Constitutional Hill

Animal antics and the separation of powers doctrine

Our legal system exhibits a rather inconsistent attitude towards animals. We are entitled, for example, to force animals to perform for our amusement in the circus. We are also entitled to kill and eat animals. But you would commit a criminal offence if you have sex with the same animal before killing and eating it. It might not be immediately apparent what this has to do with one of the most important principles contained in the Constitution, namely the separation of powers doctrine. A recent Constitutional Court judgment provides the somewhat tenuous link.

Few people in South Africa are probably aware of the existence of the Performing Animals Protection Act of 1935. Until last week I sure was not aware of this Act. The Act requires anyone “intending to exhibit or train for exhibition any animal, or who uses a dog for safeguarding,” to apply for a licence to do so. The application must be considered by a magistrate, who must issue the licence if he or she is satisfied that the applicant “is a fit and proper person”.

circusanimals-exoticpetsandmore-green

Last week in National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Others the Constitutional Court (in a unanimous judgment written by Justice Raymond Zondo) confirmed that the provisions of the Act requiring a magistrate to grant such a licence was unconstitutional because it infringed on the separation of powers doctrine.

Despite the novel nature of the legal provisions at play, the judgment will probably become a classic (and much prescribed) one as it comprehensively and succinctly summarises the Constitutional Court’s approach to the separation of powers as it relates to the judicial branch of government.

As the Court pointed out, the separation of powers doctrine is not a fixed or rigid constitutional doctrine. There are many different models of separation of powers in the world. More specifically, our Constitution does not provide for a total separation of powers among the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary.

It is not surprising that the Act – passed way back in 1935 – requires magistrates (as opposed to a government agency) to grant licences to anyone intending to exhibit or train for exhibition any animal, or who uses a dog for safeguarding.

Until 1991, there was little or no separation between the lower courts and the executive in South Africa. Magistrates were employed as civil servants and had little or no independence. They were required to perform many administrative functions. The Apartheid government also relied on magistrates to lend a veneer of legitimacy to otherwise highly politicised decisions.

For example, magistrates often had to chair inquests into the death of political opponents of the Apartheid regime who died in police custody. In probably the most shocking and notorious case, the presiding magistrate in the Steve Biko inquest found that “no act or omission involving an offence
by any person” was responsible for the death of Steve Biko – despite the fact that overwhelming evidence emerged during the 15-day inquest that the then security police had tortured and killed Biko.

This all began to change in 1991, when legislation was passed formally to separate the magistracy from the executive. In the democratic era, under the separation of powers doctrine, it would be unthinkable for either judges or magistrates to be as closely aligned to the executive as magistrates were prior to 1991. As the independence of the judiciary is now constitutionally guaranteed, the separation between the executive and the judiciary it is now a constitutional imperative.

This does not mean that either judges or magistrates can never fulfil non-judicial tasks. In some cases, judges (even those who have not retired) may chair commissions of inquiry. Judges also serve on the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and magistrates and judges fulfil other administrative tasks related to the running of the courts.

As the Constitutional Court once again pointed out, there are:

difficulties confronting government in attempting to carry out its constitutional mandate to transform our society, to the extensive demands made upon it in relation to basic needs such as housing, health, education and social welfare and to the need to make prudent use of scarce resources.  There may be reasons why existing legislation that makes provision for administrative functions and duties to be performed by magistrates is necessary, and is not at present inconsistent with the evolving process of securing institutional independence at all levels of the court system.

The Court recognised again that there are differences between the lower courts and the high courts and that lower courts need not enjoy exactly the same degree of independence and separation as the high courts. It might therefore be legitimate for magistrate to perform certain administrative functions but unjustifiable for a judge to perform the same function.

What will offend the separation of powers is the performance by a magistrate of administrative duties unrelated to his or her judicial functions in circumstances where there is no justification for that non-judicial function to be performed by a magistrate in that, for example, it can be performed by a non-judicial officer, e.g. an officer or official in the public service, without much difficulty. However, the performance by a magistrate of a non-judicial function unrelated to his or her core functions where that can be justified does not offend the separation of powers.

In this case, a decision to grant a licence to a person who wishes to train or exhibit an animal would clear be a non-judicial function not closely connected with the core function of the Judiciary. After all, although many Magistrates might have exceptional abilities as judicial officers, it is unclear how their training and knowledge would help them to decide whether to grant a licence to a circus owner who wishes to have lions perform in her circus.

