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
18 February 2008

Serious slap in the face for the SCA

I have been rather critical of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in the past and have argued that it has not always embraced the values of the Constitution and the changes the advent of the new Constitution requires in our legal culture. But in recent years the SCA has improved and I was therefore surprised by the ANC resolution to downgrade this court.

Here is my take on this matter published in the Mail & Guardian on Friday.

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