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)
6 December 2009

Press conference on sexual terror in Zimbabwe

Media Alert

You are invited to a press conference on the launch of a report by the advocacy organization AIDS-Free World on Thursday, 10 December, International Human Rights Day.

“Electing to Rape:  Sexual Terror in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe”:

n  is based on sworn affidavits from women raped by ruling party militias before, during and after Zimbabwe’s 2008 presidential elections;

n  reveals a conclusive pattern of orchestrated sexual violence and torture;

n  describes the targeting of women associated with the opposition party Movement for Democratic Change, and

n  leaves no question that Robert Mugabe’s administration has committed crimes against humanity.

Four expert speakers will describe the report’s contents, including details and analysis of the testimony provided by survivors, and possible legal strategies for overcoming Zimbabwe’s culture of impunity.

Stephen Lewis, Co-Director, AIDS-Free World (and former UN Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa);

Beatrice Mtetwa, human rights lawyer and President of the Law Society of Zimbabwe;

Elinor Sisulu, award-winning author, political analyst and human rights activist;

Betsy Apple, Legal Director and General Counsel, AIDS-Free World.

Moderator:  Shonali Shome, Legal and Gender Advisor, AIDS-Free World

Press Conference Details:

Date: Thursday, 10 December 2009

Time: 11:00 a.m.

Venue: The Gordon Institute of Business Science

Street address: 26 Melville Road, Illovo, Johannesburg

Media interviews can be arranged at the close of the press conference.

Please RSVP to FD South Africa by Tuesday, 8 December 2009.

Sandra Sampayo     sandra.sampayo@fd.com 021 487 9000 / 079 167 6863

Dani Cohen              dani.cohen@fd.com 021 487 9000 / 082 897 0443

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