Quote of the week

[Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro] possesses, however, few of his predecessor’s resources, lacking not just oil revenue but Chávez’s surplus of charisma, humour and political skill. Maduro, unable to end the crisis, has increasingly sided with the privileged classes against the masses; his security forces are regularly dispatched into barrios to repress militants under the guise of fighting crime. Having lost its majority in Congress, the government, fearing it can’t win at the polls the way Chávez did, cancelled gubernatorial elections that had been set for December last year (though they now appear to be on again). Maduro has convened an assembly to write a new constitution, supposedly with the objective of institutionalising the power of social movements, though it is unlikely to lessen the country’s polarisation.

Greg Grandin
London Review of Books
2 December 2011

Casac statement on Menzi Simelane ruling of SCA

Press Release

01 December 2011

CASAC notes that the SCA has affirmed the constitutional duty on the President to appoint a fit and proper person to the office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP). The Ginwala Enquiry made adverse comments about the character of Adv Simelane, which the President should have taken into account in considering Adv Simelane’s fitness for office.

The National Prosecuting Authority is a critical organ of state and its integrity and independence should be beyond reproach to ensure public confidence in its ability to act without fear, favour or prejudice.

We trust that the President will now initiate a process that will lead to the appointment of suitable person as the head of the National Prosecuting Authority to restore confidence in this section of the justice system. The judgment of the SCA confirms that the President must exercise his discretion in line with his constitutional obligations.

Ends

Enquiries:

Lawson Naidoo – 073 158 5736

Masutane Modjadji – 076 937 0825

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