In this case there was no compelling reason why a non-judicial function which is not closely connected with the core function of the Judiciary should be performed by a member of the Judiciary and not by the Executive or a person appointed by the Executive for that purpose. As Zondo pointed out:

I do not see why, if, for example, a non-judicial body or officer can be given the power to issue casino or liquor licences, a judicial officer such as a magistrate should be assigned the function of issuing animal training and exhibition licences.  If we were to hold that it accords with this country’s model of separation of powers for a statutory provision to require a member of the Judiciary to issue animal training and exhibition licences and that does not offend the separation of powers, where will the requirement for the performance of administrative functions by magistrates stop?

The case did not deal with the more philosophical issues regarding the inconsistent manner in which our law deals with the treatment of animals. However, the case does contain a very robust defence of the constitutional imperative of maintaining a clear separation between the judiciary and the other branches of government. As such, it illustrates that the Constitutional Court is prepared to hand down judgments that jealously guard its independence.

  • Jim Stockley

    Thanks Pierre – So glad to see you make the point that the case did NOT deal with issues regarding the treatment of animals. There has been a lot of very confused reporting of this case in the media, making it out to be some great victory for animal welfare? So much so that the Lulama Luti (Director, Media Relations in the Private Office of the Chief Justice) has written to several newspapers to correct their reports. The issue was the constitutionality of Magistrates issuing our PAPA licenses. On delivery of the judgement a temporary NSPCA committee fell away and Magistrates were told to continue to issue licenses for the next 18 months, during which time Government is supposed to rectify defects in the Act.

    Jim Stockley – The Licensed Animal Trainers Association (LATA)

  • John Roberts

    Fuck ! How boring. No white men or blonde housewives to blame. No churlish attacks on the DA? No defense of gays and other misfits?

    You gotta be scraping the barrel when not even Maggs Naidu has commented yet!

  • Lisbeth

    Seeing the picture of those elephants ruined my entire day.

  • http://ayushhealthcare.co.za Terrence Kommal

    Thanks for the update on this matter…

    It is about time that the separation of powers matter is dealt with and defective legislation is corrected.

    Of course only because this is a matter of animals, do the political organisations steer clear for the moment. The key facts of the finds of the responsibilities and scope of work of the courts is appreciated.

    Thanks for the great piece!

  • Brett Nortje – The ANC are backward! Completely out of place in the 21st Century….

    Vir wat praat jy van “often”, Pierrot?

    “magistrates often had to chair inquests into the death of political opponents of the Apartheid regime who died in police custody”

    Ne?

    Gee vir ons bietjie ‘n vergelyking van hoeveel mense in aanhouding dood is tydens Apartheid en hoeveel mense elke jaar in die NSA se selle hulle laaste asem uitblaas?

  • Brett Nortje – The ANC are backward! Completely out of place in the 21st Century….

    Vind sommer vir ons uit of daar 8-jaar agterstand in die uitreik van vuurwapenlisensies was in die tyd toe landroste wapenlisensies uitgereik het soos daar was met wapenlisensie-hernuwings in die Nuwe Suid Afrika?

  • Maggs Naidu – The DA will bring back apartheid! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Lisbeth
    July 19, 2013 at 14:47 pm

    Eish Lisbeth,

    “Seeing the picture of those elephants ruined my entire day.”

    Now you sound like John Jefferies and Buti Manamela!

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ Ozoneblue

    John Roberts
    July 19, 2013 at 13:06 pm

    “Fuck ! How boring.”

    No problem there. He went from noble willd democratic (yet CORRUPYT) African to the noble CIRCus eliphant.

    What else do you expect form the typical white pov?

  • Chris

    “The Court recognised again that there are differences between the lower courts and the high courts and that lower courts need not enjoy exactly the same degree of independence and separation as the high courts.”

    Sound so much like “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”

  • Maggs Naidu – The DA will bring back apartheid! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Does anyone know what Section 9(3) of the Currency and Exchanges Act says?

    The judge however granted an order declaring Section 9(3) of the Currency and Exchanges Act as well as certain portions of the Exchange Control Regulations unconstitutional.

