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20 November 2019 Legal News Watch

South Africa

No ulterior motive in 'chess' message – Mkhwebane

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has defended her WhatsApp message about playing ‘chess’ regarding her investigations into President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister Pravin Gordhan, claiming it is not evidence of any ulterior purpose – but solely about defending her office against ... Read More

Mafia-like control of SA sought – Chikane

ANC veteran Frank Chikane believes if the state capture trajectory had continued, it would have spawned a government dictatorship controlled by a group of people akin to a mafia. Chikane, who was testifying at the State Capture Inquiry, was responding ... Read More

Legal action imminent in SAA stand-off

Legal action is imminent on two fronts as the increasingly bitter dispute between unions and SAA enters a fifth day, notes Legalbrief. Embattled national carrier SAA says it will approach the Labour Court on an urgent basis to interdict the ... Read More

Policy Watch

In Court

Man guilty in Diwali racism case

Johan Olivier was found guilty yesterday of the crimen injuria charges against him after he posted a racist Facebook message directed at his neighbour, who was letting off fireworks in celebration of Diwali. The Witness reports Olivier had written a ... Read More

Prosecutor guilty of child porn possession

A Western Cape prosecutor has been sentenced to 10 years in prison on 157 charges of possession of child pornography and one charge of sexual assault, reports TimesLIVE. Dawid Lotz, a control prosecutor at the Atlantis Magistrate's Court at ... Read More

NPO boss lauds 'landmark' waste pickers ruling

Steve Jourdan – the head of non-profit organisation WastePreneurs – believes the court interdict granted against the Johannesburg Property Company (JPC) will go a long way to restoring the dignity of more than 6 000 waste pickers working throughout the ... Read More

Today's Analyses

Freedom of speech 'not a paramount value'

‘The basis of robust critical remarks about one’s opponents is the exercise of freedom of speech. That is a claim based in law; hence it is the role of courts to assess such legal claims and to ensure that speech ... Read More

ConCourt clarifies universities' language choice rights

Two recent Constitutional Court cases have qualified the constitutional right to ‘language choice’ at public educational institutions and concluded a three-year period of language policy litigation at historically Afrikaans universities. In October 2019, a unanimous judgment in Gelyke Kanse and ... Read More


Ethiopian minority group considers breakaway

Members of Ethiopia’s Sidama ethnic group are today expected to vote on forming a breakaway regional state. A Mail & Guardian Online report notes that the poll risks further destabilising the country ahead of next year’s national elections. The Sidama ... Read More

Nigerian prisoner linked to global Internet scam

A convicted Internet fraudster has been placed under investigation in Nigeria for allegedly masterminding a 'mega scam' from a maximum-security prison. Anti-corruption officials said Hope Olusegun Aroke used a 'network of accomplices' to assist him. BBC News reports that he ... Read More

HRW flags Khartoum carnage

Human Rights Watch (HRW) says fatal attacks on protesters in Sudan in June may amount to crimes against humanity. The 59-page report entitled ‘They Were Shouting 'Kill Them': Sudan's Violent Crackdown on Protesters in Khartoum’ details the abuses the ... Read More


Sweden drops rape case against Assange

Prosecutors in Sweden have dropped an investigation into a rape allegation made against WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange in 2010. Assange, who denies the accusation, has avoided extradition to Sweden for seven years after seeking refuge at the Ecuadorean embassy in ... Read More

Epstein accuser entreats Prince Andrew to testify

A woman who claims Jeffrey Epstein committed a ‘vicious, prolonged sexual assault’ against her when she was 15 has called on Prince Andrew to come forward with information about the convicted sex offender. A report in The Guardian notes that ... Read More

US endorses Israeli West Bank settlements

In a controversial move, the US has shifted its position on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, no longer viewing them as inconsistent with international law. A BBC News report notes that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said ... Read More

Today's Briefs

Durban man jailed for downloading child porn

* A man who downloaded approximately 19 000 images and 1 000 videos depicting child pornography was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment yesterday. Durban Regional Court Magistrate Melanie de Jager said his name will be entered into the national register for ... Read More

Latest Judgments Online

Member of the Executive Counci

Member of the Executive Council for the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs v Maphanga (652/2018) [2019] ZASCA 147 (18 November 2019) Procedure – vexatious proceedings – requirements for an order prohibiting the institution of legal proceedings under ... Read More