Official newsletter of the Department of Justice & Constitutional Development
July/August 2009 Vol 4/2009
“Together Empowering Women for Development and Gender Equality”
Protests & the
Speeding the wheels of Justice
Justice with technology Complete a
Ensuring Equality and
S o u t h A f r i c a
The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development has signed a Government Notice
extending equality courts services to all Magistrates Court as of 28 August 2009
STEP BY STEP GUIDE FOR LODGING AN EQUALITY CASE
Step 1 quality Courts deal with Step 6
Go to the Clerk of the Equality Court Hearing: This is where
at your nearest Magistrates’ matters relating to unfair the Magistrate or
court and inform him of your discrimination, hate speech and Judge listens to the
intention to institute harassment on the basis of: evidence of both
proceedings in the parties and
Equality Court. He/she witnesses and
will give you a form to • Race, decides on the
complete. If you are matter.
unable to complete it,
you have a right to be • Sex
assisted by the clerk of • Language Step 5
the equality court.
• Colour If the Magistrate or Judge
• Disability decides to hear the matter, the
clerk must assign a date at which
Step 2 • Ethnicity the following will be decided: when
The clerk of the Equality Court must • Pregnancy can parties come to trial, does
then notify the respondent (s) or • Sexual orientation anyone need an interpreter, should
the person (s) against whom assessors
you are lodging your • Culture be used etc.
complaint within 7 • Belief
days. • Birth
• Marital status
Step 3 Step 4
The respondent The clerk must refer the matter to
(s) has 10 days the Magistrate or Judge who will
within which to decide whether the matter is to
reply. be heard at the Equality Court,
Commision for Gender Equaliy
or the South African
Human Rights Commission.
REA A man took a popular A gay couple lodged a An Indian woman took
restaurant to Equality complaint to the a co-worker to Equality
Court after the manager Equality Court after Court after she allegedly
said that he does not they were allegedly called her a “coolie”.
want coloured people in refused entry to the
his store as they are all church on the basis of
thieves. their sexual orientation.
An applicant took a A woman lodged
A physically disabled
airline to the Equality a complaint in the
person could not apply
Court for refusing to give Equality Court after
for fire-arm licence as the
her a job on the basis she was assaulted for
office was situated on the
that she is HIV positive. wearing pants.
upper floor of the building
with no lifts.
For more information: Tel: (012) 315 1683 or (012) 357 8977 (012) 357 8105 Fax: (012) 315 1410 Private Bag x 81, Pretoria 0001
CONTENTS & EDITORIAL
August each year sees the nation celebrating Women’s Month and
Women’s Day. This year, we celebrated the month and the day, under the
theme: “Together Empowering Women for Development and Gender
Women’s Day on 9 August 2009 marks the 53rd anniversary of the
04 06 09 22 women’s anti-pass march to the Union Buildings. This historic march
marked a turning point in the role of women in the struggle for freedom
July/ August 2009 and society at large. Since that eventful day, women from all walks of life
became equal partners in the struggle for a non-racial and non-sexist
Regulars In this issue we bring you news of countrywide activities which the De-
partment of Justice and Constitutional Development led, for the benefit of
03 Editorial women in the public and within the justice system. This includes events
14 From The Courts for staff and the public in KwaZulu-Natal, one of which was addressed by
16 International Views on Justice First Lady Nompumelelo Zuma. Elsewhere community outreach events
were organised to help women make the most of justice services at their
18 Profiles: 3 top female Judges doorsteps and to empower them to escape abuse.
20 Justice Across the Nation
29 Justice Today Crossword Puzzle On August the department’s National Office and Regional Offices dis-
tributed information on Domestic Violence, Maintenance, Small Claims
30 Vox Pops Courts as well as Wills and Estates, targeting women in particular.
Features Internally the department’s hardworking women received coaching and
mentoring, motivational talks, financial advice and more.
04 IJS: Speeding the wheels of justice
Three top achieving women in the Justice sector are profiled in this issue.
08 Abduction of young girls is unconstitutional Justice Mandisa Maya, Justice Nonkosi Mhlantla and Justice Carole
09 Equal opportunities for previously disadvantaged lawyers Lewis are amongst the most accomplished legal minds in the nation,
12 Do sex workers need legal protection holding high profile and demanding jobs in a male dominated profes-
sion. They serve as inspiration for other women not only because of their
24 Justice & Rural Development partner in Women’s Month academic and professional achievements, but also because they made
26 The use of Indigenous languages by our courts those achievements while being mothers in today’s competitive working
Articles Women’s achievements in bringing about democracy and equality to our
nation, cannot be overstated. To further promote equality, the Department
06 Magistrate’s Courts to hear Equality cases of Justice and Constitutional Development launched the national roll out
10 Violent service delivery protests not in line with Constitution of Equality Courts to all magisterial districts in South Africa. This launch
was in synergy with the theme of Women’s Month, and thus echoed
27 Consumer rights vital for the economy government’s drive to empower and develop women towards gender
22 Daveyton now has full service court equality. We bring you an article on the launch and the programme itself,
28 Legal Aid South Africa which is supported by Chapter 9 institutions, such as the South African
Human Rights Commission, amongst others.
JUSTICE TODAY EDITORIAL TEAM One of the most vulnerable and stigmatised groups in society are sex
workers, the majority of whom are women. The South African Law
EDITOR Lavinia Mahlangu LavMahlangu@justice.gov.za Reform Commission has been conducting research on the plight of these
women and men, and on possible changes towards their legal status.
LAYOUT & DESIGN Aubrey Ratsoma ARatsoma@justice.gov.za
There is a case to be made on what the law can do to make their lives
TRANSLATION SERVICES safer and to uphold their human rights. This is an interesting and conten-
tious issue in our country and the public were given an opportunity to
Kgomotso Mokgola MKgomotso@justice.gov.za voice their concerns, contributions and give their input.
Tshifhiwa Netshiukhwi TNetshiukhwi@justice.gov.za
This issue also covers the tragic kidnappings of young girls, who are
Lulama Ngoma LNgoma@justice.gov.za forced into marriage in rural areas. We investigate the origins of this act
and what the department and government stance are in this regard.
The new government has established a
Thomas Mahlangu TMahlangu@justice.gov.za
Ministry dedicated to serve the needs
CONTRIBUTORS of Women, Children and Persons with
Disability and mobilise participation of all
Lazarus Mothupi - Public Education & Communication (PEC) sectors in the advancement of women.
In our regular Vox Pops, we canvas staff
Neliswa Demana - Public Education & Communication (PEC)
and public opinion on what this new min-
Justice Ditshego - Public Education & Communication (PEC) istry can achieve and where its attention
is most needed.
Ndifelani Magadani - Public Education & Communication (PEC)
From the Editorial Team, we hope you
Isaac Mokaila - North West Regional Office
enjoy this issue of Justice Today. Share it
Malane Barlow - Northern Cape Regional Office with others, particularly women and girls
who can draw hope and inspiration from
ADDITIONAL REPORTING it as well as become empowered with all
the information we have put together.
BuaNews, GCIS , www.feministe.us (Pics) & others as cited Lavinia Mahlangu
July/ August 2009 Justice Today l 03
Integrated Justice System:
Speeding the wheels of Justice
By Rodney Weidemann with additional reporting from Justice Today
J ustice delayed is justice denied, according to the famous ad-
age. The ultimate goal of the Integrated Justice System (IJS)
strategy is to eliminate delays and speed up usually lethargic
ment of cases through technology interventions and to cut down
on lost dockets and corruption by making the process of case
management more transparent,” she says.
processes to ensure justice for all, swiftly.
“On the other hand, a key priority for the NPA is implemen-
The IJS is focused towards the better management of crime and tation of an electronic case management system to ease
criminals, from the reporting of a crime right through to the arrest, preparation for prosecutors. Development has also begun
conviction, imprisonment and the rehabilitation of the offender. on a prosecutorial expert database to enable registration
and tracking of prosecutors and their areas of specialisa-
With the understanding that the justice process can take far too tion. The NPA is also building a database of unreported case
long, the various departments involved in it have been working law.”
towards the electronic sharing of information between the par-
ticipating departments that will cut out delays while reducing is- The DSD is primarily responsible for looking after minors affected
sues around lost dockets and corruption. Since there has been by criminal cases, or detaining under-age criminals pending their
no single way to view the location of a person within the crimi- trial, meaning that its key priorities are focused around the de-
nal justice system, the development of such a solution has been velopment of a secure care detention management system and
viewed as a priority. child protection register.
The participating departments comprise the Department of Jus- “At the DoJCD, our focus is on the implementation of the inte-
tice and Constitutional Development (DoJCD) represented by IJS grated case management system, the integration of a justice de-
Board Chair Sharon Thomas and Deven Moodley: the National posit account and a solution that will allow for detainees to be
Prosecuting Authority (NPA) represented by Advocate Marnus arraigned via video conferencing,” says the IJS Board Chair.
Steyn and Sandra Reddy, the SA Police Service’s (SAPS) Assis-
tant Commissioner Marlene Meyer and Director Willie Meyer, the At the DCS, work is under way on systems intended to improve
Department of Correctional Service’s (DCS) Assistant Commis- the process of rehabilitating and reintegrating offenders back
sioner Jack Shilubane, the Department of Social Development into society. The department is also revising its remand deten-
(DSD) and the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). tion management system and implementing electronic tracking
and monitoring technology. The IJS Board comprises the GITOs
Ultimately, the IJS strategy is expected to lead to better manage- from each of the departments involved in the IJS, and oversees
ment of crime and criminals, from the reporting of a crime right all aspects of the programme. The programme itself is divided
through to the arrest, conviction, imprisonment and rehabilitation into seven subsections, each overseen by a lead department’s
of the offender. board member.
Departmental requirements Six of the sub-programmes are departmental in nature, focus-
ing on the modernisation of the respective departmental system
According to IJS Board Chair and the Department of Justice’s capabilities. The seventh is a transversal sub-programme that
Government Information Technology Officer (GITO) Sharon focuses on creating the shared services layer that will enable
Thomas, each of the departments within the justice process has inter-departmental information exchange and cluster-wide per-
a set of requirements that have been prioritised with respect to formance management information services.
the IJS. “For example, the SAPS aims to improve the manage-
The participating departments are the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, National Prosecuting Authority, SA Police
Service, the Department of Correctional Services, the Department of Social Development and the Department of Home Affairs.
Developmental objectives measurement/business intelligence sys- there will be no access to information from
tem to measure across the entire CJS another department unless it is required.”
The IJS programme has a number of key value chain,” she explained.
objectives. The realisation of these is, in She points out that a successful delivery of
turn, built around five key business driv- Integration projects all seven of the IJS board’s programmes
ers. “The first business driver is that of re- will contribute to a wide variety of overall
sponsiveness. We need to ensure that the The IJS Board said integration projects business benefits, improving the opera-
criminal justice system (CJS) responds have also been identified to allow for tion of the justice system and leading to
with the right resources, in an acceptable the electronic flow of data amongst the enormous improvements in its service to
time frame, to the needs of the citizen.” participating departments; for example, the general public.
electronic routing of case particulars as
“Secondly, we require a streamlined captured at the origin department namely “One of the most likely benefits will be an
and efficient criminal justice process. SAPS to DoJCD and NPA. improvement in the responsiveness of the
The CJS needs to be seen as both effi- CJS. We should also see shorter case cy-
cient and effective in processing cases “A system is also under construction that cle times, a greater throughput of cases,
and producing fair outcomes for the will enable SA Legal Aid to be automati- fewer withdrawals of cases and fewer lost
citizen.” cally notified whenever the SAPS takes a case files.”
person who requires legal aid into custo-
Effective persons management is the third dy. Similarly, integration with Home Affairs Eliminating backlogs
driver. This is all about how effective the will enable the SAPS to verify the identity
CJS organs are in knowing the identity, of accused.” The IJS Board Chair indicated that the
status and location of the people under its Ms Thomas elaborates: “We have built an scope of the programme is the moderni-
supervision. IJS integration hub that will enable each sation of the entire criminal justice busi-
“Another driver is the ability to deal appro- department to retain ownership of its own ness process. This, she said, is defined
priately with special people and victims. data and to look after its own operations as being from when an incident of crime
Here we need to ask how effective the and maintenance, while still linking to one is reported or detected until the uncondi-
CJS organs are in being able to respond another. Effectively, information will be tional release of an offender at the end of
and manage specific groups of people – pushed or pulled to the hub, and accessed their sentence.
such as women and children – who are from there by the recipient departments.
either victims, or perpetrators, of crimes.” “The IJS programme can still be further
“This will mean that each department will optimised as the departments continue to
“Finally, we need to know how well the only be able to obtain the information update their various systems, but the inte-
CJS is performing as a whole. We need needed for a specific task – fingerprints, gration hub is up and running already and
a clear understanding of how effective dockets and so on will be scanned in and has worked perfectly so far,” assured the
the CJS-wide measures of the perfor- provided as a service via the hub – and IJS Board Chair.
mance of the business are in relation
to both the business drivers and the
underlying processes,” said the IJS
There is a three-step strategy for automa-
tion, designed to optimally manage inter-
dependencies amongst the various stake-
holders, while also focusing on delivering
benefits on an ongoing basis.
“Effectively, the aim is to first automate
manual processes and upgrade exist-
ing systems. Then, we need to integrate
these systems, although this can only
happen once all the departments have
automated their own manual processes or
updated these to allow for automatic flow
of information between departments.”