    Section 9(3) gives the President not only the power to amend or suspend any part of the Currency and Exchanges Act, but also the power to amend or suspend any other Act of Parliament.

    http://www.enca.com/south-africa/shuttleworth-loses-exchange-control-battle

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ Ozoneblue – BLACKS stole all our Ubuntu

    Maggs Naidu – The DA will bring back apartheid! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)
    July 20, 2013 at 10:47 am

    “Does anyone know what Section 9(3) of the Currency and Exchanges Act says?”

    Who gives a fuck. Only 0.001% of us racist WHITES have 250 mil for you greedy BLACKS to steal.

  • Peter

    Chaps, I thought the Professor would comment on Mr Mogoeng’s address? So far only Elephants, is this what is meant by ‘the elephant in the room’?

  • Dmwangi

    “Who gives a fuck. Only 0.001% of us racist WHITES have 250 mil for you greedy BLACKS to steal.”

    As always, OB is the voice of reason — providing incredibly lucid commentary. Without pointing this out, we may have remained under the terribly pernicious illusion that ALL whites are billionaires and might have wasted precious resources plotting how to steal the poor white masses non-existent riches. OB is owed a large debt of gratitude for articulately informing us that only a minority of whites have benefitted from dialectical materialism. The rest are, sadly, stuck in History.

  • Ozoneblue

    Dmwangi
    July 21, 2013 at 17:09 pm

    Ooops – I see now whats wrong there. Racial profiling, so let me rephrase that.

    “Only 0.001% of us racist WHITES have 250 mil for the 0.001 % of you greedy BLACKS to steal.”

    Sorry about that. Never mind the Ubuntu.

  • Ozoneblue

    Peter
    July 21, 2013 at 16:51 pm

    “Chaps, I thought the Professor would comment on Mr Mogoeng’s address? So far only Elephants, is this what is meant by ‘the elephant in the room’?”

    Yep – I guess everybody with half a brain noticed it. Did you expect anything better from De Vos?

  • Maggs Naidu – The DA will bring back apartheid! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Ozoneblue
    July 21, 2013 at 18:37 pm

    OB

    “Yep – I guess everybody with half a brain noticed it.”

    So you noticed it then!

  • Lisbeth

    “OB is owed a large debt of gratitude for articulately informing us that only a minority of whites have benefitted from dialectical materialism.”

    OB merely opined that about 45 whites have R250m lying around somewhere. Actually, I dispute that. Surely not even Whitey Basson has that kind of cash. Patrice Motsepe, maybe; but he’s not white.

    And since when, Dmwangi, is ‘dialectical materialism’ a synonym for apartheid? I always thought it was a Marxist thing.

    Another thing: “benefitted” would look a whole lot better with just one t. Your thoughts?

  • Maggs Naidu – The DA will bring back apartheid! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Lisbeth

    Lisbeth,

    “Another thing: “benefitted” would look a whole lot better with just one t”

    T-benefitted?

    Is that even a word?

  • Dmwangi

    Lisbeth:

    Do accept my apologies any time my remarks offend the spelling or grammar gods. You’ll have to keep in mind — as I am so often reminded on this blog– that I am merely a “backward,” “primitive,” “unenlightened” African for whom English is a second language. That said, thank you for providing such a valuable corrective as the entire meaning of my post could easily have been misconstrued by the superfluous ‘t.’ Contrary to those who may find this kind of cavilling indicative of petty-mindedness, I am inclined to believe your fastidious attention to detail is a marker of genius.

    I refer you to OB for a comprehensive explication of dialectical materialism. But for the Marxist meta-narrative to retain its explanatory power, it cannot exclude historical events and certainly one as salient to our current self-understanding as apartheid.

  • Dmwangi

    “and certainly *not* one as salient to our current self-understanding as apartheid.”

    Let me self-correct to preempt your confusion.

    Btw, how is your paper refuting Fama’s factor model coming along? Will you be presenting it at the World Economic Forum this year?

  • Lisbeth

    >Dmwangi

    “Btw, how is your paper refuting Fama’s factor model coming along?”

    Ah, but you see, I’m not refuting it. Couldn’t be bothered, actually. As an idiot savant, I’m perfectly capable of handling my equity portfolio all by myself, even though I admit I know sweet-blow-all about the econonomy, as you have correctly noted.

