Last week the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) reversed an earlier decision of the High Court and acquitted Pieter Doorewaard and Philip Schutte of the murder of a 15 year old boy named Mathlomola Jonas Mosweu near the town of Coligny. The judges (in 3 separate judgments) all agreed that the police botched the investigation of the case, which means the police failed in their duty to establish even the basic facts. But the judgment remained silent on the impact that racial attitudes in the town of Coligny (including attitudes of white superiority) may have had on the way the matter played out.

If you read the Afrikaans newspaper Rapport this past Sunday, you might well be convinced that Pieter Doorewaard and Philip Schutte were victims of a grave injustice, framed by the police, the prosecution and a High Court judge for the murder of a 15 year old black child. If you are an acolyte of Gauteng MEC Panyazi Lesufi, you may believe that the two white farmers are indeed guilty of murdering Mosweu, and that the SCA judgment was a travesty of justice inspired by judicial racism. (more…)


Quote of the week

It is clear that no legitimate objective is advanced by excluding domestic workers from COIDA.  If anything, their exclusion has a significant stigmatising effect which entrenches patterns of disadvantage based on race, sex and gender…. In considering those who are most vulnerable or most in need, a court should take cognisance of those who fall at the intersection of compounded vulnerabilities due to intersecting oppression based on race, sex, gender, class and other grounds.  To allow this form of state-sanctioned inequity goes against the values of our newly constituted society namely human dignity, the achievement of equality and ubuntu.  To exclude this category of individuals from the social security scheme established by COIDA is manifestly unreasonable.

Victor AJ
Mahlangu and Another v Minister of Labour and Others (CCT306/19) [2020] ZACC 24 (19 November 2020)
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