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
1 June 2011

Equality Court Judgement against Jon Qwelane

IN THE EQUALITY COURT OF JOHANNESBURG

HELD AT THE JOHANNESBURG MAGISTRATE’S COURT

CASE NUMBER: 44/EQ JHB

IN THE MATTER BETWEEN:

SOUTH AFRICAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISION COMPLAINANT

AND

JON QWULANE RESPONDENT

JUDGMENT

1. This is an application for judgment by default in terms of Rule 32 of Act 32 of 1944. The court finds that there has been proper service on the respondent. The respondent was not in attendance at court. The complainant relied on the founding affidavit and argued the matter.

2. The complaint is undefended. The respondent has filed no papers. In the circumstances there is only one version before court. It is that of the complainant. The court is not going to repeat the argument presented as it already forms part of the record. This argument is accepted.

3. In the totality of the submissions tendered by the complainant the court finds the following:

3.1 The complainant has the necessary locus standi to institute these proceedings.

3.2 This court has the necessary jurisdiction to adjudicate this matter.

3.3 The contents of the article and cartoon amount to hate speech (see here).

3.4 The article and cartoon propagates hatred and harm against homosexuals. Homosexuals as represented by the complainant have suffered emotional pain and suffering as a result of the action of the respondent.

4. The court therefore grants judgment in favour of the complainant as follows:

4.1 The respondent is ordered to make an unconditional apology to the gay and lesbian community. Such apology is to be published in the Sunday Sun as well as one other national newspaper.

4.2 Damages in an amount of RI 00 000-00 is granted. Such amount is to be paid to the complainant and to be used to promote and raise awareness regarding the rights of gays and lesbians.

4.3 No costs are ordered.

DATED AT JOHANNESBURG THIS THE 31ST DAY OF MAY 2011.

NM KARIKAN ADDITIONAL MAGISTRATE (EQUALITY COURT) JOHANNESBIRG

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