Quote of the week

Although judicial proceedings will generally be bound by the requirements of natural justice to a greater degree than will hearings before administrative tribunals, judicial decision-makers, by virtue of their positions, have nonetheless been granted considerable deference by appellate courts inquiring into the apprehension of bias. This is because judges ‘are assumed to be [people] of conscience and intellectual discipline, capable of judging a particular controversy fairly on the basis of its own circumstances’: The presumption of impartiality carries considerable weight, for as Blackstone opined at p. 361 in Commentaries on the Laws of England III . . . ‘[t]he law will not suppose possibility of bias in a judge, who is already sworn to administer impartial justice, and whose authority greatly depends upon that presumption and idea’. Thus, reviewing courts have been hesitant to make a finding of bias or to perceive a reasonable apprehension of bias on the part of a judge, in the absence of convincing evidence to that effect.

L'Heureux-Dube and McLachlin JJ
Livesey v The New South Wales Bar Association [1983] HCA 17; (1983) 151 CLR 288
26 February 2013

[S]ince support for the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal is, in part, informed by the fact that, after Polokwane, the Zulu nationalist impulse was transferred from the IFP to the ANC, what will happen if a non-Zulu, such as Cyril Ramaphosa, is elected ANC president in 2017? Will the 2019 elections be the moment when the Zulu nationalist impulse shifts away from the ANC? This is the crux of the challenge that will face the ANC in the years and months leading up to its 2017 national conference. I was, therefore, not surprised to read in the Mail & Guardian on Friday that there is an ANC “caucus” in KwaZulu-Natal that does not want Ramaphosa to become the leader of the ANC. As they say in the province of my mother’s ancestors, “bafun’ ukumphuc’ isinkw’ emlonyeni” — they want to take bread out of Ramaphosa’s mouth just as he is about to swallow. There are two reasons worth highlighting about why this is happening so soon after Mangaung. First, it is about the consolidation of personal and political interests beyond the Zuma moment. Second, some members of the ANC are tribalists and some of these tribalists are in KwaZulu-Natal. – Aubrey Matshiqi in Business Day

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