TIMES LIVE reports that justice minister Ronald Lamola apparently wants the deaths of anti-apartheid activists Neil Aggett and Hoosen Haffejee to be re-investigated. Only time can tell if he is serious this time.
Lamola announced on Friday, according to the online daily, that he had requested the judges president of the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal divisions of the high court to each designate a judge to reopen the inquests in relation to the deaths in detention of the activists.
The justice department is reported to have said Lamola’s decision was in terms of Section 17(A) of the Inquest Act of 1959 and follows an application by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for the reopening of the inquests.
Readers may remember that Aggett was a doctor who died in detention in Johannesburg in 1982, aged 28. The inquest into his death held that no one was to blame. Yet another reason not to trust the apartheid-era justice system.
THERE is no evidence that the Ruperts were during the 1980s, for all intents and purposes, in favour of anything more than apartheid euphemism and cant — the shallow transformation which characterised PW Botha’s much-vaunted tricameral Parliament and which for a short time, allowed for separate houses of parliament for citizens classified as Indian and Coloured. This while maintaining a bantustan system which disenfranchised, de-emancipated and dispossessed black South Africans.
The families’s own submission to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission demonstrates a willful obfuscation of the truth, and despite elegant pleading, contains a number of half-truths and a strange anomaly. On the one hand, it is claimed that they were opposed to apartheid which they considered ‘an immoral, oppressive attempt at social engineering’ and consequently had chosen the path of ‘loyal resistance’ to ‘fight the system from within’, writing letters to NP officials stating that apartheid in its then form, was unsustainable since the Afrikaner was being crucified: “it is destroying our language, it is degrading a once heroic nation to be the lepers of the world.”
On the other, the submission, fails to explain what they were doing inside the system, in the first place, and thus why Rupert maintained a loyal membership of the National Party to the very end, refusing to break ranks by siding for instance, with the then all-white opposition Progressive Federal Party? A party which as its name suggested promoted a federal solution and held seats until 1989 when it became the DA?
Johann Rupert (JR) went so far as to claim at the TRC, that he was unaware of any financial contributions to the National Party, despite there being extensive evidence of his corporate involvement with the system. His assertions have not been tested in a court of law. This despite Remgro (former Rembrandt Group) being fingered in an apartheid bail-out scandal.
The letters between Anton Rupert and various National Party leaders such as PW Botha, all point to the fact that the Ruperts business partners included apartheid finance minister Owen Horward and titular head of the country, Nico Diedrichs. Far from advocating a ‘one-person, one vote’ democracy and majority rule, as Johann Rupert would like us to believe — which would have made him a champion of the cause and policies of the ANC and PAC — the truth is rather different.
The Rupert’s though critical of the policy of separate development, instead advocated a form of “Volkstaat” in the form of a Swiss Canton System, which would have kept large swathes of the country under white rule. The logical extension some might say to the policy of apartheid bantustans, and which would, in the Rupert’s view, have been maintained in comparison to the federalist position, a position which resulted in the system we have today.
In essence they had argued for a more refined version of the plans laid out by the infamous Rubicon speech of PW Botha, a proposal which would have maintained the boer republics of old, had it not been for the guarantees on property rights issued by the ANC.
This telling fact can be seen at pages 288 and 289 of Anton Rupert, a Biography by Ebbe Dommisse.
Johann has gone so far as to claim at the TRC and without any evidence, that he had the confidence of the BC leader Steve Biko, whilst he was head of student organisation SASO, but has shied away from quoting his own father on the subject of what was to be done about the situation. Significantly, JR dropped out of university to pursue a career in business and did not figure in university politics.
The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) on Monday said “Biko never even met Rupert and they have records of the Struggle icon, which will back this up.” Medialternatives has covered previous Rupert gaffes, such as his specious claims about being on the receiving end of Magnus Malan’s death squads.