“Finally, we want to create a performance
July/ August 2009 Justice Today l 05
Magistrate’s Courts will
now hear Equality cases
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Jeff Radebe, left, and Human Rights Commissioner Jody
Kollapen on the right, addressing the public at the launch of the national Equality Courts roll out to Magistrate’s Courts.
By Ndifelani Magadani
B ringing equality cases to all Magistrate’s
Courts in the country, is a firm commitment
to ensure that access to justice for everyone
This endeavour, said the minister, will ensure
that the majority of people, especially those
in townships and rural areas, have access to
ment will continue with its efforts to train more
Equality Courts personnel. This, he said will
ensure improved service delivery. Awareness
becomes a reality, said Minister of Justice and equality court services. of the Equality Courts will also be continually
Constitutional Development, Jeff Radebe. emphasised. “Equality is without a doubt an in-
Minister Radebe assured the nation that Equal- destructible element in the constitutional order
“Equality in the South African context is not ity Courts were not closing down, as some me- in South Africa,” said Minister Radebe.
only a right, but a core and foundation value dia reports suggested. “I want to assure my
which is central to our Constitution,” said the fellow South Africans that my Department of “The reason why the achievement of equality
Minister at the launch of a programme which Justice will not close down these courts any- remains our constitutional imperative is be-
opened the way for all Magistrate’s Courts in time in the future. The struggle towards the cause it is rooted in our shameful history of
South Africa to hear equality matters. achievement of equality should continue until colonialism and apartheid,” said the Minister.
substantive equality is achieved by all people This, he explained has resulted in the major-
The designation of Equality Court services to of South Africa,” he said. ity of people in the country being victims of a
the Magistrate’s Courts, demonstrates gov- vicious system of racial discrimination and op-
ernment’s resolve to provide the necessary The Minister announced that the Justice Col- pression.
protection and remedies to all victims of unfair lege has trained abut 681 magistrates and 36
discrimination, hate speech, and harassment. clerks to handle equality matters. The depart- Despite some progress being made in ad-
dressing the legacy of discrimination and op-
pression, observed the minister, some dispari-
ties still remained. “Racial incidences such as
the one reported in the University of Free State
here, serve as an indication that we still have a
lot to do in addressing the legacy if our shame-
What are Equality Courts?
These courts are aimed at eradicating the
legacy of inequality and at the same time en-
hance our ability to bring justice closer to an
Top Left Free State Judge President Judge Hendrick Musi addressed the public at the launch. increasing mass of our people. The existence
Below School children provided the entertainment. of Equality Courts symbolises the collective
will of the people to succeed despite enormous
The Equality Act facilitates the transition to
democratic society, united in its diversity,
marked by human relations that are caring and
compassionate, and guided by the principles
of equality, fairness, equity, social progress,
justice, human dignity and freedom.
It places a positive duty on the state and all
persons, including institutions to promote
equality. The Act prohibits and prevents unfair
discrimination, hate speech and harassment.
It also promotes equality and provides alterna- Stamping out discrimination based on HIV/ Chairperson of the South African Human
tives for victims of unfair discrimination, hate AIDS Rights Commission (SAHRC) Jody Kollapen
speech and harassment. said regardless of the Constitution, the major-
HIV and AIDS is another ground of unfair dis- ity of people still experience unfair discrimina-
Who can submit a complaint to the Equality crimination, said the minister. Government tion. He said this must be totally eradicated.
Courts? recognises the seriousness of this pandemic Mr Kollapen also applauded efforts by the de-
and its impact to the country. “Our country partment to designate the remaining magiste-
• Any person acting in his or her own continues to experience an increased rate of rial district courts into Equality Courts.
interest; discrimination and intolerance against people
• Any person acting on behalf of another living with HIV and Aids.” “We have to go out and popularise these
person who cannot act in his/ her own courts and make sure people are aware of
name; Following recommendations by the Equality their services. He urged people to make use
• Any person acting as a member of ,or Review Committee, explained the Minister, I of Equality Courts and the powerful Constitu-
in the interest of a group or class of will be approaching Cabinet to consider the tion the country has. “Go to the Equality Courts
persons; inclusion of HIV/Aids in Paragraph A of the and ask about your rights. The Constitution is
• Anyone acting in the interest of the designation of prohibited grounds. The inclu- yours, make use of it,” said Mr Kollapen. He
public; sion will assist in developing a human rights pledged support of the SAHRC to the fight
• Any association or organization or body approach by acknowledging the pandemic in against unfair discrimination and all matters
acting in the interests of its member’s; or a crucial piece of legislation. It will also make relating to inequality.
• The South African Human Rights it easier for people living with HIV to approach
Commission or the Commission on the equality courts whenever they are discrimi- “Everyone in the society has a role to play in
Gender Equality nated against on the basis of their status. the fight against inequality. It is no only the
duty of the state,” said Mfanozelwe Shozi, the
What is Unfair Discrimination, Hate Speech Free State Judge President Judge Hendrick acting chairperson for the CGE in the Free
and Harassment? Musi said greater efforts should be made to State. He said the CGE has embarked on a
popularise the equality courts. “Of all the courts programme to see how best they are imple-
Unfair discrimination in the country, the Equality Courts are the less menting PEPUDA (Promotion of Equality and
known. How do people make use an institution Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act) and
Unfair discrimination is when you are treated they know little about,” said Judge Musi. other related legislations. The CGE said Mr
differently as compared to other categories of He said Equality Courts, if used properly have Shozi will further ensure that there is enough
people and that your dignity as a human being the potential to transform society. In this prov- education and awareness of fundamental
is impaired by such treatment. ince, like all other provinces, explained the rights and equality. “We will continue to edu-
Judge President, racism is still very much alive. cate communities about equality and promote
Discrimination is regarded as unfair when it “The equality courts can play an important role services of these courts.”
imposes burden or withholds benefits or op- to play in the eradication of this practice.”
portunities from any person on one or more of The Chairperson for Legal Aid South Africa,
the following prohibited grounds: sexual ori- Role of Chapter 9 institutions in equality Judge Dunstan Mlambo said the education
entation, age, disability, religion, conscience, matters component of Legal Aid South Africa is offer-
belief, culture language and birth etc, or any ing training to its practitioners. This will assist
other ground where discrimination based on Minister Radebe applauded the work done them to provide an improved service on equal-
that other ground negatively affects the equal by amongst others the Commission for Gen- ity matters. “We are extremely pleased about
enjoyment of a person’s rights and freedoms der Equality (CGE), the South African Hu- this initiative especially that it is happening in
in a serious manner that is comparable to dis- man Rights Commission (SAHRC), and Legal remote areas,” said Judge Mlambo. He urged
crimination on the prohibited grounds. Aid South Africa. He said these institutions people to make use of equality courts services.
should continue to refer cases to the Equal- “We request you, our people, to make use of
It must be noted that discrimination is not al- ity Courts, as this would contribute immensely these courts. They are not only for those with
ways unfair, for instance discrimination is fair to the eradication of unfair discrimination, hate money, is for all of you.”
if it is established that the differentiation is ap- speech and harassment.
(a) Promote the achievement of substantive
equality (equality of outcome) and
(b) To protect and advance persons
disadvantaged by unfair discrimination.
Hate speech is the publishing, spreading or
communication of words that are based on
one or more of the prohibited grounds. These
words must be reasonably construed to dem-
onstrate a clear intention to hurt, harm or to
incite harm and to promote or propagate ha-
Harassment is the unwanted conduct (be-
havior) which persists or which is serious and
disgraceful or create an intimidating environ-
ment, or is intended to cause submission by
actual or threatened negative consequences
and which is related to, amongst others, sex,
gender, or sexual orientation. It will therefore
be harassment if for example if a person is
intimidating you because he or she does not
approve your sexual orientation, e.g. if you
are gay or lesbian.
July/ August 2009 Justice Today l 07
Abduction of young girls
By Neliswa Demana
T he practise of abducting young South Af-
rican girls in the Eastern Cape and forc-
ing them into marriage, under the pretext of
the girls their right and freedom to choose,
this practise has a tendency of denying
these children life opportunities such as edu-
International instruments informing SA’s
ukuthwala (meaning to be carried), is not in cation. It exposes them to social responsi- South Africa is also signatory to a number of
line with the constitutional values. Abduc- bilities such as parenthood for which they international legal instruments and therefore,
tion of children under the age of 18 is child are ill-prepared. Furthermore, this practise the country is obliged to effectively imple-
abuse. exposes children to sexually transmitted in- ment the respective instruments. The African
fections, including HIV/AIDS, which are plac- Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the
This is considered as a form of abduction ing a huge burden on our country’s health Child (article 21 (2)) is the only human rights
and a violation of rights to be free from vio- system. treaty at the regional level that expressly re-
lence, the right to freedom of expressions. quires State parties to specify the minimum
Government has been clear in condemning The Department of Women, Youth, Chil- age of marriage to be 18 years , including in
the activity, following reported incidents in dren and the Disabled is in discussions legislation.
the Eastern Cape villages of Lusikisiki, Bi- with the Human Rights Commission, the
zana and Flagstaff. Department of Social Development and The Convention on the Rights of the Child
the House of Traditional Leaders to deal requires that children should be afforded an
At a recent imbizo in Lusikisiki on girl child with the abuse of ukuthwala. “This is- opportunity to express their views freely, and
abductions, forced and early marriages, sue is a priority for the minister who has be protected from harmful traditional prac-
the Presidency made government’s stance made it very clear that injustice to women tices. The practice of forced marriages is fre-
clear, outlining that “this practice denies our and children are a grave concern that quently addressed by the Committee on the
girl children of their right to choose (in this will receive immediate attention,” said Rights of the Child. Child marriage was also
context - the right to choose a husband). As spokesman, Lionel Adendorf. identified by the Pan-African Forum against
we know this right is enshrined in our Con- the exploitation of Children as a type of com-
stitution.” The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) mercial sexual exploitation of children.
issued a statement adding its voice to con-
South Africa’s Constitution provides for demn the forced marriages of girls. “This is The United Nations Commission on the Sta-
the protection of children, which includes not only out of line with the Constitution but tus of Women- Economic and Social Council
“ensuring that young girls are afforded actually robs them of their childhood. took a resolution 51/3, proposed that a se-
their human rights.” ries of measures should be taken by mem-
The continued exploitation of children in the ber states and other stakeholders to prevent
Domestic legislation also plays an important name of culture damages them as well as fu- forced marriages of the girl child and provide
part in this respect. The registration of a mar- ture society we hope to build. Whatever may support to victims who had entered into such
riage is determined by the minimum age of have been the practice of our forebears does marriages.
consent to the marriage which is 18 years. In not mean that we must uncritically continue
November 2000, the Recognition Customary with these even when the context is differ-
Marriages Act,1998, came into operation to ent,” the Commission said. The Commission
give effect to this age of majority. has joined hands with Office of the Status of
Women in order to stop this continued vio-
The minimum age of consent to marriage is lation of South Africa’s children and its cul-
enforced through the prosecution of offend- tures. The CGE said it will not hesitate to use
ers. Furthermore, laws relating to abduction its legal powers in the interest of protection
and rape are strictly enforced to ensure that and justice for these vulnerable children.
marriage is also entered into through the
free and full consent of the intending spous- Lisa Vetten, a researcher and policy analyst
es. Both civil and customary laws stipulate at the Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre
consent as one of the critical requirements to End Violence Against Women in Johan-
of validity for any marriage. However, lack of nesburg also expressed concern about this
awareness on children’s rights and other so- issue in a Times newspaper interview. She
cial barriers often undermines the protection said parents who forced their underage chil-
of mostly rural girls from forced marriages. dren into marriage could be charged with
sexual exploitation. This is if they benefited,
The Presidency said that apart from denying for example, by accepting payment or lobola.
Equal opportunities for previously
Deputy Minister Andries Nel meets a black, female prosecutor at the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s court. Black lawyers, women and other previously
disadvantaged groups will have equal access to joining the profession as their white counterparts, in terms of the Legal Practice Bill.
By Ndifelani Magadani
B lack lawyers and other previously dis-
advantaged groups will have the same
opportunities to succeed in the legal profes-
terest of justice;
• Access to justice: the efficient and effective
administration of justice which include acces-
the profession: The recognition of the differ-
ent categories of the profession, namely at-
torneys (practitioners with a fidelity fund cer-
sion as their white counterparts. This will be sible legal services. tificate) and advocates (practitioners without
achieved through the Legal Practice Bill. The such a certificate) may be opted;
Bill seeks to address the split inherited from Following the constructive engagement had
the old apartheid dispensation by establish- with the legal profession through its organ- • Associations of legal practitioners: The leg-
ing a rationalised and unified judicial system. ised structures and statutory bodies the key islation could permit voluntary associations of
It will also bring the department closer to the principles which were agreed as the key prin- practitioners, which will be separate entities.
regulation of all law practitioners under a sin- ciples on which the Legal Practice Bill would The Bill may provide for the national body to
gle statutory framework. be based were identified and discussed. Out devolve certain functions on them in respect
of these interactions, constructive discus- of training and discipline, a devolution that
Speaking during his Budget Vote Speech sions involving representatives of the Depart- may only be revoked on good cause shown.
on 24 June in Parliament, the Minister of ment, the General Council of the Bar and the The associations must, however, abide by
Justice and Constitutional Development Law Society of South Africa ensued. the norms and standards set by the national
Jeff Radebe said he intend to introduce These discussions identified the certain key body;
the Legal Practice Bill. “I have stepped-
up consultations with all stakeholders to
finalise the fundamental principles un-
derlying the transformation of the profes-
sion,” said Minister Radebe.
