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
12 February 2007

Quicker, cheaper divorce coming

The Independent Online reports that a draft law paving the way for divorces in a regional court, instead of the more costly high court, is expected to be tabled in parliament in 2007.

Is the legislature expecting a new spike in divorces now that they have legalised same-sex marriage? From anecdotal evidence it seems that same sex couples are not rushing to the magistrates offices across South Africa to get married so even the most homophobc person could not argue that there will be a flood of new divorce cases.

This means that the propose legislation suggests that in a moment of sanity the higher ups at the Department of Justice or Home Affiars have realised how silly it is to try and limit divorce by making the process expensive and cumbersome.

Whether the advocate’s profession is going to be thrilled by this move is, of course, another matter.

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