To say the Ruperts were “openly critical of the apartheid system, both at home and abroad” as a current article on Wikipedia does, and that they have been lauded by President Thabo Mbeki for calling upon the Apartheid leadership to “do something brave” by creating a partnership with the black majority in the ’80s,” ignores the fact they were the financiers behind apartheid, and consequently demonstrated an absence of any tangible and practical support for democratic forces within and outside the country. Witness the sad fact of their proposed ‘canton model’, the self-same politics which produced the white enclave of Oranje.
One does not therefore, hear Johann Rupert taking any credit for this small and somewhat discredited achievement, and his submissions to the TRC as a cherry-picker of facts, surely need to be revisited, if only to set the matter straight. If anything JR, like his father, favoured a gradualist approach to the problem of loss of white minority power, preferring a plan which would have maintained the status quo indefinitely had it not been for the momentum of history which resulted in the CODESA negotiations.
Bear in mind that it was Verwoerd, the architect of grand apartheid who explained apartheid as simply ‘good neighbourliness’, and who like Rupert snr, was more than prepared to accept that all human beings are equal, so long as race segregation and partition of power could remain in place. The ‘separate but equal’ madness of the multiracialist school of thought, which epitomized the regime’s many racist adherents.
Neither completely ‘verlig’ nor totally ‘verkrampt’, as the Afrikaans terms of the day for liberal and conservative suggest, Rupert is better cast as himself, in an obscene privileged position, pulling the National Party purse strings as it were, whilst maintaining his own ill-gotten advantage — all-important brokers behind the apartheid system. An unmatched aegis without which nothing would have happened at the negotiating table.
Far from being allies of opposition politics as some would have it, nor positioned like myself and many of my fellow South Africans, within the internal and external freedom struggle, the Ruperts, were in reality part and parcel of the apartheid state apparatus to the very end, negotiating a deal, which resulted in an interim constitution and various ‘sunset clauses’.
In this respect they benefited immensely as kingpins, financiers and powerbrokers from the super-exploitation of labour which continued past 1994, so too the sanctions busting era, which occurred alongside the dirty tricks campaigns against opposition leaders and the likes of Winnie Mandela. After their successes in global financial circles, to their own benefit and the benefit of the NP, the Ruperts bailed out apartheid’s banks to form Amalgamated Banks of SA, giving the lie to claims made about the lack of money available for such an endeavor.
The Rupert hagiography, refers to humble beginnings in the Tobacco industry. JR, is current chair of several JSE listed companies, including Richemont, Reinert, Remgro and Mediclinic. The truth behind the apparent success — the family succeeded in extracting capital garnered from the Rupert’s cosy relationship with the state, (State Capture 1.0) and with the help of Horward and Diederichs, achieving the truly remarkable — sequestering apartheid slush money in Switzerland, while granting an unfair advantage when it came to the post-democratic period.
This is quite the opposite of the strange claim that there were ‘no sweetheart deals’ with the regime.The Ruperts are named in the CIEX report commissioned in 1997 to investigate the theft of R26 billion of state money during apartheid.
In 2017 Medialternatives exposed a cartel active within South Africa’s media, the result of a cross-networked entity with Rupert at the helm, and with assets comprising investments in Remgro, Kagiso, Caxton and Naspers. The resulting corruption and influence peddling, included the rigging of a 2010 labour case involving Media24 — a company which had previously attempted to gag me from speaking out about racism, race profiling and de facto newsroom segregation at its community newspapers division.
The case remains unresolved.
FOR DECADES Naspers was during the apartheid years, an incubator for racist government, producing no less than three Prime Ministers. PW Botha, HF Verwoerd and DF Malan. All had the backing of the corporation formed by the Broederbond. With the appointment of a new local CEO, following a listing in Amsterdam, the company has once again attempted to rebrand itself.
Unfortunately, the focus on assets avoids questions as to why Naspers was a ‘traditional sinecure for the national party’, providing funding, propaganda and support. This is a lot more involvement than today’s media spin-doctors would have us believe.