These fundamental principles, explained the
Minister include the need to establish a ra-
tionalised, single legal profession. The princi-
ples also take into account the establishment
of a responsive legal profession and mea-
sures to promote access to justice for the end
users of the justice system. This will ensure
equal access to the profession, in particu-
larly, the previously disadvantaged persons.
The key principles of the Legal The composition of the national body for establishing norms & standards, should reflect
Practice Bill South African demographics, with particular reference to race, gender & regional interests.
principles which inform the content of the
The legal profession is still regulated through Legal Practice Bill. The following are some • Legal Services Ombud: The Bill would es-
the fragmented legislation. It is a constitution- of the principles in respect of which there is tablish an Office of Legal Services Ombud
al imperative that the administration of justice, some convergence of thoughts: who could be a retired judge. The mandate
of which the provision of legal services by the • The need for a regulatory framework for of the Ombud is to promote and protect the
legal profession is part, must be effective and the legal profession. This could be estab- public interest, ensure the fair, efficient and
accessible to all citizens. The transformation lished through a national regulatory body effective investigation of complaints against
of the legal profession is therefore founded with regional chapters to provide national legal practitioners, promote high standards of
on the following fundamental principles: norms and standards. This body will also be integrity in the legal profession and promote
• Equal access to the profession: access to responsible for discipline. The composition of the independence of the legal profession;
the profession and to legal services in par- the national body should reflect South Afri-
ticular for the previously disadvantaged indi- can demographics, with particular reference • Fidelity Fund Board: The Fidelity Fund
viduals; to race, gender and regional interests, in ad- Board must be manageable in terms of size
• An accountable and responsive legal pro- dition to ensuring representation from legal and there must be a reasonable balance be-
fession: the establishment of uniform norms practitioners with fidelity fund certificates, tween legal practitioners and non-legal prac-
and standards for the legal profession to es- those without and paralegals; titioners.
tablish accountability and safe guard the in- • The recognition of different categories of
July/ August 2009 Justice Today l 09
Violent service delivery protests are
not in line with our Constitution
By Nelson Firstly it must be understood that it is consti- The apartheid government, through the
Lehlohonolo tutionally permissible for people to express police and the army, instigated violence
Phakola their concerns through public protests, how- by shooting poor peaceful protestors as
ever such protests must be peaceful, free evidenced by the 1960 Sharpeville Mas-
from violence and within the ambit of the sacre. Self defence in the form of violence
law. In fact, the Constitution provides for against the government became necessary.
various mechanisms that could be followed In 1994, South Africa celebrated its victory
if people have concerns on any matter in- over the apartheid government by installing
cluding that of service delivery or lack of it. the first democratic government.
Before we can look at these constitutional This government was put into power through
mechanisms, it is important to distinguish the vote of the majority of the people. This
I ncidents of violent protests in Thokoza,
Ekurhuleni and Mpumalanga, have been
reported in the Sowetan newspaper on 22
fundamental differences between the apart-
heid government and the post-1994 demo-
government adopted a Constitution to guide
all people, including the government it-
cratic government. self. The purpose of the Constitution is to,
July 2009 and in the general media respec- amongst others, heal the divisions of the
tively. It is reported that people living in infor- During the apartheid government, South past and establish a society based on dem-
mal settlements and residents of Thokoza Africans, especially black people, were not ocratic values, social justice and fundamen-
who were demanding basic services such free to express their dissatisfaction with the tal human rights. It also seeks to improve
as water, electricity and toilets, blockaded way government performed its tasks. The the quality of life of all citizens and free the
streets and burnt tyres. apartheid government and its public ser- potential of each person.
vice did not serve the majority of the black
A number of cars were damaged. In an- people. The Constitution also contains rights and
other incident also reported in the Sowetan duties for all people. This means that we are
newspaper, members of the South African This led to dissatisfaction of the majority and all expected to respect each other’s rights.
Unemployed People’s Movement went on a resulted in widespread public protests that The rights in the Bill of Rights, like the right
rampage, looting shops in the Durban City were intended to be peaceful. However, any to protest, cannot be exercised in such a
Centre because they demanded a basic in- form of protest was seen as confrontational way that other people’s rights are trampled
come grant for the unemployed. and was therefore not allowed. on like engaging in violence which nega-
tively affects other people during protests
by blockading streets, damaging cars, de-
structing property and looting shops.
Government has a constitutional responsi-
bility to provide basic services to poor peo-
ple by realising and fulfilling the socio-eco-
nomic rights of all people, step by step and
within its available budget. Socio-economic
rights are rights such as the right of access
to adequate housing, health care, water,
food and social security like social grants.
The government may therefore be taken
to court if it fails to realise and fulfilling the
socio-economic rights of all people, step by
step and within its available budget. How-
ever, the rights in the Bill of Rights, includ-
Residents were demanding basic services ing socio-economic rights, may be limited by
such as water, electricity and toilets, others law of general application if it is reasonable
demanded a basic income grant for the un- and justifiable in a democratic society based
employed. on human dignity, equality and freedom.
This means that the rights are not absolute.
The Constitution makes provision for various
mechanisms whereby people can raise their
concerns if they are dissatisfied with poor
service delivery. If corruption is suspected
as a cause of poor service delivery or lack
of it, a responsible citizen must report such
suspicions/allegations to the Public Protec-
tor for investigation. Corruption is a serious
threat to democracy and robs people off
their rights, however, this does not justify
taking the law into one’s own hands.
Freedom of expression is enshrined in the Constitution, how-
ever this freedom cannot be exercised to incite violence or
promote hatred. It is within people’s rights to express their dis-
satisfaction or raise concerns or make demands by means of
public protests without resorting to violence. Genuine people’s
demands or concerns cannot be used as an excuse to propa-
In line with the constitutional vision of a peaceful and demo-
cratic society, everyone is entitled to assemble, demonstrate,
picket and present petitions peacefully and unarmed. It is clear
from this right to peaceful demonstration and the right to free-
dom of expression that violence is expressly condemned by
the Constitution and has no place in a democratic South Africa.
It cannot be used as a means of raising legitimate concerns.
The fact that streets were barricaded during these protests
violates the freedom of movement of all people. The public
violence and looting of shops amount to criminal activities. In
order to protect people’s right to security, the law enforcement
agencies will always take action against those who break the
law. The right to security includes the right to be free from all
forms of violence. The proper channels for raising grievances
on service delivery are the Ward Committees, the Office of the
Mayor, the offices of the Department of Local Government and
Housing, Parliamentary Constituency Offices, the Public Of-
fice of the Gauteng Legislature and the Office of the Premier.
It must also be noted that the law requires permission to be
sought prior to the intended protest.
Public violence during service delivery protests in a democratic
society, wherein there are constitutional channels that can be
employed like peaceful protests, cannot be tolerated. Violence
riddled service delivery protests do contribute very little in ad-
vancing our country towards a society based on democratic
values, social justice and fundamental human rights.
Whilst it is acknowledged that poverty robs people of their full
enjoyment of human rights, it should also be recognised that
one of the top priorities of government is to fight poverty and
better the lives of all people. Violence cannot be used to fight
poverty neither should it be used to bridge the communication
gap between people and municipal authorities.
The proper channels for raising grievances on service delivery are :
Office of the Premier
30 Simmonds Street, Johannesburg
0860 GAUTENG (0860 428 8364)
SALGA Western Cape: NATIONAL SALGA Limpopo:
222 Durban Road 2nd Floor, Standard Bank Health and Social Development
South African Local Government Bank of Lisbon Building, 37 Sauer Street,
P O Box 1007 Association (SALGA) Cnr Landros Mare & Johannesburg, (011) 355 3000
Bellville, 7535 Thabo Mbeki Streets
Tel: 021 944 2120 SALGA National ffice: Polokwane, 0699 Infrastructure Development
Fax: 021 944 2162 Private Bag X9523 41 Simmonds Street,
83 Lois Avenue, Salga House Menlyn Johannesburg,
SALGA Freestate: P O Box 2094, Pretoria, 0001 Limpopo, 0700 (011) 355 7000
Salga House Tel: 012 369 8000, Fax: 012 369 8001 Tel: 015 297 4147
Nelson Mandela Str. Fax: 015 297 5880 Local Government and Housing
Bloemfontein, 9300 Bank of Lisbon Building, 37 Sauer Street,
P O Box 14 SALGA Mpumalanga: Johannesburg,
Bloemfontein 11 Van Rensburg Street (011) 355 4000
9300 SALGA Gauteng: Nelspruit
Tel: 051 447 1960 / 3 r d F l o o r, B r a a m p a r k F o r u m 2 Mpumalanga, 1200 MPUMALANGA
Tel: 051 447 3426 33 Hoofd Street P O Box 1693
Fax: 051 430 8250 Braamfontein, 2017 Nelspruit Office of the Premier
P. O B O X 3 2 1 6 1 Mpumalanga,1200 Ntime Skhosana
SALGA Kwazulu-Natal: Braamfontein, 2017 Tel: 013 752 2366 Tel: +27 13 766 2055
60 Surprise Ridge Rd Te l : 0 11 2 7 6 11 5 0 Fax: 013 752 5595 Cell: +27 82 496 6875
Hillcrest, 3610 F a x : 0 11 4 0 3 3 6 3 7 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
P O Box 1525 SALGA Northern Cape:
Durban, 4000 SALGA North West: Crescent House Human Settlement:
Tel: 031 761 6300/1 Suite 400, Jade Square 1 & 2 D’Arcy Street Freddy Ngobe
Fax: 031 761 6306 C n r. T h a m b o & M a r g a r e t h a Kimberly, 8300 Tel: +27 13 766 6014
P r i n s l o o S t r. K l e r k s d o r p , 2 5 7 0 P O Box 3183 Cell: +27 82 859 4630
SALGA Eastern Cape: P O Box 1286 Kimberly, 8300 Email: email@example.com
Berea Terrace Office Bldg Klerksdorp, 2570 Tel: 053 833 2504 /
First Floor Suite 3 Te l : 0 1 8 4 6 2 5 2 9 0 Tel: 053 833 2505 Health and Social Development
Berea, East London Fax: 018 462 4662 Fax: 053 833 3828 Mpho Gabashane
P O Box 19511, Tacoma, 5214 Tel: +27 13 766 3025
Tel: 043 727 1150 , Cell: +27 82 802 4937
Fax: 043 727 1156 Email: MphoG@social.mpu.gov.za
July/ August 2009 Justice Today l 11
Do sex workers need greater legal protection?
South Africa is catching up to international developments by opening a Picture credits: Feministe blog
legal dialogue on sex workers’ rights.
By Neliswa Demana & Lavinia Mahlangu
T he plight of South Africa’s sex workers
has been brought to the fore of late.
This is in light of an invitation for public
posals in preparation of reforming the
law on prostitution. To give effect to
the general proposals the Commission
and Regulation of adult prostitution and
prostitution related acts.
Total criminalisation of adult
comment to a South Africa Law Reform proposes that the legislature does the prostitution
Commission (SALRC) report, the Con- following:
federations Cup and a recent Cape High This model is seen to favour those who
Court ruling. • Repeals the Sexual Offences Act. see prostitution as harmful, inherently and
• Repeals sections 11 of the Sexual Of- morally wrong, dehumanising, exploit-
South Africans were given an opportunity fences Amendment Act. ative and as fuelling trafficking in persons.
until the end of June 2008, to have their • Enacts a new Adult Prostitution Re- The underlying theory is that prostitution
say about the legal status of adult pros- form Act3 which may include or ex- will be eliminated by criminalising all as-
titution, with the release of a Discussion clude pects thereof, supporting the strict legal
Paper by the SALRC. • Provisions of the Sexual Offences measures by dedicated and consistent
and Sexual Offences Amendment enforcement. The current legal position in
Following collation of the comments, the Acts. If required in the new legisla- South Africa is an example of this model.
commission will draft a report and a bill tion, develops new terms and defini-
for Minister Jeff Radebe’s approval.The tions for archaic terms. Recommendation
SALRC Discussion Paper defines prosti-
tution as an exchange of any financial or In addition, , the Commission proposes The Commission proposes that the legis-
other reward, favour or compensation for four law reform options, namely total lature pass a new Adult Prostitution Re-
the purpose of engaging in a sexual act. criminalisation of adult prostitution, par- form Act to criminalise prostitution and
tial criminalisation of some forms of adult prostitution related acts. This is just a
Mrs Pienaar said regardless of which prostitution and prostitution related acts; working title for ease of reference and the
model is chosen by the legislature, a na- Non-criminalisation of adult prostitution; Commission does not propose a name for
tional strategy to deal with prostitution is
crucial. Carien Pienaar, a researcher at
the Commission said, “Prostitution takes
many forms, for example, adult and un-
der aged prostitution, outdoor and indoor
prostitution, voluntary and coerced pros-
She also explained that prostitutes, as
members of the human family, deserve to
be treated with dignity and to enjoy those
human rights guaranteed to all people.
The Discussion Paper considers the need
for law reform in relation to adult prostitu-
tion and identifies alternative policy and
legislative responses that might regulate,
prevent, deter or reduce prostitution.
The Commission makes general pro- Sex workers in the United States & Europe, campaign for their rights.
the new Act in this Discussion Paper. • Inequality and poverty
• Failed marriages
Partial criminalisation • It is more lucrative than formal la-
Under this model prostitutes are not crimi- • Drug and alcohol dependency, and
nalised, but clients and/or prostitution or
related activities such as soliciting, broth- • Trafficking.
el-keeping and living off the earnings of
prostitution are. “The aim with this model Rachel, a prostitute from Cape Town, told
is to reduce the demand for prostitution the SALRC that she was two months be-
and to protect the prostitute and society,” hind in paying her rent, there was no food
said Mrs Pienaar. and the children’s school fees were be-
hind. “When a friend suggested prostitu-
Recommendation tion to me, I had to do it and that was that.”