    “…I am inclined to believe your fastidious attention to detail is a marker of genius.”

    You are very kind, really. Too kind. Indeed, “petty-mindedness” would be far more apt in my case.

  • Lisbeth

    Oh dear … hoist by my own petard. Tsk.

    econonomy = economy

  • Maggs Naidu – The DA will bring back apartheid! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Lisbeth
    July 21, 2013 at 19:57 pm

    Lisbeth!

    “econonomy”

    You must have studied at the same WHITE-impressing graduate school as Dmwangi – this one http://www.pompousasswords.com/www/index.htm

  • Dmwangi

    P.S. Far be it for a “primitive” such as myself to question your knowledge of the Queen’s English but it appears, per the Oxford Dictionary, “benefitted” is an acceptable alternate spelling:

    http://oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/benefit?q=Benefitted#benefit__8

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Dmwangi

    I have always suspected the prestigious northern hemisphere school which awarded your doctorate was Yale. That being so, what do you say about Maggs’ shameless promotion of the so-called Yale WHIFFENPOOFS? It matters not to me that they pandered to Ms Mazibuko. My gripe is that these young men seem bent on promoting lifestyles that were unknown in Africa before colonialism. Am I wrong?

    Thanks.

  • Dmwangi

    ” As an idiot savant, I’m perfectly capable of handling my equity portfolio all by myself….”

    Nice. So what alpha have you been earning, say, t-5?

  • Dmwangi

    MDF:

    As usual, your instincts have led you astray. I never attended Yale. And I’d rather not litigate today whether militant gay liberation politics was a feature of pre-colonial Africa.

    Let me enjoy my Blue Label Sunday without worrying if I’m violating any commandments of the English police or the pink mafia.

  • Ozoneblue

    Dmwangi
    July 21, 2013 at 20:59 pm

    “But for the Marxist meta-narrative to retain its explanatory power, it cannot exclude historical events and certainly one as salient to our current self-understanding as apartheid.”

    I guess I don’t have to explain to you that Marxism and National Socialism might share some economics but that they that they have always been deadly ideological foes – that same struggle that have been dropped from the typical White liberals narrative in favour of “Whte Supremacy” when they recall Apartheid and much of the history of the 20th century. And lets not forget about the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the bizarre reinvention/beautification of Comrade Mandela.

  • Ozoneblue

    And let this be clear – if they can’t or wont give us a Marxist brand of socialism purified from this primitive ethnic and racial then then they can shove it. If they cannot unite this nation like a Cuba or a Venezuela … Then I don’t want any part of it, in fact then it is suicide for any ethnic minority to even contemplate being part of such a fascist state.

    Mugabe’s men ‘pay Malema’

    http://www.citypress.co.za/politics/mugabes-men-pay-malema/

  • Maggs Naidu – The DA will bring back apartheid! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    And talk of animal antics!

    Farmer accused of brutal assault on worker

    July 22 2013 at 08:02am
    By Jason Felix

    Flippie Engelbrecht, 19, fell into a fire during a seizure and had to have his hands amputated when he was 15, shortly after he was blinded in an alleged assault by an Overberg farmer, an assault which he claims also left him with epilepsy.

    Cape Town – An Overberg farmer is due in court next week accused of brutality that left a farmworker’s son blind and epileptic.

    In an epileptic seizure soon after the assault, the 15-year-old fell into a fire and had to have his hands amputated.

    The owner of a wine estate outside Robertson and his farm manager will appear in the Ashton Regional Court on July 31 charged with assaulting Flippie Engelbrecht, now 19.

    Farmworker unions and the ANC are to protest at the court.

    In a video made and distributed by Hermanus lawyer Carina Papenfus, his mother Katrina Engelbrecht said he had been assaulted on January 25, 2008. On that day she had gone with Flippie’s father Flip to the farm to collect money Flip was owed for work.

    “As we were walking to the welding room the farm manager took a pole and hit Flip,” she said. “Then they fought.”
    farmer assaulted worker back

    The farmer’s son asked them to stop the fight and the couple went back to their farm home.

