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
7 May 2012

ANC rejects Holomisa’s statement on gays and lesbians

Office of Chief Whip also disputes suggestion MPs were coerced to vote for POSIB

MEDIA STATEMENTS ATTRIBUTED TO INKOSI HOLOMISA

The Office of the ANC Chief Whip notes with great concern the recent utterances attributed to ANC MP Nkosi Patekile Holomisa where he has stated that “the ANC knows that the ‘great majority’ of South Africans do not want to promote or protect the rights of gays and lesbians.” The ANC Caucus distances itself from these views and would like it noted that at no stage has it considered debating this issue before Parliament.

The South African Constitution and its Bill of Rights remain the “cornerstone of democracy in South Africa” and Section 9 of the Constitution is viewed as one of the core values of the Constitution. It guarantees equality for everyone before the law and this equality includes the full and equal enjoyment of all rights and freedoms. Our Constitution is clear that “the state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth”.

The ANC believes that any law which denies people the right to their sexual expressiondevalues them in our broader society and as such is an affront to their dignity and a breach of Section 9 of our Constitution.

We would also like to dispel a further accusation attributed to Nkosi Holomisa where he argued that some ANC MP’s were coerced to vote for the Protection of State Information Bill by Luthuli House. The Bill in question was discussed at the ANC Caucus meeting where it was unanimously supported by all ANC MPs.

The ANC’s key objective is the creation of a united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society and we will not deviate from this objective. The ANC Chief Whip, Dr Mathole Motshekga, will at his earliest convenience meet with Nkosi Holomisa for clarity regarding his media statements.

Statement issued by Mathole Motshekga, The Chief Whip of the Majority Party, Parliament of the Republic of SA, May 6 2012

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