Naspers collaboration with apartheid is given short thrift by the likes of Joseph Cotterill of BDlive, who believes the group was simply “a publisher once condemned as a mouthpiece of the apartheid regime in SA .” These reports all fail to mention ongoing litigation against the company, and continued opposition to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission.
A more balanced view of the campaign against the commission can be found in a review of Ton Vosloo’s biography “Across Boundaries” by veteran journalist and former Mail & Guardian editor Anton Harber.
Lizette Rabie also finds time to present her case in support of the so-called ‘TRC rebels”, a group of former apartheid collaborators who succeeded in turning themselves into ‘conscientious journalists” while ignoring the plight of those in the struggle press, recipients of Naspers dirty tricks.
But according to Hennie van Vuuren, the company was also a ‘tap root of the National Party’.
So what exactly is going on?
After 1994, the corporation found itself on the back foot politically-speaking. Sanctioned by the TRC for its failure to come clean over its role during apartheid, but with PW Botha avoiding a subpoena to appear, the company grudgingly introduced a BEE scheme, appointing Jakes Gerwel of the President’s office to the board, alongside Francois Groepe.
And so the game of political chicanery continued.
With Groupe moving on to the Reserve Bank, Chairperson Gerwel passing on in office, and the company still attempting to gag me for speaking out about racism, race profiling and de facto newsroom segregation at its then community newspapers division.
The resulting anti-Semitic and anti-Secular counter-case, was more than simply a corrupt and unfair proceeding before the labour court of South Africa. Nothing short of a racist miscarriage of justice involving a Naspers business associate and labour broker presiding over a matter involving his own client, while I was restrained from calling witnesses. The corruption is currently the subject of an as yet unresolved complaint to the Judicial Services Commission.
Two days after filing a further Equality Court complaint regarding the Group’s ongoing campaign against the Truth & Reconciliation Commission and thus the trashing of the report by Naspers council, then Group CEO Esmerie Weideman issued an apology to the heavens. The 2015 statement references one case-limited example of a single employee of colour, Conrad Sidego, who had experienced problems with separate facilities.
The EC case is currently in abeyance pending an appeal of a decision by Legal Aid SA not to grant legal aid where a substantial injustice would result from my not possessing an attorney in the matter.
If you wish to fund my action against LASA, you can do so on BackaBuddy.
Needless to say the latest racist decision by the High Court, once again trivialising the TRC report, (‘too long to read’, according to AJ Martin) in the process, creating an exclusion of the Preamble to our Constitution, cannot hope to gain any approval under our nation’s Constitutional dispensation.
With pressure mounting for change, and with a sophisticated new share structure that preserves white privilege, in the process moving the now multinational operation out of the country, Naspers mandarins have once again dealt out a hand that seeks to gain influence within South Africa’s political sphere.
The appointment of no less than Ramaphosa Foundation board member Phuti Mahanyele-Dabengwa to manage Naspers South African operations, echoes the groups earlier effort to inveigle Mandela. This while Ramaphosa is on the ropes following a report by the Public Protector.
Time can only tell whether the strategy of co-opting the incumbent President, while maintaining apartheid profits within the company, (now outside the country), will succeed in burying the TRC Final Report once and for all.
IT WAS June of 1991, the apartheid government had just unbanned political parties such as the ANC and PAC, exiles were returning to the country, and negotiations towards a new democratic dispensation were in full sway. The First National Conference on Environment & Development, organised by myself and my colleagues from the Cape Town Ecology Group (CTEG) and World Council on Religion and Peace (WCRP) was being held at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).
It was here that the campaign to include sustainable development in our country’s new constitution came to a head, with a mandate to ‘ecologise politics and politicise ecology’.
Solly Skosana of the PAC was of the view that ‘land apartheid had not disappeared and that a constituent assembly was the only mechanism in which environmental concerns over land distribution would be able to be addressed.’
There was consensus among delegates that unequal land distribution was a major cause of environmental problems in South Africa and that the land itself needed protection under the law.