    “On our way back we saw Flippie get off the school bus. He walked with us and as we got closer to the house a truck came. The men jumped off the truck and assaulted my husband again. They also grabbed my son Flippie and banged his head against a wine tank,” she said.

    http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/farmer-accused-of-brutal-assault-on-worker-1.1550255#.UezVGaxqiMo

  • Brett Nortje – The ANC are backward! Completely out of place in the 21st Century….

    Y ou must be hugely relieved. Isn’t it about 4 years since you were able to post a farmer-beats-worker story?

  • Ozoneblue

    Brett Nortje – The ANC are backward! Completely out of place in the 21st Century….
    July 22, 2013 at 9:27 am

    They have to continuously scrape the bottom of the barrel so they can continue to justify their own moral, ideological and intellectual bankruptcy.

    But what do you say to White liberals having these sort of thoughts occupying their tortured and conflicted minds: “But you would commit a criminal offence if you have sex with the same animal before killing and eating it.”

    Another “hangover” from Apartheid legislation?

  • Ozoneblue

    “President Zuma has also been alerted to inappropriate postings in the social media on the Zimbabwean situation.

    South Africa remains fully committed to the warm historical relations with the Republic of Zimbabwe and wishes the people of Zimbabwe well as they prepare for the elections.”

    Absofuckinglutely.

    Especially us taxpaying racist WHITES are thrilled with the prospect of ZANPF being sponsored by our own government who are in turn sponsoring BLACK fascists like Malema and Mngxitama to mass murder us in some Armaggedon that all of us whites should know awaits us in some historic corner.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Ozonebuoy

    “Absofuckinglutely”

    Whilst I am no apologist for Mr Mugabe, I applaud our President for reining in Ms Lindiwe Zulu. Nothing can take away the fact that Mr Mugabe stood by us during our struggle. Our people remain grateful to him. And we can all LEARN from the manner in which the Zimbabwean people have succeeded in taking back their land, and farming productivity has been restored to what it was in the 1980′s!

    Thanks.

  • Brett Nortje – The ANC are backward! Completely out of place in the 21st Century….

    Do you think Mrs Zille (To be distinguished from my darling old pitbull Zilla) should similarly reign in the other Lindiwe?

    The stories in the Sunday media made my blood run cold….

  • Brett Nortje – The ANC are backward! Completely out of place in the 21st Century….

    Ozoneblue says:
    July 22, 2013 at 10:31 am

    I say it would be a hugely conciliatory gesture on the personal level and between our nations should someone from the ZANU-PF inner circle include a member of the Zuma family in something, like say, hypothetically, a business venture?

  • Ozoneblue

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    July 22, 2013 at 10:57 am

    “and farming productivity has been restored to what it was in the 1980′s!”

    hmmm…Ja. I agree. When I assume “farming productivity” is one of those coded White liberal invented PC euphemisms for the exact opposite – as in “nonracial”?

    “According to United Nations World Food Programme country director Felix Bamezon, “during the peak hunger period of January to March 2013, approximately 19 percent of Zimbabwe’s 13 million population were estimated to be in need of food assistance”.”

    “Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has acknowledged the crisis. “The food situation in our country has worsened as the number of people unable to meet their daily food requirements increased by 21 percent since 1995,” he said.”

    “But shortages are an opportunity for some. Mines Minister Obert Mpofu was accused of distributing 30 metric tonnes of “quality maize” to drought-stricken Matebeleland ahead of the elections due to be held at the end of this month. He had reportedly acquired the grain at a “give-away” price, and distributed it among villagers – though it turned out to be rotten.”

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/07/201371093933648830.html

  • Maggs Naidu – The DA will bring back apartheid! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Brett Nortje – The ANC are backward! Completely out of place in the 21st Century….
    July 22, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Brett,

    “The stories in the Sunday media made my blood run cold….”

    So you’re like a SNAKE?

  • Brett Nortje – The ANC are backward! Completely out of place in the 21st Century….

    If you think od me in those terms I’m the King Cobra and you’re the Krait!

  • Ozoneblue

    Maggs Naidu – The DA will bring back apartheid! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Maggs. Please stop posting your “nonracial” shite on the forum. Rather take note of the splendid “farming productivity” in Zimbabwe as elsewhere in Africa.