The Commission proposes that the leg- The new prostitution legislation recom-
islature pass a new Adult Prostitution mended by the SALRC will
Reform Act to criminalise specific acts re-
lated to unlawful prostitution. • Determine which forms of
• prostitution are legal
Non-criminalisation • Regulate the operating and
Cambodian sex workers holding a
• advertising conditions of legal
Non-criminalisation refers to the model of • prostitutes and prostitution
silent demonstration for their rights,
removing laws that criminalise adult pros- • venues symbolising their unheard appeals
titution and related activities. Under the • Regulate prostitution related acts, for recognition by the law.
non-criminalisation model, the supervi- and
sion of prostitutes, other role players and • Regulate prostitution related crimes.
case 15 years into a constitutional democ-
business establishments typically takes The Department of Justice and Con-
racy?” he asked. He said once public hear-
place through general legislation on la- stitutional Development recognises
ings on adult sex work were finalised, the
bour, occupational, health and safety and that sex workers need more protec-
cabinet would take a decision.
human rights. Mrs Pienaar explained that tion from the law. This could be pro-
“A primary policy purpose for not criminal- vided by decriminalisation – if there is
However, the consultation and research
ising prostitution is to protect the rights to sufficient public consensus, from the
process is still underway and a govern-
privacy, freedom of trade and security of aforementioned process.
ment position is not yet defined. Address-
the person, dignity, privacy and equality
ing the same briefing, Deputy Minister of
before the law.” Speaking at a press briefing in Parliament
Justice and Constitutional Development
on the day of the department’s Budget
Andries Nel said the government had not
Recommendation Vote, Director-General Menzi Simelane
yet decided to support the decriminalisa-
said “the biggest outcry by sex workers is
tion of sex work.“
It is proposed that the legislature enacts that they are more harassed for their ser-
a new Adult Prostitution Reform Act after vices from officials than anything else”.
The SA Law Commission was holding no
consulting with prostitutes, prostitution or-
less than a dozen meetings throughout
ganisations and other role players. Referring to the Cape High Court ruling
the country where citizens can voice their
that interdicts the police from harass-
opinion on the matter,” Deputy Minister Nel
Regulation ing sex workers in Cape Town, Advocate
Simelane said sex workers “need greater
Regulation refers to the removal of gener- protection, like all South Africans who
Two years ago, then police commissioner,
al criminal sanctions against prostitution in need protection under the law. How that
Jackie Selebi had suggested that prostitu-
combination with measures aimed at state protection can be provided could come by
tion be legalised – at least for the duration
regulation and control of the industry. The way of decriminalisation – if there is suf-
of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
approach is based on the view that pros- ficient consensus”.
titution is a reality that must be dealt with
He said that the government should come
or that prostitution is a job and must be “If sex work were decriminalised, sex
up with creative ways to allow foreign soc-
regulated. workers could practise their craft free-
cer fans access to sex workers. The call
ly, regulated by the same criminal and
for comments closed on 30 June 2009.
Recommendation labour laws that govern the rest of the
However, more information and enquiries
population,” Adv Simelane said.
can be directed to the Commission from:
To give effect to a regulation model where-
by prostitution is legal but state-regulated, Sex work became a crime under the Sex-
and outdoor prostitution is restricted to ual Offences Act of 1957, which banned Ms Dellene Clark
prostitution zones, the Commission pro- any form of “unlawful carnal intercourse”, Tel: 012 392 9553
poses that the legislature enacts a new or any kind of sex other than that between
Fax: 086 686 3923
Adult Prostitution Reform Act to regulate husband and wife. And so, current South
specific aspects of prostitution and restrict African legislation makes voluntary solicit- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
outdoor prostitution to prostitution zones. ing of adult prostitution, paying for volun- or
tary adult sex and all prostitution related Ms Carien Pienaar
The SALRC said that most prostitutes acts illegal. Tel: 012 392 9561
enter the market because of the follow-
ing reasons: The DG said the criminal nature of sex
Fax: 086 686 3938
work was based largely on a morality ar- Email:
gument. “Should this continue to be the email@example.com.
July/ August 2009 Justice Today l 13
From the Constitutional Court of South Africa
Centre for Child Law v Minister for Justice and Constitutional Develop-
ment and Others (with the National Institute for Crime Prevention and the
Re-integration of Offenders as Amicus Curiae) Decided on 15 July 2009
By Zimkhitha Sondlo
T he Constitutional Court ruled on 15 July
2009, that the Constitution prohibits
minimum sentencing legislation from being
amended by the Amendment Act, invalid.
Before the Amendment Act, the minimum
who is being sentenced.
The majority found that the minimum
applied to children aged 16 and 17 years sentencing regime established by the sentencing regime constrains the dis-
old. In a judgment handed down, the Court CLAA had limited application to children cretion of sentencing officers by orien-
found that while the Constitution permits who were under 18 at the time of the of- tating the sentencing officer away from
Parliament to deal effectively with child of- fence. The Amendment Act applies the min- options other than incarceration, by de-
fenders, including through the imposition of imum sentencing regime to such children. individuating sentencing, and by con-
long sentences, the approach required by The High Court found that this negates the ducing to longer and heavier sentences.
the minimum sentencing legislation unjus- Constitution’s principles of imprisonment as The Court held that the Amendment Act
tifiably infringes the protections the Bill of a last resort and for the shortest appropri- therefore limits the children’s rights en-
Rights affords to all children under 18. ate period of time for all children under 18. shrined in section 28 of the Constitution.
In addition to seeking confirmation of the No adequate justification was provided
On 31 December 2007, the Criminal Law declarations of invalidity, the Centre argued for the limitation.
(Sentencing) Amendment Act 38 of 2007 that children already sentenced under the
(the Amendment Act) took effect. This stat- amended provisions should be identified The Court however declined to grant the re-
ute made minimum sentences for certain and brought before a competent court in lief the Centre sought in relation to children
serious crimes applicable to 16 and 17 year order to have their sentences reconsidered. already sentenced under the Amendment
old children. Act, as it is inconsistent with the proper ap-
The majority of the Court confirmed the proach to retroactivity in criminal proceed-
The Centre for Child Law at the University High Court’s judgment. Cameron J, with ings. Instead, it issued an order requiring
of Pretoria (the Centre) challenged the stat- whom Langa CJ, Moseneke DCJ, Mokgoro, government to identify all child offenders
ute. The respondents were the Minister for O’Regan, Sachs and Van der Westhuizen sentenced under the impugned provisions
Justice and Constitutional Development, JJ concurred, considered the scope and since January 2008, so that appeals or re-
the Minister for Correctional Services and purpose of the children’s rights provision views could be brought on their behalf.
the Legal Aid Board. On 4 November 2008, in the Bill of Rights. He emphasised that
the High Court in Pretoria (Potterill AJ) up- the Constitution itself recognises children’s In the result, the High Court’s order of inva-
held the challenge. The High Court granted greater physical and psychological vulner- lidity was confirmed in its essential respects.
an order of constitutional invalidity declar- ability. The Constitution requires an indi- Yacoob J wrote a dissenting judgment with
ing various provisions of the Criminal Law viduated judicial response to sentencing for which Ngcobo, Nkabinde and Skweyiya JJ
Amendment Act 105 of 1997 (CLAA), as children that focuses on the particular child concurred. Yacoob J held that the Consti-
tution does not require the discretion of a
court that sentences children to be wholly
unlimited. The minimum sentencing regime
must be interpreted on the basis that all
children are the beneficiaries of the rights
conferred by section 28(1)(g) of the Consti-
tution. Because the Amendment Act does
not require sentencing officers to ignore the
requirements of the children’s rights provi-
sion, it does not oblige sentencing officers
to impose unconstitutional sentences.
In order to avoid unjust sentences, the
sentencing court is required to consider
whether there are substantial and compel-
ling circumstances that would justify the In the con- tutional obligations because no legislation
imposition of a lesser sentence. Yacoob J firmation has been passed recognising and regulat-
held that the Bill of Rights provisions pro- proceedings ing marriages concluded under Islamic law.
tecting children’s rights will often in itself before this This failure, the Centre argued, violates nu-
amount to a substantial and compelling Court the ap- merous rights protected in the Bill of Rights.
circumstance entitling a sentencing officer plicant con- The Court dealt with a preliminary point only
to depart from the required minimum sen- tended that – whether the Centre could bring its case as
tence in a given case. He concluded that the exclusion a direct access application.
the minimum sentencing legislation in so of widows in
far as it is applicable to children who are polygynous It heard argument on two narrow ques-
16 and 17 years old is not inconsistent with Muslim mar- tions. First, did the obligations the Centre
the Constitution. He would therefore have riages from sought to enforce fall within the exclusive-
declined to confirm the order of unconstitu- the benefits provided for in the Act infringes access provision of the Constitution (which
tionality made by the High Court. their constitutional rights to equality, religion provides that “Only the Constitutional Court
and culture. None of the respondents op- may decide that Parliament or the President
Hassam v Jacobs NO and Others (Muslim posed the application. The Muslim Youth has failed to fulfil a constitutional obliga-
Youth Movement of South Africa and Wom- Movement and the Women’s Legal Centre tion”)? Second, if the obligations do not fall
en’s Legal Trust as Amici Curiae) Trust were admitted as amici curiae and within that provision, should the Court any-
Decided on 15 July 2009 generally aligned themselves with the sub- how hear the Centre’s case directly?
On 15 July 2009, the Constitutional Court missions of the applicant.
decided that women who are party to a po- The Court’s judg-
lygynous Muslim marriage concluded un- Nkabinde J writing for a unanimous Court ment accordingly
der Muslim personal law are spouses for confirmed the declaration of constitutional does not decide
the purpose of inheriting or claiming from invalidity made by the High Court albeit in a whether Parlia-
estates where the deceased died without slightly different manner. She held that the ment may be un-
leaving a will. The judgment arises from objective of the Act, which is to lessen the der an obligation
an application for confirmation of a decla- dependence of widows on family benevo- to enact legislation
ration of constitutional invalidity made by lence, would be frustrated if the continued to recognise Mus-
the Western Cape High Court, Cape Town exclusion of widows in polygynous Muslim lim marriages. Nor
(High Court) marriages were to persist. Nkabinde J held does it consider
further that the Act violates the applicant’s whether such leg-
The case concerns the proprietary conse- right to equality. The exclusion of women islation would be
quences of a polygynous Muslim marriage in the position of applicant from the protec- consistent with the equality, dignity, free-
within the context of intestate succession. tion of the Act unfairly discriminates against dom of religion or other provisions of the Bill
The applicant, Mrs Fatima Gabie Hassam, them on the grounds of religion, martial sta- of Rights.
was a party to a polygynous Muslim mar- tus and gender.
riage. Her husband (the deceased) died in- Writing for a unanimous Court, Cameron
testate. She unsuccessfully lodged claims This exclusion is not justifiable in a society J held that the exclusive-access provision
with the executor of the deceased’s estate. guided by the principles of equality, fairness, of the Constitution, section 167(4)(e), fo-
equity, social progress, justice, human dig- cuses on specific agents – it mentions only
The executor refused her claims on the ba- nity and freedom. In concluding, Nkabinde J the President and Parliament. By contrast,
sis that polygynous Muslim marriages are held that the word “spouse” in the Act is not the obligation to enact legislation to ful-
not legally recognised. She applied to the reasonably capable of being understood to fil the rights in the Bill of Rights falls on a
High Court challenging the validity of cer- include more than one spouse in the con- wide range of constitutional actors. These
tain provisions of the Intestate Succession text of a polygynous marriage. To remedy include the Cabinet, organs of state, inde-
Act 81 of 1987 (the Act) and the Mainte- the defect, the words “or spouses” are to be pendent institutions under Chapter 9 of the
nance of Surviving Spouses Act 27 of 1990 read-in after each use of the word “spouse” Constitution, Parliament and the President.
(the MSSA) on the grounds that they un- in the Act. The obligation does not fall on the President
fairly exclude widows in polygynous Muslim and Parliament alone. For this reason, the
marriages from protections provided for in Women’s Legal Centre Trust v President obligation to enact such legislation, if it ex-
those statutes by excluding them from the of the Republic of South Africa and Others ists, can be considered by the High Courts.
concepts of “spouse” and “survivor”. (with the United Ulama Council of South Af- It does not fall within this Court’s exclusive
rica and Others as Amici Curiae) jurisdiction.
The High Court declared section Decided on 22 July 2009
1(4)(f) of the Act to be inconsis- Cameron J also found that the Centre’s
The Constitutional Court ruled on 22 July case should first be considered by the High
tent with the Constitution to the Court and possibly later by the Supreme
2009, that applications challenging the leg-
extent that it makes provision for islative programme and duties of the gov- Court of Appeal. The Constitutional Court
only one spouse in a Muslim mar- ernment should not be brought directly to seldom grants direct access outside its
riage to be an heir. It held that the the Court, but must first be lodged in the exclusive jurisdiction. To hear the Centre’s
term “spouse” in that Act should High Court and go through the ordinary ju- case directly, bypassing the ordinary pro-
be interpreted to include spouses dicial processes before reaching the Court. cesses of litigation, would mean that this
The Court dismissed an application by the Court would hear and determine the appli-
in polygynous Muslim marriages. Women’s Legal Centre (the Centre) which cation as a court of first and final instance.
