Quote of the week

An ‘important purpose of section 34 [of the Constitution] is to guarantee the protection of the judicial process to persons who have disputes that can be resolved by law’ and that the right of access to court is ‘foundational to the stability of an orderly society. It ensures the peaceful, regulated and institutionalised mechanisms to resolve disputes, without resorting to self-help. The right of access to court is a bulwark against vigilantism, and the chaos and anarchy which it causes. Construed in this context of the rule of law and the principle against self-help in particular, access to court is indeed of cardinal importance’.The right guaranteed s34 would be rendered meaningless if court orders could be ignored with impunity:the underlying purposes of the right — and particularly that of avoidance of self-help — would be undermined if litigants could decide which orders they wished to obey and which they wished to ignore.

Plasket AJ
Victoria Park Ratepayers' Association v Greyvenouw CC and others (511/03) [2003] ZAECHC 19 (11 April 2003)
1 April 2008

End of the road for Robert Mugabe?

The New York Times is reporting that the MDC’s Morgan Tsvangirai is in talks with advisers to President Robert Mugabe, amid signs that some of those close to Mr. Mugabe may encourage him to resign. The Times is quoting “a Western diplomatic source and a prominent Zimbabwe political analyst”. They claim the negotiations about a possible transfer of power away from Mr. Mugabe come after he apparently concluded that a runoff election would be demeaning.

Zimbabwean students with parents in the ZANU PF hierarchy also told me earlier today of these rumours. Could it really be the end of Robert Mugabe? If these reports are true, President Thabo Mbeki may finally take some credit for finally outmaneuvering Mr Mugabe. President Mbeki was instrumental in engineering changes to the Electoral Act which requires votes to be counted at each polling station and results posted outside each station, making rigging of the poll much more difficult.

But I will only believe it when I see it. Holding thumbs though. No leader should hang on to power for so long.

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