    “SUCCESSFUL implementation of paediatric anti-retroviral therapy is being hampered by lack of appropriate food supplements in most households in Seke communal areas in Mashonaland East province, health officials have said. Senior nurse from Seke Rural Hospice, Edrian Kwangwa last week said while the area has been categorised as a green zone [areas which receive adequate rain], many people in Seke had small pieces of land that do not produce adequate food supplies. “Most of the villagers around this area have small pieces of land which do not produce enough food for the whole family,” said Kwangwa. “For the children who are on anti-retroviral drugs, it becomes critical if they do not get enough food.” Kwangwa pleaded with organisations that can provide food aid to supplement their efforts by giving out food packs to children living with HIV and Aids.”

    http://allafrica.com/stories/201307220424.html

  • Gwebecimele
  • Gwebecimele

    “Sitting in an edit suite in London, we quickly realised that by closely following the weapons of the two police officers who shot Tatane and by staying focused on those weapons, it was possible to identify who shot him.”
    http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2013-07-22-police-brutality-and-the-mass-amnesia-that-threatens-to-obscure-it/

  • Hoof_Hearted

    Meanwhile back at the ranch, families affected by the goings-on at Marikana are denied Legal Aid, yet the royal family get the royal treatment from the powers that be at the Rhodes University Law Clinic
    Mandelas Pull Legal Aid Scam

  • Ozoneblue

    Makes you think – doesn’it?

    “Wild as any freedom loving racist
    I applaud the actions of the chief
    Tell me now oh beautiful and spacious
    Am I in trouble with the Jazz police?”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qN9u3DlbnV4

  • Dmwangi

    OB:

    “And let this be clear – if they can’t or wont give us a Marxist brand of socialism purified from this primitive ethnic and racial then then they can shove it. If they cannot unite this nation like a Cuba or a Venezuela … Then I don’t want any part of it, in fact then it is suicide for any ethnic minority to even contemplate being part of such a fascist state.”

    How about like the wonderfully united country of North Korea? It remains thoroughly committed to pure Marxism. I’d just like to get some sense of what the future of History looks like.

  • Maggs Naidu – The DA will bring back apartheid! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Hey Dmwangi,

    Ignore OB for a while and focus on this fake report!

    So, there we have it. Homosexuality is not contagious. Not in 1990s high schools, anyway.

    However, the odds seem low that the conspiracists will believe this.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/2013/07/20/homosexuality-doesnt-spread-via-social-networks/#.Ue1JwqxqiMo

    So how did you become gay?

    Was it your friends? Relatives? Neighbours? Workmates? Street vendor?

    Are you looking for the antidote?

  • Dmwangi

    Maggs:

    I imagine the feeling I get each time you post something is similar to what whites experience when they come across stray dogs: a deep sense of pity and a vague inkling to do something; maybe throw the beast a few bones. But engaging proves too risky — at any moment this wild animal, likely rabid, can lash out.

    So I demur. But not without a profound sense of sympathy for your circumstances and regret at my inability to assist you.

  • Maggs Naidu – The DA will bring back apartheid! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Dmwangi
    July 22, 2013 at 19:05 pm

    Hey DM,

    “I imagine the feeling I get each time you post something is similar to what whites experience when they come across stray dogs: a deep sense of pity and a vague inkling to do something; maybe throw the beast a few bones. But engaging proves too risky — at any moment this wild animal, likely rabid, can lash out.

    So I demur. But not without a profound sense of sympathy for your circumstances and regret at my inability to assist you.”

    WTF – you sound like you’ve lost your marbles.

    Calm down – now you sound like a closet cross-et.

    Sorry I let everyone know that you’re GAY!

    Ok – I’m not sorry, it’s time for you to come out of the cupboard!

  • Brett Nortje – The ANC are backward! Completely out of place in the 21st Century….

    Brace yourself, Mwangi!

    The moon is full….

  • Zoo Keeper

    Dmwangi

    LOL – classic posts!!!

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Maggs/Dmwangi

    For my part, I feel the deepest sympathy for you both.

    Dmwangi, re your reference to what “whites experience when they come across stray dogs.” I agree with your general sentiment. But please respect our convention on this blog of employing the term “WHITIST” (upper case.)

    Thanks.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Dmwangi

    With respect, it is unfair to compare Cuba with North Korea. It is just fortuitous that the Cuban masses have consistently exercised their democratic preference for the leadership of one or other of the Castro brothers for more than half a century!

    Thanks.