Speaking on behalf of the ANC, Cheryl Carolus criticised the lack of political involvement by environmentalists in the past and made the point that her decision to get involved in politics had ‘arisen out of a desire to empower herself and to regain control over her environment.’
The issue of workers’ involvement in environmental issues was taken up by Nosey Peterse of the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) who told delegates: “You can talk about environmental degradation but while you talk workers are losing their jobs because of environmental degradation.”
It was here too that I stood on a podium alongside Mike Kantey of Earthlife Africa, Ebrahim Rasool of WCRP and Julia Martin of CTEG, with delegates from across the political spectrum, to rally against apartheid while calling for a future in which the needs of future generations would not be compromised by the demands of our own generation.
As the conference drew to a close, we had no inkling of the dire consequences our nation would be facing today, with water shortages, air pollution and threatened ecosystems, nor did we realise back then, what it would take. Our actions back then simply introducing article 24 of our Constitution, enshrining Earth Rights, to impact and affect climate change and the lives of those yet to be born.
It was thus a twisted and tortuous politics which saw successive appointments of environmental ministers, from then Minister of Environment General Magnus Malan, to Dawid de Villiers, Pallo Jordan, Valli Moosa, Marthinus van Schalkwyk and Edna Molewa, each taking the credit for the groundbreaking inclusion of ‘ecological sustainable development’ in our nation’s constitution, and yet collectively responsible for the allied policies of the ruling party. Despite becoming the first country to include the environment in its bill of rights, the party proceeded to pave the way for mega coal projects, increasing of GHG emissions and lowering of air pollution standards.
You can read about the campaign to put Earth Rights into South Africa’s constitution here.
At the same time that the Mbeki administration was hosting the 2002 WSSD (the acclaimed “Earth Summit’ which produced very little of real substance) the ANC was promoting a crackpot policy sans physics which became known as ‘peak, plateau and decline‘. A neat phrase cooked up by the DEAT to describe a strange new political compromise between our constitutional imperatives, ‘the needs of the future’, and the diktat of the fossil fuel industry, in particular the opportunities (read curse) presented by our own country possessing abundant supplies of coal.
Thus when Min Gwede Mantashe opened a new colliery, while myopically claiming: “our vast coal deposits cannot be sterilised simply because we have not exploited technological innovations to use them,” he was articulating this self-same policy. It describes the apparent trade-offs to be made — ramping up our GHG in the short to medium term, so that we are on par with the West economically speaking, before reaching an abstract ‘plateau’, whereupon we will by some act of the imagination, decline our GHG profile (perhaps via slight of hand and creative accounting) — the introduction of a Carbon Tax, is yet unproven.
Every year, the time frame for the plateau and reduction of local GHG targets has been shifted, while the much vaunted Carbon Tax is slow on the uptake and still being implemented. The Climate Change Bill introduced in 2018, focuses on mitigation and adaptation as opposed to implementing a drastic about turn in energy policies. Bare in mind the Carbon tax is an economic charge which Greenpeace has said, will not be ‘effective enough and far from adequate’.
Every policy decision thus far made by the ruling party, has been on the basis of the bad maths of these mantras introduced without much scientific consensus, and there is no precedent.
After negotiating a COP-out deal at Paris, which has allowed our country to continue with business as usual — South Africa’s pledge under the Paris Climate Agreement is ranked as “highly insufficient” — we are left with a Promethean struggle involving several massive coal mega-projects versus the reality of today. At 510.2377 mtCO2e pa our GHG profile is currently on par with the UK, a country with a population of 66 million people, as we begin to exceed the West in air pollution. Our country has been criticised internationally for “ delaying the development of policies to cut emissions.”
It is thus with some sadness and poignancy that I read a letter addressed to our president and signed by some 50 local environmental organisations, demanding ‘an emergency sitting of Parliament to deliberate on the recently issued UN report on 1.5°C increase in planetary temperature and its implications for South African climate change policy.’
