Regard must be had to the higher standard of conduct expected from public officials, and the number of falsehoods that have been put forward by the Public Protector in the course of the litigation. This conduct included the numerous “misstatements”, like misrepresenting, under oath, her reliance on evidence of economic experts in drawing up the report, failing to provide a complete record, ordered and indexed, so that the contents thereof could be determined, failing to disclose material meetings and then obfuscating the reasons for them and the reasons why they had not been previously disclosed, and generally failing to provide the court with a frank and candid account of her conduct in preparing the report. The punitive aspect of the costs order therefore stands.
Is the legislature expecting a new spike in divorces now that they have legalised same-sex marriage? From anecdotal evidence it seems that same sex couples are not rushing to the magistrates offices across South Africa to get married so even the most homophobc person could not argue that there will be a flood of new divorce cases.
This means that the propose legislation suggests that in a moment of sanity the higher ups at the Department of Justice or Home Affiars have realised how silly it is to try and limit divorce by making the process expensive and cumbersome.
Whether the advocate’s profession is going to be thrilled by this move is, of course, another matter.