As seductive as certain perspectives of international law may appear to those who disagree with the outcome of the interpretative exercise conducted by this Court in the contempt judgment, sight must not be lost of the proper place of international law, especially in respect of an application for rescission. The approach that my Brother adopts may be apposite in the context of an appeal, where a court is enjoined to consider whether the court a quo erred in its interpretation of the law. Although it should be clear by now, I shall repeat it once more: this is not an appeal, for this Court’s orders are not appealable. I am deeply concerned that seeking to rely on articles of the ICCPR as a basis for rescission constitutes nothing more than sophistry.
The mere act of reporting accurately on the lives and experiences of black people constituted a political action during those decades of white minority rule. The indefatigable Henry Nxumalo, “Mr Drum” of the early 1950s, deliberately engineered a week’s imprisonment by violating some degrading curfew law and brought out a harrowing report on prison conditions. But rather than improve its prisons, the apartheid regime passed the Prisons Act, making it illegal to report on any South African prison — the law Gandar and Pogrund fell foul of. Yet imprisonment for breaking one or other of the hundreds of laws and ordinances that regulated the lives of black people was the experience of thousands in urban areas. – Pallo Jordan in Business DayBACK TO TOP