This while 300 kids marched from Parliament to the City Hall in Cape Town last Friday, to hand over a memorandum demanding government take “immediate action on the climate crises”. Following a mass demonstration on 15 March where thousands of school learners protested, calling on government to act against climate change. In various parts of the Free State, Mpumalanga and Limpopo, where “youth collectives are meeting to learn about climate justice and organise, “writes Alex Lenferna
“Outside of the Union Buildings, young people rallied and delivered a petition to the president calling for climate justice now.”
Instead of declaring a climate crisis, President Ramaphosa, has chosen to skedaddle and bamboozle with stats and an unhelpful allusion to the climate problem during SONA. The government clearly lacks any real programme to deal with the crisis. This is not the first time that the ruling party has attempted to colour itself with the revelry of the green movement.
Stating that the President’s ‘recognition of the climate crisis is the first step to fundamental change“, as a 17-year-old environmental activist Ruby Simpson does, is expecting a serial climate change denialist, to suddenly get science and find Gaia, because the reality is our nation’s policy of ‘peak, plateau and decline‘ is founded upon a tragic denial of the existential threats facing our planet and its people.
Regrettably, one can only express skepticism of presidential lip-service, uttered with pro-coal cynicism — successive ANC Presidents and their cabinets have shown themselves to ‘talk green, but walk with coal’. One has only to witness the abject failure of the President to address the detailed requirements of a ‘just transition’, and thus his startling refusal to acknowledge the implicit question of ‘whose justice?’
Without an immediate adoption of a climate emergency, articulated by the 2011 Durban Declaration, there can be no justice. And without a complete u-turn in our energy policies, there will be no future for our country.
THE past week has seen movement by the NPA on several TRC cases. Some might say better late than never, but its still an uphill task getting the NPA to make good on the recommendations of the commission, not to mention our own difficulties in gaining access to justice in a civil case brought to defend the final report from a dirty tricks campaign which includes public denials that the perpetrators were ever inculpated.
Can the NPA save face on unresolved apartheid deaths? writes Tyrone Smith
Reconciliation as we knew it then (mid-nineties) is overworked. The challenge now remains – how do opposing groups dialogue and overcome the structural divides, writes Leon Wessels.
IVO VEGTER is at it again, with a spate of postings published by Daily Maverick, each one more ludicrous than the next. If its not GM food, then its nuclear power that he commends. The latest effort at contrarianism is what appears to be a detailed article on 5G, labeling those who rightly question the health impacts of radio frequency electromagnetic radiation (RF EMR) guilty of nothing less than “technophobic nonsense”.
The posting begins by introducing a red herring — the unverified report that Poland’s PM Mateusz Morawiecki, had signed the ‘Global Appeal to Ban 5G in Earth and in Space’. The report was picked up by online sites, including CounterPunch, but turned out to be nothing more than a tactic to discredit those campaigning against 5G, and thus amongst similar Trojan Horse ideas punted by infocoms sites.
Which is a better weapon in the hands of right-wing charlatans, the Straw Man argument, or the good old Greek Gift?
Globalisation sites such as Global Research apparently had a field day, but as yet no independent verification of the alleged dismissal from the, wait for it, ‘The Polish Ministry of Digitalisation’.
But that my dear, is not the main point here, since Vegter should know better than to critique a public petition, for money, while ignoring the real nugget of a professional petition eligible only to those with a PhD or Medical degree!
All this while supplying sciencey-looking diagrams to demonstrate, why it is that he writes on the subject while not possessing a science degree, nor coursework in the subject at hand.
To give an indication, saying 5G spectrum ‘places squarely in the region of radar on the electromagnetic spectrum’, begs the health questions raised by this Int. J. Cancer paper, one of many, reporting an increase in the incidence of hemolymphatic cancers:
So much for the claim that these studies are all ‘self-published, non-peer-reviewed reports’. Would Vegter be so bold then, as to review the slightly more elevated petition document signed by some 50 eminent medical professionals, with the same apparent rigour, as he treated the much vaunted “Global Appeal to Ban 5G in Earth and in Space?”