The High Court further declared sought an order to oblige the President, Since the Centre’s case involved controver-
that the word “survivor” in the the Ministers for Justice and Constitutional sial issues of wide public interest in respect
MSSA should be read to include Development and for Home Affairs, and the of which many parties might wish to have
surviving partners of polygynous principal office-bearers of Parliament to en- say, and could require findings about fac-
Muslim marriages. The declaration act legislation regulating Muslim marriages. tual issues and expert evidence, this was
not in the interests of justice.
of invalidity was referred to this On 20 May 2009 the Constitutional Court
Court for confirmation in terms of heard an application for direct access to the (Full judgements of these
the Constitution. Court. The Centre’s case was that the Pres- cases are obtainable on
ident and Parliament failed to fulfil consti- www.constitutionalcourt.org.za)
July/ August 2009 Justice Today l 15
International Views on Justice
abroad, the left behind parent should try as
much as possible to establish the details of the
departure and destination of the abducting par-
ent and/or the child.
“The Hague Convention gives the left behind
parent the option of approaching the office
of the designated Central Authority for South
Africa, which is the office of the Chief Family
Advocate or the Central Authority (CA) of the
country where the child has been abducted to,”
Advocate Seabi said.
The abducted child must be below sixteen
bducted children to years of age. In order to facilitate the process-
be returned to dad
ing of the application in the Office of the Chief
Family Advocate, the left behind parent should
furnish the following documents:
C ape Town father Steve Swanepoel has
been well served by justice and is now joy-
ful at the thought of seeing his two youngest
of an abducted child under the Hague Conven-
tion on the civil aspects of child abduction and
International Child Abduction Remedies Act are
• Original/certified copies of setting out custo-
dy/guardianship rights. Examples of these are
marriage certificate, court orders granting the
children again for the first time in two years. “I’m that: alleged rights, unabridged birth certificates, etc.
so tearful that I can hardly talk,” he said. • Recent photographs of the abductor and the
1. Child was habitually resident of the country child
On 29 June 2009, the Department of Jus- from which the child was abducted; • A sworn statement setting out the facts and
tice and Constitutional Development told circumstances around the alleged abduction
Mr Swanepoel, who lives in Cape Town, the 2. Petitioning parent had either sole or joint • Copies of pleadings filed in pending litigation
French authorities had decided to implement rights of custody of the child either through a in South African courts,
court orders - handed down by French courts custody order or de jure (by operation of law), • where applicable
in terms of an international convention aimed at and
combating child abductions - and hand over his The left behind parent will also be required to
children to him. Many countries have adopted 3. At the time of removal, petitioning parent was complete a prescribed form which is used by
the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on
the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduc-
tion. By doing so, those countries have incurred
certain obligations, similar to that arising out of
This is a treaty designed to expedite the return
of children back to their country of habitual resi-
dence, in cases where they have been wrong-
fully removed. Habitual residence sometimes
differs from citizenship and nationality.
The Hague Convention aims to curb inter-
national abductions of children by provid-
ing judicial remedies to those seeking the
return of a child who has been wrongfully
removed or retained. It provides a simplified
procedure for seeking the return of a child
to his/her country of habitual residence. It
should be noted that purpose of the speedy
return is to place the child in the jurisdiction
of a court that is best accustomed to deal
with the merits of the parental dispute.
Mr Swanepoel said French authorities had
warned that his children might have forgot-
ten how to speak English. He does not speak exercising those rights. central authorities in most of the contracting
French. When he received the news, he had On 29 June 2009, officials told him that French countries. The South African Central Author-
not managed to speak to his children yet, to authorities would forcibly remove the children ity immediately after receipt of the necessary
convey the news himself. He also has two old- because their mother had ignored the court documents considers the legal aspects of the
er children, whom he brought up and who have orders. request as well as the Convention status of the
been trying to deal with the loss of their siblings country to which the child has been taken. If the
for the past two years. Three weeks prior to that, when Mr Swane- child has been taken to a contracting country
poel’s fight to be re-united with his children and all legalities have been satisfied, the CA will
“Their older brother and sister wept with joy came to light, the Department of Justice and compile a bundle and forward the application
when I told them the news,” he said. Mr Swane- Constitutional Development’s officials con- to the foreign CA, requesting prompt return of
poel last saw his youngest children in March, firmed the French court rulings, but said the the child. The procedure does not apply where
2007, when his former wife - who holds French, French authorities had failed to ensure compli- a child has been taken to a non-Convention
Swiss and British nationalities - told him she ance. The department said it was taking up the country.
was taking them on holiday to France, but nev- matter through diplomatic channels.
er came back. His daughter is now seven and Advocate Seabi, the Chief Family Advocate,
his son is six. Despite the abduction and two-year battle to said it is important that the left-behind parent
see his children again, Mr Swanepoel said he alert the CA to the possibility of further move-
Since then, Mr Swanepoel has won orders from would not prevent his former wife from seeing ment/possible harm to the child, should the
three French courts instructing that the children them again. “I will never deny her access,” the abducting parent know of the application for
be returned to him, but his former wife has ig- relieved father said. Chief Family Advocate Pe- return. “In such cases the CA will take steps to
nored them. tunia Seabi explained that in the case where a obtain an urgent court order to prevent further
The elements of a cause of action for the return former spouse abducts a child and takes them movement of, or possible harm to the child.”
Diplomatic Protection – The Protection of
South African Citizen’s Rights in foreign States
By Theunis Kotze
P rofessor Max Du Plessis, an Associate Pro-
fessor of Law at the University of KwaZulu
Natal, addressed an in-house seminar held at
State which amounts to an infringement
of international minimum standards – Von
Abo’s property rights in Zimbabwe have
The numerous correspondences between the
applicant and the various government depart-
ments led the High Court to make the conclu-
the National Office and organised by the Chief been expropriated unlawfully under inter- sion that the respondents were simply stringing
Directorate: International Legal Relations, on national law and without compensation the applicant along and never had any serious
the recent Constitutional Court decision in Von which give rise to State responsibility; intention to afford him proper protection.
Abo versus the President of South Africa. The • The victim must have exhausted all the
seminar took place in July 2009. available remedies against the delinquent
State – the applicant had made numer-
Von Abo had approached the President and ous futile efforts to protect his property
various Ministers to accede on behalf of South by litigating against the Zimbabwean gov-
Africa to the International Centre for Settlement ernment. Given the Zimbabwean govern-
of Investment Disputes Convention (ICSID), in ment’s absolute disregard of orders even
order for him to pursue a claim for compensa- of this own courts, particularly in respect
tion against the Zimbabwean government for of expropriation of the farms of white farm-
the confiscation of his farms in that country. ers, there are no remedies available to
the applicant. This is in accordance to the
Dissatisfied with the diplomatic steps taken by long-standing principle of customary inter-
the South African government, he decided to national law that if remedies are futile they
put it on terms and approached the High Court need not be pursued.
successfully for a declaratory order.
Thus the jurisdictional facts for qualifying for Furthermore, the then Minister of Foreign
The High Court held that it was an elemen- diplomatic protection had been established by Affairs had promised in Parliament that
tary principle of international law that a State the applicant. In terms of Sections 3 and 7(2) South African nationals in Zimbabwe would
was entitled to protect its nationals against the of the Constitution, the applicant had a right to be protected, but then neglected to do so. In
wrongs committed by other States contrary to apply for diplomatic protection, and the respon- particular, the neglect by the respondent in
dents, at a minimum, were under constitutional this matter to file confirmatory or verifying
duty to properly apply their minds to the request affidavits by the relevant Ministers to sup-
for diplomatic protection. port the sole opposing affidavit by a state
law adviser, was seen as crucial as only
Actual refusal on the part of the government to Ministers can attest as to government pol-
grant diplomatic protection is not required, as a icy, otherwise it is hearsay.
court can come to the assistance of aggrieved
national where government fails to respond ap- In the Constitutional Court only the President
propriately or deals with the matter in bad faith of the Republic of South Africa was cited as a
or irrationally. respondent and the sole question was whether
the failure to provide diplomatic protection by
The Court held that the South African govern- the President constitutes “conduct” as envis-
ment had failed to respond appropriately to the aged in Section 172(a) of the Constitution.
request for diplomatic protection as there was
no diplomatic pressure put on the Zimbabwean It was held that any failure would have been
government to restore Von Abo’s properties the failure of the government of South Africa or
and to pay compensation for losses and dam- the then Minister of Foreign Affairs, and con-
ages, nor did it facilitate the opportunity for the sequently Von Abo had approached the Con-
international law. The term “diplomatic protec- applicant to go the ICSID route and get a proper stitutional Court erroneously for a confirmatory
tion” embraces consular action, negotiation, hearing in front of an international arbitration tri- order (in terms of Section 172(2)(a) of the Con-
mediation, judicial and arbitral proceedings, re- bunal, nor did it enter into a Bilateral Investment stitution) of the High Court decision against the
prisals, severance of diplomatic relations, eco- Treaty with Zimbabwe with the view to protect President of the Republic. However, as no ap-
nomic pressure and in the final resort, the use their nationals investing in that country. peal has been lodged against the judgement of
of force. The various jurisdictional factors that the High Court, that order stands.
have to be met before a State can intercede on Professor Du Plessis, as the junior counsel
the behalf of a national are: for the applicant in this matter, gave valuable Crawford Lindsay Von Abo v President of
insight into the duties of state law advisers to the Republic of South Africa is available on
• It must be a national or must have a genu- colleagues from the Departments of Justice www.constitunionalcourt.co.za and the rele-
ine link with that State – Von Abo was a and Constitutional Development, Trade and vant High Court decision has been reported
South African citizen; Industry, and International Relations and Co- as Von Abo v Government of the Republic
• The victim must have suffered a violation operation. of South Africa and Others 2009 (2) SA 526
of his rights at the hands of the foreign (TPD).
July/ August 2009 Justice Today l 17
Supreme Court of
Judge Mandisa Maya
tal before attending Duke University for her LLM on a Fulbright
scholarship. She has also been a fellow at Georgetown Uni-
versity in the United States. In the United States, Justice Maya
worked for a women lawyers’ lobby group, the Women’s Legal
Defense Fund in Washington DC. She came back home and
worked in the State Law Adviser’s and taught at the University
of Transkei before doing her pupillage at the Johannesburg
Bar where she says she was one of the lucky ones to ace it on
the first attempt when others were struggling.
She later practised as an advocate at the Transkei Bar. She
is the current deputy president of the International Association
for Women Judges – South African Chapter and has previously
been a Commonwealth Foundation Fellow. One of the things
Justice Maya laments is the slow pace of transformation of the
judiciary. There are still very few women judges in the judiciary.
ustice Mandisa Maya has always been one of those people
Secondly, there are no women in the leadership of the judiciary
who get it right in their first attempt. She has had a few has-
except for one woman judge who is only a deputy judge presi-
sles in her way to achieve what she set her heart to achieve,
dent which does not augur well for women empowerment, she
she even aced her driver’s licence in her first attempt.
Justice Maya has served on the Supreme Court of Appeal
“It starts at the side Bar and the Bar, the pools from which judg-
(SCA) since 2005. She has been on the bench in the High
es are traditionally drawn. The pace is very slow. There are too
Court since 1999, serving on an acting stint as a Judge on the
few women senior counsel (SC). There are too few black wom-
Labour Court in the Western Cape and as judge of appeal in
en practising as attorneys and even fewer as advocates and
this anomaly needs to be addressed urgently.” Judge Maya’s
major challenge is juggling family life and judicial duties. She
Justice Maya was born at St Cuthberts, Tsolo and is from a
had to juggle life between being a wife, raising a young family
Mthatha village called Viedgesville in the Eastern Cape, the
and performing judicial duties effectively.
first born child of professionals, in a family of six children. She
states that her strong, independent nature comes from the fact
She is married to Dabulamanzi Mlokoti and they have three
that both her parents were first born in their respective fami-
children, who are 18, 12 and 7 years respectively. At times she
lies, which made them assertive decision-makers who hit the
has had to work away from home base and leave the children
road running. She attended the prestigious St John’s College,
with their father, and he did an excellent job raising them single-
in Mthatha before proceeding to the then University of Transkei
handedly. She is forever grateful to him for being such a sup-
(now Walter Sisulu University) in 1986 for her B Proc degree.
portive and understanding partner.
Two years later she completed her LLB at the University of Na-
Judge Nonkosi Mhlantla
L ife has always been a challenge for black women, but more
so if you were a young, black woman lawyer in the erstwhile
government. You were from a disadvantaged background, you
had limited options in terms of a career path, you had to be
“hungry” enough to want to succeed and the determination to
overcome all odds, and to cultivate some sense of humour to
be able to laugh at yourself and at the passing of each chal-
These are some of the attributes that made Justice Nonkosi
Mhlantla achieve her goals. She is the second of two female
appointments to be made by former president, and now Deputy
President Kgalema Motlante on to the Supreme Court of Ap-
peal on 1 December 2008.
Judge Nonkosi Mhlantla grew up in Kwazakhele and New the High Court in the Eastern Cape in 2000 as an acting judge
Brighton Townships, Port Elizabeth. She is the second in a fam- and was appointed in a permanent capacity on 1 June 2002.
ily of four children. She attended primary school in P.E. and She was the third woman to be appointed in the E.C. She also
went to Kenneth Masekela High School in KwaThema, Springs, acted as judge in the Competition Appeal Court before taking
where she matriculated in 1982. She went to University of the up an acting position in the Supreme Court of Appeal in June
North where she completed her B.Proc degree in 1986. 2007 until she was appointed permanently in December 2008.
