de présenter leurs perspectives  quant aux causes, manifestations et conséquences de la corruption et de ses pratiques.

 

Le Thème choisi pour l’Essai cette année, est: “La Lutte contre la Corruption en Afrique: La Perspective  des Jeunes”. Si vous avez une histoire ou une expérience sur ce thème et que vous voudriez partager avec les autres, voici alors une occasion propice. Faites votre contribution et faites entendre votre voix.

 

Les auteurs des trois (3) meilleurs essais feront le voyage en avion sur la capitale Africaine qui a été choisie pour la commémoration,  cette année 2012,  de la Semaine Internationale de Lutte contre la Corruption, pour y participer. Auparavant,  les auteurs des cinq (5) meilleurs essais, participeront ā une compétition finale, oū ils seraient priés de faire une présentation orale de leurs textes, devant un jury qui sélectionnera les trois meilleurs, qui recevront ensuite divers prix de la main de hauts dignitaires Africains membres des deux organes organisateurs.

 

Critères de selection:

 

  • Les participants doivent résider sur le continent Africain;
  • Les participants doivent être inscrits au premier degré du Collège (entre les classes de sixième et troisième);
  • Les essais doivent être entre 4 et 7 pages (espace d’une ligne simple);
  • Les textes proposés doivent être écrits de façon indépendante (par leurs auteurs);
  • Les textes doivent être écrits en Anglais ou en Français;
  • Les participants doivent vouloir et pouvoir voyager.

 

The Launch of Kader Asmal Moot Court at the University of Western Cape

A speech delivered by Louise Asmal, Professor Kader Asmal’s widow, on 13 February 2012

This has been a wonderful occasion, and a fitting event coming from a university to which Kader felt such a deep attachment.   When he first arrived here, it was a place of extraordinary political ferment, fierce debates, and involvement in planning the future of our country.The Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Constitutional Court were both the subject of such debates, and fervently promoted by members of the Community Law School here, of whom Kader was one.

To my horror, I read on the internet this morning that our President wants the powers of the Constitutional Court to be reviewed.  According to the report, he lexington code review seems to think that the fact that some judgments are made by majority vote only proves that these judgments are not necessarily correct.  But this is the same process as is followed in debates in Parliament, and if the majority vote there were not deemed to be decisive, chaos would ensue in government.  The President went on to say that judges are influenced by the media, which looks like a regrettable attack on their integrity.

I do not really understand why our Government,  with such a substantial majority in Parliament, and such substantial support in nearly every part of the country, is quite so sensitive to criticism – though I must say that this sensitivity is pretty well standard for governments all over the world.  I believe rather that South Africa is fortunate to have such a vigorous press, and such a strong civil society.

We have heard a lot of criticism lately of our Constitution, and have even heard some rash members of the ANC and its Youth League proclaim that “it is not our constitution”.   Absurd!  So I was very happy to hear that President Zuma, in his State of the Nation address, stated that:

“We affirm our commitment to advance the ideals of our country’s Constitution at all times”.

This was not given the publicity it deserved in our press.

Finally, I must congratulate UWC on establishing this Moot Court.  I am sure that it will promote many vital debates;  and the Asmal family are proud and honoured that it is being named after Kader.