I think not, since the Vegter is seemingly impervious to criticism that he is at best, a cherry-picker of facts.
Ivo thus proceeds to impute anti-5G activists on the basis that “A significant percentage of the world’s population is instinctively afraid of new technologies” in the process ignoring the ‘precautionary principle’ which has governed much scientific endeavor in the past, but sadly seems to be on the way out, so far as Huawei is concerned. Victim of what those in the tech industry might refer to as the pro-actionary principle, of doing it for the startup money, and not giving a $%^.
The man makes the astonishing claim that there is no substantive peer reviewed research supporting concerns about RF EMR and EMF since, “many of the academic studies cited in the petition are decades old, and nothing has come of follow-up studies to confirm or quantify the effect. Some weren’t peer-reviewed. Many are published in obscure journals. Most are conducted on animals, or even just cells in a petri dish, not humans in plausible exposure scenarios. Many have very small sample sizes. Most cases involve a correlation, rather than proof of causation. None offer a plausible mechanism of action by which electromagnetic radiation can produce the claimed effect.”
Readers may take time to review a compendium of research on the dangers of 5G and EMF, compiled by Dr. Martin Pall.
5G uses between 24 to 90 gigahertz frequency. Within the RF Radiation portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, the higher the frequency the more dangerous it is to living organisms.
Don’t get bamboozled by the debate on ionising vs non-ionising radiation unless you care to suck on some microwaved latte while reading recent papers published by the the eminent Lancet, and Environmental Research Journal:
‘Unprecedented human exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation from conception until death has been occurring in the past two decades. Evidence of its effects on the CNS, including altered neurodevelopment and increased risk of some neurodegenerative diseases,is a major concern considering the steady increase in their incidence.’
“Radiofrequency radiation (RF) is increasingly being recognized as a new form of environmental pollution. Like other common toxic exposures, the effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF EMR) will be problematic if not impossible to sort out epidemiologically as there no longer remains an unexposed control group.”
Try these pages for some further anti-dote to the Daily Maverick media factory:
On 26 September 1997 a group of journalists from Naspers made a submission to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission ‘apologising for their role in the apartheid years’. The submission endorsed by journalists, in their individual and private capacities, from ‘Beeld, Die Burger, Rapport, Volksblad, Insig, Huisgenoot, Sarie, You and Fair Lady’ was not made on behalf of the company, but rather against the wishes of management. Ton Vosloo, then managing director, had taken a dim view of the commission calling it a ‘liegscommissie’, while former Naspers directer, PW Botha had successfullly opposed a subpoena to appear before the TRC in court.
“Editorial comment in the majority of the Afrikaans papers was highly critical of the TRC, especially in Die Burger and Rapport” writes Tim du Plessis in the Nieman Report. “They accused the TRC in emotional language of a lack of balance and of severe prejudice against the Afrikaners and their institutions. On the editorial pages, the Commission was scathingly referred to as “Tutu se bieg en liegkommissie” (Tutu’s Commission of confessing and lying).”
“Editorials and political columns branded the Commission a “witch hunt” against Afrikaners. Allegations of undue sympathy for the ruling African National Congress (ANC) were leveled at the Commission which, according to these papers, resulted in a lack of will by the TRC to investigate abuses of human rights in ANC ranks.”
This calumny against the commission is not surprising, since in mid-1980s, PW Botha had handed his associates a license to launch South Africa’s first commercial pay-television platform.
The result was the creation of a media behemoth, with assets around the globe. The same company which had been instrumental in the race-based apartheid state. Successive Prime Ministers, including DF Malan and HF Verwoerd, all had links to the corporation responsible for the Afrikaans language newspapers Die Burger and Rapport. The organisation is referred to as the ‘tap-root of the National Party’ by investigative reporter Hennie van Vuuren, who demonstrated the links between the Botha government and Naspers whilst researching his book ‘Apartheid Guns and Money.