Despite these achievements Judge Mhlantla is of the view that
She was admitted as an attorney in 1989 and took the brave the gender aspect of the transformation process, and in particu-
step of establishing her own practice and in the process be- lar in respect of Black women is still lagging behind.
came one of the few black female attorneys in P.E. at that stage.
Her practice involved mainly public interest and political cases. She has assisted the Law Society of SA (Legal Education &
Over time, she expanded into civil law and labour law (mostly Development) in training a group of attorneys on Judicial Skills.
conducting Arbitrations through the auspices of IMSSA). She She has been a member of the Project Committee on the Re-
faced many challenges as a young black female attorney but view of the Law of Evidence since June 2007. To young women
through sheer determination and perseverance managed to out there aspiring to be on the bench someday, Justice Mh-
survive and succeed in a male dominated environment. lantla says, the way has been paved for them.
As an attorney she became actively involved in NADEL and There is a dearth of women attorneys. It is therefore imperative
held many positions. She participated in rendering legal assis- that those who enter the profession persevere. Indeed articles
tance and legal education to the community about socio-eco- of clerkship can be challenging. One MUST have goals and
nomic issues and also assisted in setting up advice centres in determination. She is of the view that with the requisite sup-
the rural Eastern Cape to ensure access to quality justice by port, training and mentoring programs women will be able to
the poor. She was also a trustee of the Human Rights Trust and be brought into the judiciary. Justice Mhlantla is a single parent
a commissioner of the Small Claims Court. with a very busy schedule and like anyone faces challenges,
but is coping. She would like to see more women judges being
With the advent of our new democracy, the issue of transforma- appointed.
tion of the judiciary became a top priority. She was appointed to
Judge Carole Lewis
the law of contract, property law and unjustified enrichment
throughout her academic career. She chaired a number of
committees in the Law School, and in the University, and held
the position of head of the School of Law from 1989 to 1990.
She was elected as dean of the Faculty of Law for the period
1993 to 1995, and was re-elected for a further three-year pe-
riod ending in 1998. Judge Lewis retains her ties with her
alma mater. She is an honorary professor in the School of
Law at Wits, the Chair of the board of trustees of the Wits
Law School Endowment Appeal, and is Deputy chair of the
Judge Lewis’s publications are chiefly in the field of property
and contract law, but she has made forays into delict and un-
justified enrichment. In 1991 she took over the editorship of
the Annual Survey of South African Law, a position she relin-
quished in 1999 to become chief editor of the South African
Law Journal. She held this position for only a year resigning
because of pressure of work in the High Court.
In 1998 Carole Lewis acted as a judge in the Johannesburg
High Court, and in 1999 in Pretoria. She was appointed to the
Johannesburg High Court in November 1999. In 2002 she
acted as a judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal, and was
C arole Hélène Lewis was born in Johannesburg in October
1953. She was educated at the University of the Witwa-
tersrand (Wits) and obtained the degree BA (majoring in Law and
appointed as a judge in that court from the beginning of 2003.
In 2004 she was granted the Inns of Court: Institute for Advanced
Latin, with a sub-major in philosophy), and then an LLB (with Legal Studies (London) fellowship and spent three months, while
distinction) in 1975, and an LLM (with distinction) in 1985. on long leave, working with judges and academics in London.
Although she decided when still a student that she wished to be She is the judicial representative on a task team investigating
an academic, she completed articles of clerkship and was admit- legal education (under the auspices of the SA Law Deans’ Asso-
ted as an attorney in 1978. She nonetheless taught Roman law ciation) and is a member of the Council of the newly established
at Wits on a part-time basis while doing articles. Judicial Education Institute. Carole Lewis is married to Stephen
Lewis, an attorney, and they have two children, Jonathan and
In 1978 she became a lecturer in law in the Wits Law School, Andrea.
and a professor of law in 1988. Judge Lewis taught Roman law,
July/ August 2009 Justice Today l 19
Across the Nation
KwaZulu-Natal – Regional office marks Women’s Month with employees & the public
By Neliswa Demana & Norma Chiliza
T he Kwa-Zulu Natal Regional Office celebrated Women’s Month by
hosting the Women in Justice Conference on 7 August with justice of-
ficials and on 8 August 2009, the Regional office in partnership with Intan-
dokazi hosted another event. The Women in Justice Conference brought
together women of all ranks in the justice system, including Constitutional
Court Justice Yvonne Mokgoro. Justice Mokgoro expressed her concern
about domestic violence and encouraged women to educate men about
the negative effects of this crime. “We have to make it difficult for the per-
petrators to live in our society. We all, in the justice system, have a crucial
role to play,” she stated.
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs No-
musa Dube said she was honoured to be invited to such a conference.
“For the first time in our province there is an equal gender presentation
in our provincial legislature.” This, she said, is a sign that government is
committed to gender equality.
At the Intandokazi event, the occasion was graced by first lady Nom-
pumelelo “MaNtuli” Zuma, amongst others. “We need more women in
leadership positions. However, we should she said not lose sight of who
we are. We should not forget our femininity in climbing the corporate lad-
der. It is essential to never lose our ability to love and take care.” KZN
Regional Head Brigitte Shabalala said the event aimed to share informa-
tion because “Information is power. By passing information with you, you
will be better leaders, mothers and people who will lead our country,” she
National Office - Department spreads National Office - Human Resources &
Women’s Month message in Pretoria CBD PEC host outstanding Women’s Day
By Ndifelani Magadani By Lavinia Mahlangu
T he Human Resources sub branch
and the Chief Directorate Public
Education and Communication or-
ganised a one-of-a-kind Women’s
Day function in the National Office.
The event which was attended by
over 300 women aimed to empower
them, recognise their value and pam-
per them for all their hard work.
Advocate Molly Malete, a renowned
author and motivational speaker,
discussed everything from le-
gal issues, marriage and profes-
sional dress-codes to etiquette and she stressed. The audience were
self confidence with the officials. spellbound with her speech, which
was punctuated with laughter and
The motivational speaker taught applause. Justice Choir provided the
n celebration of Women’s Month, the National Office held exhibi- the audience about how to prevent entertainment. Programme Director
tions at Church Square and Tramshed Centre in Pretoria, educating abuse in their marriages. “Avoid Lindiwe Mndebele from Justice Col-
city workers, students and others about women’s rights. The theme marriage potholes. Before marrying lege led the event, which included pre-
for Women’s Month 2009 was: “Together Empowering Women for a person, make sure you know him. sentations from Virgin Active, a lucky
Development and Gender Equality.” The public had an opportunity to Check your partner’s marital status draw from Avon Cosmetics and a talk
learn their rights and recourse in cases of domestic violence, divorce, with the Home Affairs department,” on women’s health and wellness.
maintenance, equality and small claims in civil matters, amongst oth-
“I think the department is doing an excellent job,” said Nomsa Ma-
sanabo from Mamelodi West in Pretoria. She explained that some
women believed they had no choice but to tolerate abuse. “Knowing
their rights would free them from that burden,” she stated. Johannes
Khoza, an LLB student at the University of South Africa said, “This is
a positive move by the department to educate people like this. Many
people claim to know their rights and they don’t. So, I think this will
benefit a lot of people.”
Western Cape - Conversion of Khayelitsha Branch Court to Full Service Court
T he Department of Justice and Con-
stitutional Development with effect
from 11 August 2009, changed the sta-
tus of the Khayelitsha Court into a Full
Service Court or Detached Court with its
own proclaimed area of jurisdiction.
The key note address was delivered by
Deputy Minister of Justice and Consti-
tutional Development Andries Nel, who
explained the process in more detail and
stressed the advantages the court
status holds in for the community.
Regional Head, Advocate Hishaam
Mohamed opened the session and pro-
vided a brief background on the process
that was followed especially pertain-
ing to the Khayelitsha area. There was
also an information session at the court
for community leaders, councillors, the
legal fraternity, NGOs and internal role
players on the additional services to be
National Office – Justice ladies shine Gauteng - Family Court meets public to
once more at Spar Race celebrate Women’s Month
By Lavinia Mahlangu By Justice Ditshego
L adies from the Depart-
ment of Justice and Con-
stitutional Development par-
“T o celebrate Women’s
Month and our democracy
and concerns. It is time to de-
mystify our family courts. Engag-
we need to have constructive en- ing our people will lead to fewer
ticipated in the Spar Ladies
Race on 22 August. Over 18 gagement with our clients,” said problems,” Ms Moletsane said.
100 supporters joined the day the President of the Gauteng Gauteng Regional Head Emily
of fun and it was a marvellous Family Court centre Zelda Molet- Dhlamini presented new promo-
occasion. sane. tional and educational material,
created for the Family Court sys-
This is the second consecu- The Family Court Centre in con- tem.
tive year that the Chief Direc- junction with the Gauteng Region-
torate Public Education and al Office organised an open court “We are unveiling these posters
Communication organised session, with support from Public and pamphlets for our people to
justice officials’ participation Education and Communication access information,” said the Re-
in the race. The 5km and and the Legal Aid Board (LAB). gional Head.
ment’s male officials played their part
10km challenge is not only by distributing information on justice
an excellent opportunity to Ms Moletsane, encouraged gov- She said the information will em-
services to the public and ensuring their
train and get healthy ahead ernment officials to apply Batho power justice employees and the
female colleagues in the race have much
of summer, but it also a great Pele principles when dealing with public across the country, as the
needed refreshments. Although Justice
platform to promote the mes- the public. documents are in different lan-
officials are not quite in the league of pro-
sage of the department. guages and would be distributed
fessional runners, all the ladies received
During the race, the depart- medals of participation at the finish line.
“Let us listen and hear their views countrywide.
North West – Workshop highlights Batho Pele &
By Isaac Mokaila
T he North West Regional Office hosted
a workshop for female employees
aimed at empowering them with informa-
Africa will become a better nation,” he uttered.
Regional Court President Seka Monaledi urged
the officials, especially those in courts, to prac-
tion about business, health, employee tice the Batho Pele principles. “If you are a
benefits and the administration of wills member of the justice family, you are obliged to
and estates amongst others. assist our people with respect, especially main-
tenance beneficiaries,“ she appealed.
Legal Services Director Raesibe Tladi en-
couraged women to share the information Court Operations Director Glenice Nkotsoe
they received at the workshop. “Informa- sent a message of solidarity with the plight of
tion is power. This is an opportunity to women elsewhere in Africa facing hardships
change your world with the information at and human rights violations in Kenya & Zim-
your disposal, use it and pass it on to oth- babwe.
ers,” she explained.
Business Advisor from the Small Enterprise
Regional Head Tsietsi Malema urged Development Agency (SEDA) Jabulani Sha-
women to read in order to gain knowl- balala encouraged the officials to develop an
edge. “If you read, you will be empow- entrepreneurial spirit and advised them about
ered. If we are all empowered, then South budgeting.
July/ August 2009 Justice Today l 21
now has full service court
Gauteng Regional Head Emily Dhlamini was honoured for her contribution towards service delivery in Gauteng.
By Ndifelani Magadani
P eople of Daveyton in Gauteng will no
longer travel long distances to access
justice services. This comes after the con-
civil matters in court.
Speaking at the event at Victor Ndlazil-
and we don’t want to be beaten up. We
request that you respect us as women for
356 days.” She encouraged all women to
version of Daveyton Branch Court into a wane Community Centre in Daveyton, make use of the new fully fledged Davey-
full service court in August. Gauteng Regional Head Emily Dhlamini ton Court to report all forms domestic vio-
said the department came to Daveyton to lence and abuse.
The conversion of the court is part of a fulfil its promise. “When we came here last
larger, national plan by the Department of time, we promised to come back and im- Branch courts were established to deal
Justice and Constitutional Development prove service delivery. We are back today only with criminal cases. The fact that
to re-designate 24 Branch Courts into full to fulfil our promise by declaring Daveyton no civil cases or other services, such as
service courts. This process will see the Court as a fully fledged court. maintenance and domestic violence, were
courts presiding over civil matters such provided at these courts limits access to
as maintenance and divorce, in addition The promise we make as the department, justice for which these courts were estab-
to the criminal matters which have always is the promise we keep,” said Mrs Dhlami- lished. This situation put poorer women at
been processed there. ni. She said the department has lessened a particular disadvantage, as some could
the burden faced by community members not afford to travel from their residential
Previously, the Daveyton Branch Court when travelling long distances to Benoni areas.
only dealt with criminal cases. This initia- for justice services.
tive means that with effect from 12 August The Senior Magistrate in Daveyton, Dan-
2009, the court started dealing with civil A welcome development for iel Thulare said the now fully fledged Dav-
cases such as domestic violence, main- eyton Court would benefit the community.
tenance, small claims, equality and de- He told community members to demand
ceased estates. good service from court officials. “When
With August as Women’s Month, the Re-
you arrive to stand in the queue, officials
gional Head reminded women not to put
In the past, residents had to travel outside should stop what they are doing and at-
up with abuse and urged men not to be
their communities to the nearest large tend to you. It is your right, and if you don’t
the abusers. “We are not punching bags,
town or city, to access these important exercise it, no one will do that for you,”
said Mr Thulare.
He urged community members to ap-
proach the right people for service con-
cerns. “If you are not satisfied about the
service rendered to you, do not leave and
complain at the taxi rank. Approach the
supervisor or the Court Manager for as-
sistance.” This, explained Mr Thulare, will
improve service delivery in the courts.
The Chairperson for the Justice Forum
Moses Mkhombo said the community of
Daveyton gladly welcomed the full service
“This court will be an example to other
courts across the country. The community
Officials and the public listening attentively at the launch.
of Daveyton declares today that we are
not in partnership with criminals but with
the community,” said Mr Mkhombo.
He urged the community not to aid the
criminal element. “When you take a bribe
from criminals, it means that you are work-
ing for them, against the community and
During his Budget Vote in Parliament in
June, Minister Jeff Radebe said the con-
version of Branch Courts will enhance ac-
cess to justice.
“The conversion of these Branch Courts
will alleviate communities living in the rural
villages and in the former Black townships
of hardship of having to travel to remote
courts in the towns and cities to access
services which are currently not provided Above: Gauteng Regional Head, Emily Dhlamini( left) addressing members
by these courts,” said Minister Radebe. of the public.
Above: Senior Magistrate in Daveyton Daniel Thulare ( middle) and other
two officials were introduced to members of the public.
These courTs below have been redesignaTed
PROVINCE COURT CONTACT DETAILS
Eastern Cape Province Motherwell 041 502 5133
Gauteng Province Daveyton 011 746 7600
Tembisa 011 281 0300
Alexandra 011 786 5181/2971
Kwa-Zulu Natal Province Madadeni 034 329 7500
Limpopo Province Tiyani 015 873 0061
Mpumalanga Province Ekangala 013 934 4249/50
Northern Cape Province Groblershoop 054 833 0140/0430
Keimoes 054 461 1221
Kakamas 054 431 0705
Jankempdorp 053 456 0361
Pofadder 054 933 0021
Kathu 053 723 3221
Western Cape Province Khayelitsha 021 360 1400/1427/1428
Atlantis 021 5721003
July/ August 2009 Justice Today l 23
Justice & Rural Development
partner in Women’s Month
By Sinenhlanhla Mbatha
T o mark national Women’s Month, the Draw inspiration from 1956’s women to tor becomes very important at this point. It
Department of Justice and Constitu- face today’s challenges is the duty of a maintenance investigator’s
tional Development partnered with the De- duty to gather the necessary information
partment of Rural Development and Land Blue Crane Route Municipality Mayor, Ma- about a complaint and then find the person
Reform in a community event in Pearston, jorie Scott in her opening remarks reminded who needs to appear in court to face the
in the Eastern Cape. the community members of the struggles complaint. After the person is found, the in-
faced by the women who led the anti pass vestigator issues them with a subpoena to
This year’s theme for Women’s Month was march to the Union Buildings in 1956. She appear in court.
“Together Empowering Women for Develop- encouraged today’s women, old and young,
ment and Gender Equality”. The two depart- to embrace their womanhood and let their Throughout the country, maintenance inves-
ments did just that at the event, hosted by voices be heard in the fight against pres- tigators have helped families to locate long
the Pearston Magistrate’s Court in Mbulelo ent day ills, such as abuse. “Take courage, lost relatives, in order for them to meet their
Ndoni Community Centre on 21 August. learn from each other. Let our voices be responsibilities and provide for their depen-
The Department of Rural Development and heard and let us speak up against all forms dents. This function is even more important
Land Reform was an ideal partner as Pear- of abuse” said Councillor Scott. for rural women, such as the residents of
ston is a largely farming community. Pearston, because they may not have the
The Department of Justice provided the money, time and resources needed to track
Womens Day on 9 August 2009 marks the community members with information on down the responsible family member in
53rd anniversary of the women’s anti-pass topics and justice services related to do- such cases.
march to the Union Buildings. This historic mestic violence, equality courts and main-
march marked a turning point in the role of tenance. They were also told about the in- How the Domestic Violence Act empow-
women in the struggle for freedom and so- troduction of a maintenance investigators, ers the abused
ciety at large. to make the process of claiming the much
needed funds easier. The Domestic Violence Act of 1998 recog-
Since that eventful day, women from all nises that domestic violence is not a private
walks of life became equal partners in the Procedure in the Maintenance Courts matter - it is a serious crime against soci-
struggle for a non-racial and non-sexist ety. Christelle Wiese, a control prosecutor
South Africa. When someone lodges a complaint on at the Somerset East Magistrate Court, ex-
maintenance, they would have to approach plained that the role of women in our soci-
The day’s activities in Pearston began on a maintenance officer and complete the ety includes many duties, such as being the
a very high note with the women dressed necessary form. The maintenance order backbone of a household, community and
in their traditional and church attire singing granted by the Court will be attached to this the country. Thus, it is important that society
and chanting songs for the commemoration form. The role of the maintenance investiga- ensures women are protected and empow-
of the Women’s Month. ered.
Timothy Njisane, the Area Court Manager Such protection can come in the form of giv-
urged the community to make full use of the ing women the tools they need to escape
justice services at their disposal. abuse. Mrs Wiese explained step by step,
how a woman should go about reporting
“The slow response of the people to come domestic abuse and following through with
forward to enjoy these services has raised court procedures.
suspicions that they are not well informed
about what we as the department offer,” he “The Domestic Violence Act is a legal too
said. Thus, the day’s event was geared at which aims to give greater protection than
educating the community, as well as cele- that which is available under the Prevention
brating the achievements of women. of Family Violence Act to people who have
been abused,” she explained.
The Domestic Violence Act broadens the
definition of domestic violence to include
not only married women and children, but
unmarried women who are involved in rela-
tionships or living together, people in same-
sex relationships, mothers who live in fear of
their sons, and people sharing the same liv-
ing space. This is an important development
for various families, unmarried couples and
others in the community.
The Act also recognises that abuse can take
many different forms such as domestic vio-
lence, sexual abuse, economic abuse, emo-
tional and psychological abuse.
The Act says:
Members of the public listening to the speakers
• A person can be charged and convicted
with marital rape whether the parties
are married according to civil, custom-
ary or religious law.
• When police arrive at a scene of do-
mestic violence, they must inform vic-
tims that they have a right to ask for
police assistance to protect themselves
and their children. Police are allowed to
seize firearms and other weapons.
• Victims can ask police to help them find
a place of safety and for help to move
• Police have to tell victims how to get a
• The Act gives police the right to arrest
an abuser at the scene of an incident of
fence involving physical violence. own lives. “If there is a problem at home,
domestic violence without a warrant of
if you are abused, go to the nearest Mag-
arrest, if the police reasonably suspect
• Legal remedies in domestic violence istrate Court,” said the Control Prosecutor.
that the abuser has committed an of-
cases include: “Tell them what happened. They will assist
you and you will be treated with dignity and
• laying a criminal charge against the respect.”
abuser, for example of assault The Control Prosecutor advised the women
• getting a protection order against the to look after themselves, and know that
abuser under the Domestic Violence government sees them as a priority by des-
Act ignating Women’s Month and Women’s Day
• getting a court order to have the abus- to them. She also urged the entire com-
er’s gun removed, if the abuser has munity to treat all women with respect, as
used a gun to threaten the victim they are the foundation. “Without you there
• making a civil claim against the abuser would be no Pearston,” she said.
to claim compensation money for pain
and suffering and any medical costs. After all the presentations, the community
members were given a chance to ask ques-
Mrs Wiese urged the women to visit the tions and get clarity on points of law, relat-
magistrate’s court for help, given with dig- ing to them
nity when they face such matters in their
Members of the public listerning to the speakers
July/ August 2009 Justice Today l 25
The use of indigenous
languages by our courts
By Hishaam Mohamed
D uring the apartheid era language was used as an instrument
of prejudice, discrimination and oppression. Not only did the
exclusive use of Afrikaans and English in the courts result in the
• To date the Pilot Project has managed to achieve the fol-
alienation of speakers of the indigenous African languages from • the court proceedings are significantly shortened due to
the justice system, but it undermined the dignity and self worth the fact that no interpretation services are needed;
of African people. • the process is beneficial to both litigant parties that a com-
mon language is used;
By according equal status and parity to all eleven official lan-
guages the Constitution restored the dignity and self worth to all • the public attending the court are able to understand and
South Africans. The policy of Multilingualism adopted by govern- follow the proceedings much better;
ment to give effect to the Constitution entails therefore that the • the Indigenous Language Court conducts its proceedings
courts cannot continue to use English and Afrikaans to the exclu-
sion of indigenous African languages. in the dominant language of the local area which in this
case is isiXhosa and it improves service delivery and ac-
Section 6 of the Constitution provides the principal legal frame- celerated access to justice;
work for multilingualism, the development of the official languag-
• the project further minimized the possibility of human er-
es and the promotion of respect and tolerance for South Africa’s
linguistic diversity. It determines the language rights of citizens ror during translation of court proceedings;
which must be honored through national language policies. • the project has a positive impact on the Case Flow Man-
agement in the court;
In order to adequately meet its obligation to provide
• the court recordings are captured in the indigenous lan-
“Access to Justice” and to ensure that court users
can access justice through the medium of their own guage utilised; and
indigenous languages, the Department of Justice and • translation is provided for each case transcribed in the
Constitutional Development identified the conducting indigenous language utilised.
of court proceedings in indigenous languages as one
of its priorities. The functioning of the court does fulfill the Government’s Stra-
tegic Objectives of making Justice Services Accessible to All,
This process will also facilitate individual empowerment and na- Enhancing Organizational Efficiency and Transforming Justice,
tional development by promoting equitable use of the official lan- State and Society in line with the democratic values of our Con-
guages and thus ensuring that all South Africans have the free- stitution.
dom to exercise their language rights in our courts. The elevation
therefore of indigenous languages, from their marginalized sta- Based on the successes achieved at the Khayelitsha Court, we
tus to being a language of business is an important milestone intend to have the project rolled out to other courts in the
that needs to be achieved. Province.
My Department has from March 2009, piloted the use of an In-
digenous Language Court in one District Criminal Court at the
Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court. The indigenous language used
in the court is IsiXhosa. The project enabled court users who
cannot express themselves in English or Afrikaans, the opportu-
nity to exercise their right to equal justice. The pilot has been a
resounding success and laid a solid basis for a Indigenous
Language Court model for the future.
Consumer rights vital
for healthy economy
By Neliswa Demana
In light of the current recession, Minister of
Justice and Constitutional Development Jeff
Radebe has emphasised that consumer rights
conducting continuous reviews of our consum-
approach that puts at its heart restoring the loss
suffered by consumers.”
and their protection are key for economic recov- The Consumer Regime Reviews offer solutions The introduction of the National Credit Act also
ery. to the following four key areas: resulted in a number of financial institutions re-
ceiving a stun warning on how to conduct their
“We are very clear that consumer rights and 1. The reviews were concerned with offering business. It has also been able to protect con-
their protection are an integral part of a healthy real help for vulnerable consumers, including sumers who seek credit against over-indebted-
economy and must form an essential part of those in debt, and strengthening consumers’ ness.
recovery from the current recession,” Minister ability to get redress where things go wrong.
Radebe said at the National Consumer Forum The National Act Regulator was established
at Gallagher Estate on 19 June. “In other words, 2. Secondly, the reviews further developed as the regulator under the National Credit
whatever the challenges of the day are with re- plans to create a more responsible consumer Act 34 of 2005 (the Act) and is responsible
gards to economic development, the rights of credit industry. for the regulation of the South African credit
consumers must not be undermined.” industry.
3. The third objective has been to strengthen
The South African gov- consumers’ ability to make informed decisions, Minister Radebe congratulated the Regulator
ernment is and ensure that they have confidence that they for being able to tackle loan sharks who bring fi-
committed are dealing with reliable businesses. nancial misery to the most vulnerable members
to a robust of society. “To a large extent we have been
and effective 4. The reviews also provide a common frame- able to deal with those who exploit the fears of
consumer work of consumer protection and create a more the consumers using underhanded tactics such
protection and effective enforcement of consumer protection. as selling them products they do not need and
competition do not want.”
regime. Rapid Call for modern, simplified
technological information The Act was passed into law by Parliament and
changes in re- signed by the President in March 2006. The
cent years have The Minister urged all stakeholders to simplify Act aims to protect consumers taking credit or
not only enhanced and modernise information for consumers. entering into consumer credit transactions. It
production, but also “Our consumer legislation offers high stan- makes provision for the control and regulation
the array of goods dards of protection. But most legislations need of all credit transactions. This includes mort-
and services at the to be further simplified for consumers to under- gages, credit cards, overdrafts and micro loans.
disposal of the con- stand them. Consumer rights constitute legal The Act makes provision for the registration of
sumer. protections, but it should not be that one has to debt counsellors to assist over-indebted con-
be a lawyer in order to understand them. sumers.
Together, these technological and re-
lated factors have unleashed an avalanche of We therefore need to commit ourselves to cre- Minister Radebe encouraged partners across
information and change which have massively ating a system that is more efficient and clearer the wide spectrum of business, the regula-
benefitted those who produce, distribute or re- for everyone to understand.” Enforcement is tory environment and government to continue
tail goods and services. vital to a healthy consumer regime. Minister working together in protecting consumers. “We
Radebe said South Africa needs to focus more need to champion the interests of consumers
This has enabled consumers not only to on tackling e-crimes by building capacity within and in doing so we want to work with you, our
compare prices, value and quality more enforcement agencies to investigate major on- partners, to ensure we have the best consumer
easily than ever before, but also to play a line scams. “Enforcers should be encouraged regime that South Africa has ever seen,” he
more active, innovative role in the develop- to use their powers to create an enforcement said in closing.
ment and delivery of the goods and services
Taking into account this background, Minis-
ter Radebe said consumers cannot be faulted
for demanding lower prices and higher-quality
products and services. “We therefore need a
consumer market that adequately addresses
the modern day consumer needs and rights. It
is for this reason that our Government through
the Department of Trade and Industry has been
July/ August 2009 Justice Today l 27
L egal Aid South Africa is an autono-
mous statutory body established by
the Legal Aid Act (Act 22, 1969) and the
Passion for justice; Caring; Respect for
WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO GET LEGAL
• If you are married and earn less than
Legal Aid Amendment Act (Act20 of 1996). Human Dignity (Ubuntu) and diversity; *R5500 (*R5000 for single persons)
The objective of Legal Aid South Africa Empowerment; Integrity and you are likely to qualify for legal aid.
is to render or make available legal rep- Accountability • Legal Aid SA assists you if you have
resentation at state expense where sub- been accused of a crime where the
stantial injustice would otherwise result, HOW DO WE HELP? sentence could be more than three
as contemplated in The Constitution of the months.