Two days after lodging a complaint in regard to a racist cover-up before South Africa’s Equality Court, during July of 2015 the company decided to issue a public apology referencing one case-limited example of a journalist Conrad Sidego who had experienced problems with separate facilities in Naspers newsrooms. The apology, ostensibly issued to the heavens, failed to note the dispute, and made no mention of the earlier submissions made by a group of apartheid collaborators who had succeeded in turning themselves into ‘conscientious journalists’ under the machinations of the commission — nor the findings of the commission itself which had essentially found the company guilty of gross violations of human rights.
Media24 manager Ishmet Davidson, then proceeded to claim on camera that the corporation had in fact made submissions before the TRC and had ostensibly been cleared by the commission. The public statement was far from the truth, since what had occurred was in reality an elaborate public relations exercise, in which the media proceeded to rewrite history while ignoring the damning evidence of open collaboration and support for the apartheid state.
Thus on 22 September 2017 Justice Bozalek issued an order in regard to my right to legal representation in the matter brought to defend the TRC Report:-
“It is ordered that the plaintiff’s application to review the Legal Aid Board’s decision to refuse the plaintiff legal representation is not properly before this Court. The plaintiff is directed, if he wishes to pursue that ‘application’ or to exhaust his right to appeal the Legal Aid Board’s decision to its CEO, to take such steps inter alia by launching a review application against the Legal Aid Board in the Western Cape High Court.”
The matter against Legal Aid SA (LASA) was heard on 28 February 2019 and a decision handed down by AJ Martin on 11 March 2019, in which Martin proceeded to agree with Legal Aid SA determinations that it would ‘take a long time to read the TRC report’ and therefore it may be ignored.
At para 5 the decision records the words of John van Onselen’s merit report:
“to enable Legal Aid SA to prepare a substantive report it would be necessary to consider all the various pieces of legislation applicable, the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission together with any relevant documents”
To which AJ Martin concludes:-
“I am also satisfied that Legal Aid SA justifiably concluded that ‘to do so would take a lengthy period of time”
LASA legal executive Themile Mtata has stated in his explanation of a further determination of no prospects, that ‘the matter has prescribed since the commission wound up its work some time ago.’
AJ Martin thus concurred with the racist determinations and explanations made by LASA in its merit report, in the process creating an unlawful and racist exclusion to the Preamble to our Constitution.
The decision in Lewis v LASA (2019) unlawfully abrogates our constitution and the current democratic dispensation by failing to recognize the status of the TRC report, a foundation to our democracy, and thus the injunction:
We, the people of South Africa,
Recognise the injustices of our past;
Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land;
Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and
Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.
so so as to
- Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights;
- Lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law;
- Improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person; and
- Build a united and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations.
Although promulgated in terms of the Interim Constitution of 1993, the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act 34 of 1995 was a necessary pre-condition for the enactment of the Constitution of the Republic, signed by President Nelson Mandela on 18 December 1996 and which came into effect on 4 February 1997.
To provide for the investigation and the establishment of as complete a picture as possible of the nature, causes and extent of gross violations of human rights …
The rejection of the facts before the Equality Court and High Court and thus the trivialisation of the TRC report, flies in the face of natural justice and ignores the substantial injustice and unfairness which is being experienced by the Applicant not possessing legal aid with regard to the odious task of defending the public record. Section 39(2) of the constitution directs every court or tribunal – when interpreting legislation or developing common law or customary law – to promote the object, purport and spirit of the Bill of Rights.
To state that the High Court ‘finds some displeasure’ at the manner in which the communication of the ‘reasons for refusal of legal aid’, was conveyed but nothing ‘deficient, invalid or unjustified’ in the resulting determinations, ignores the many deficiencies in procedure, in which the facts of the TRC report are reduced both in stature and levity by the Respondent, and consequently the Court itself.