Republic of South Africa (Act 108 of 1996). Legal Aid SA offers legal assistance
This in turn affords and ensures access to through its 64 Justice Centres, 54 satel-
justice which is a fundamental cornerstone lite offices and legal clinics. If you qualify OUR LAWYERS DEFEND YOUR
of our young democracy. for legal aid, the Legal Aid SA lawyers will RIGHTS
ORGANISATIONAL MANDATE Legal Aid SA employs competent lawyers
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE THAT LEGAL who give legal advice and represent you
In terms of the Bill of Rights, to protect, re- AID SA IS MANDATED TO HELP? in court, ensuring access to courts to fulfill
spect and defend the rights of: rights of health, dignity, equality, children,
• All accused persons who face prison education and environment. Even though
• Children • Women • Landless - evicted sentences and who cannot afford we get our funding from the government,
persons and farm workers • Groups of their own lawyer our lawyers are independent and do not
people - where one case can help many • Children and women work for the courts.
people (impact litigation) • All accused per- • Landless people - evicted persons
sons who face prison sentences of more and farm workers IT IS A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO
than 3 months without the option of a fine • Prisoners - people who have to stay GET HELP
and who cannot afford their own lawyers in prison until their case is heard or FROM US
• Prisoners - people who have to stay in those who are already in prison who
prison until their case is heard or those wish to bring an appeal Legal Aid SA was established to give ef-
who are already in prison who wish to • Group of people - where one case fect to these constitutional rights. Legal
bring an appeal can help many people in a similar po- Aid SA provides legal assistance when
sition. you cannot afford to pay for your own law-
VISION yers. Our main task is to make sure that if
you are accused, you get a fair trial.
A South Africa in which the rights en- WHO QUALIFIES FOR LEGAL AID?
shrined in the Constitution are protected WHAT DO WE STRIVE FOR?
and defended to ensure peace and justice Legal aid is for people who cannot afford
for all. a lawyer. To qualify for legal aid you must Our firm commitment to the Constitution
pass the *means test, a process that al- supports everything we do. Legal Aid SA
MISSION lows the Legal Aid SA to be fair when is an integral part of South Africa’s Con-
examining the applicant’s situation and stitution, which plays a crucial role in en-
To be a leading provider of quality, profes- decide if the applicant does qualify for as- suring a stable democratic community and
sional legal services, ensuring effective sistance. provides a guarantee that the rule of law
access to justice for the poor and vulner- will protected and applied.
able, in an independent, efficient and car-
To find out where your
nearest Justice Centre
is located, call 08610-LE-
GAL (53425) or visit our
JusticeToday The Justice Today Crossword Puzzle has clues whose solutions can be found
Crossword by carefully reading all the articles in this issue. Fill in the answers correctly and
stand a chance to win. The solutions to this puzzle will be published in the next
issue, along with the winners’ names.
6. Which type of investigator in the justice
system helps to track down parents who
are not meeting financial oblications to
9. Which type of courts have been rolled
out to all magisterial districts, following a
launch by Minister Radebe?
10. Both civil and .... laws stipulate consent
as one of the critical requirements of
validity for any marriage.
11. The ... age of consent to marriage is
enforced through the prosecution of
14. Supreme Court of Appeal Jugde profiled
in this issue, Judge.... Lewis
15. The Constitutional Court recently ruled
that the Constitution prohibits minimum
... legislation from being applied to
children aged 16 and 17 years. old.
16. The IJS aims to modernise the criminal
justice system, and in turn reduce ...
1. The technology driven IJS in full is the ....
2. Missing word from Women’s Month
theme: “Together Empowering Women
for ... and Gender Equality”
3. The ICSID in full is the International
Centre for Settlement of .... Disputes
4. The .... Bill will bring the department
closer to the regulation of all law
practitioners under a single statutory
5. The following are ..... institutions: Public
Protector, the Auditor-General, the Com-
mission for Gender Equality, the Public
Service Commission and the South
African Human Rights Commission.
7. The Constitution allows South Africans to
protest ... & within the ambit of the law.
8. Which town in the Blue Crane Route
district municipality was visited by
Justice& Rual development officials for
an outreach event?
11. Supreme Court of Appeal Jugde profiled
NAME............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. in this issue, Judge ... Maya.
12. The conversion of ... courts into full
service courts will relieve communities
POSTAL ADDRESS ...................................................................................................................................................................................................... from travelling long distances to receive
civil justice services.
13. In 1956, the women’s anti pass march
...................................................................................................................TELEPHONE: ............................................................................................ ended at the .... Buildings
SOLUTION : Puzzle 5
1. MAGISTRATES —The decisions of High Courts are binding on which
courts within the respective areas of jurisdiction of the divisions?
HOW TO ENTER
4. LANDCLAIMS — Which court hears matters on the restitution of land
rights that people lost after 1913, due to racially discriminatory laws?
Complete the Crossword Puzzle
8. TREASON — A regional court has jurisdiction over all offences except ...
9. SUPREME — The .... Court of Appeal, is situated in Bloemfontein in the after you have throughly read this
10. NEL — The new Deputy Minister of Justice & Constitutional Development issue of Justice Today. Fill in your
is Deputy Minister Andries ...
12. RICA — Abbreviation of Regulation of Interception of Communications details on the entry form and fax
and Provision of Communication-related Information Act, 2002.
13. UNCRC — Abbreviation of the United Nations Conventions on the Rights to 012 357 8003, attention Lavinia
of the Child, to which South Africa is party.
14. SMALLCLAIMS — Which court has a limit of R7000 on civil claims?
Mahlangu. The first 3 correct en-
15. EXPUNGEMENT— The Criminal Procedure Amendment Act The
Criminal Procedure Amendment Act provides for three different categories of
criminal records which may qualify for... of criminal records
tries will WIN a prize.
2. THIRTEEN — Number of seats of the High Court nationally.
3. RATIONALISE — The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development
is leading a process to ... high courts.
5. CHILDJUSTICE — Which Act introduces a new legal framework to man- 1. Jacob Ncube , from
age children in conflict with the law?
6. JUDICIAL — In terms of Section 165 of the Constitution, the ... authority in Bloemfontein
South Africa is vested in the courts.
7. REGIONAL — The decisions of High Courts are binding on which courts 2. Maria Sithole, from Giyani
within the respective areas of jurisdiction of the divisions?
11. RADEBE —The new Minister of Justice & Constitutional Development is
3. Louisa Masombuka, from
July/ August 2009 Justice Today l 29
HAVE YOUR SAY ABOUT JUSTICE
August is Women’s Month. There will be cel-
ebrations of this day across the country.
Officials in the Department - National Head Office
David Ramathe Siduduziwe
Assistant Director latshwayo
Behind every successful man
there is a strong woman. To all the Communications
Mothers and Sisters out there, I Officer
just want to wish you all a happy
women’s month. As a woman I feel hon-
oured that there is a
Women are the pillars of strength for our country. To month dedicated to us,
all the Man out there, let us respect, honour and cher-
it shows the transition in government because
ish our mothers and sisters.
back then women were not recognised as the
significant part of the society.
Nyembe I also think women of this era owe it those wom-
Assistant Director- en who marched in defiance of all the oppressive
Corporate Services laws and we have to pay them back by proving
that we are capable of reaching for the highest
Women’s Month to me means heights in everything we do such as sports, aca-
to celebrate being a woman.
demics, politics, business etc.
People should recognise the
role we play in our communities, families and the na-
tion at large.
Women should empower each other in every area of
their lives. Those that are in top positions should take it Mandiwana
upon themselves to empower those in lower positions. Pfarelo
Women should stop the Pull Her Down Syndrome and Senior Admin Clerk
assist each other every possible way they can.
Our rights as women
are very important. To
Samuel me, Women Months
Tshivhonammbi is celebration to be a
Rasiuba woman. Women are
Deputy Director - the most important people in the world and our
Equality Courts contribution should be valued.
As man, we should cel- I would like to urge all women to believe in
ebrate the emancipation of women in our country. themselves and their abilities. So many women
We still have some practice in some parts of our contributed to the freedom of this country and
country such as Ukuthwalwa where young women women months becomes the time for us to com-
are forced to be married without their consent. memorate such women and the contributions
This practice undermines the dignity of our women
they have made towards democracy.
and the right to equality. My appeal to women of
this country is that they should make use of equal-
ity courts as a tool to free themselves from this Thanks that our constitution values our rights
practice and others that undermines their rights as as women and one can only say is good to be a
women. woman living in South Africa
In this edition, we asked officials
in the department what this day means to them.
Members of the Public
Mosibudi Modise Segopotso
Women’s month is a suitable
platform for women to learn
how to stop being more de-
I think there are
pendent on men. They are specific women who
taught about how to prepare are meant for success
themselves for leadership in South Africa. Our
positions and other available
women leaders must
not only choose cer-
But sometimes women become their own oppres- tain areas but visit and share information
sors because they are only visible during August and with all women across the country.
thereafter they disappear and fail to act on what they
learnt during that month. Men must be involved on
empowering women and listen to them. I am living in a shack and our leaders must
visit our areas during women’s month. To
date South Africa still consists of women
Sello Sentle who know nothing about their rights.
Women’s month remains
relevant to South Africans
because government appre- Simon Laka
ciates and teaches women
about their rights in terms of In the past our
the law. It also gives men an
opportunity to learn the importance of women in soci- mothers and grand-
ety.But Women’s month campaigns must be spread mothers were dis-
to all women who are still in the dark about their rights
and existing opportunities. Women are important and
men must stop abusing them. denied opportuni-
ties. We therefore
Nobuhle Mahlangu need to celebrate women’s day and
instill and the idea that women will re-
Women’s month is important
to women because it is where
main important in our lives.
women get an opportunity
to be recognised. But I think Men must support women and stop in-
women must not only be
recognised during August but flicting emotional and physical pain on
throughout the year. If women them. They must listen to their women
value themselves and stop undermining one another
this would become an ongoing thing.
and understand them. But I personally
think there must also be a men’s day
The family must also give support to women by show- because we have our young brothers
ing respect to women. It is government’s responsibility
to ensure that recognition of women becomes a South who deserve motivation from the male
African culture and this must not end in August. achievers in this country.
July/ August 2009 Justice Today l 31
Official newsletter of the Department of Justice & Constitutional Development
July/August 2009 Vol 4/2009
The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Mr Enver Surty, MP
Pretoria: Private Bag X276, PRETORIA, 0001 • Momentum Building, 329 Pretorius Street, PRETORIA
Tel: (012) 357 8212 / 315 1760 - 63, Fax: (012) 315 1749
Cape Town: Private Bag X256, CAPE TOWN, 8000 • 5th Floor, Room 510, 120 Plein Street, CAPE TOWN
Tel: (021) 467 1700, Fax: (021) 467 1730
The Deputy Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development, Adv JH de Lange
Pretoria: Private Bag X395, PRETORIA, 0001 • Momentum Building, 329 Pretorius Street, PRETORIA
Tel: (012) 315 1021/2/1777, Fax: (012) 322 2908
Cape Town: Private Bag X 9135, CAPE TOWN, 8000 • 5th Floor, Room 531, 120 Plein Street, CAPE TOWN
Tel: (021) 467 1750, Fax: (021) 467 1732
The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
Director-General: Adv Menzi Simelane
Private Bag X276, Pretoria, 0001 • 329 Pretorius Street, Momentum Building, Pretoria, 0001
Regional Office Tel no Fax no Physical Address
Free State 051 - 407 1800 051 - 448 4458 71 Maitland Street, Bloemfontein, 9301
KwaZulu-Natal 031 - 301 5330 031 - 304 9213 2 Devonshire Place, Smith Street,
Limpopo 015 - 297 5577 015 - 297 5570 92 Bok Street, Polokwane, 0700
Mpumalanga 013 - 752 8393 013 - 752 2666 24 Brown Street, Nelspruit, 1200
Northern Cape 053 - 839 0000 053 - 832 7428 Cnr Stead & Knight Streets,
New Public Building, Kimberley, 8301
Western Cape 021 - 462 5471 / 5479 021 - 462 3135 Plein Park Building, Plein Street,
Cape Town, 8001
Eastern Cape 043 - 702 7002 043 - 722 5525 No 3 Phillip Frame Road, Weaverly
Park, Chiselhurst, East London, 5201
North West 018 - 387 5290 018 - 384 3406 Tirelo Building, Dr Albert Luthuli Drive,
Gauteng 011 - 331 0440 011 - 331 0425 15th & 16th Floor, Carlton Centre,
Commissioner Street, Johannesburg,
For any enquiries or contributions, please contact:
Ms Lavinia Mahlangu, Tel: 012 315 1563 Email: LavMahlangu@justice.gov.za