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
19 March 2009

Tony Leon reborn: now witty and making fun of Zille?

I had a good laugh at the piece written by ex-DA leader Tony Leon and published today in Business Day. Now that he is not the surly – “fight b(l)ack” – leader of the DA anymore, he is actually quite witty and, dare I say, a bit critical of his new leader. Hence he describes Ms Botox as follows:

Awaiting her curtain call, from an office eyrie above the stage, Zille, the DA leader-premier-candidate-mayor, sits behind a desk, impeccably blonde and coiffured, her obligatory blue T-shirt offset by a rather handsome pewter necklace and designer glasses.

Sounds like Tony thinks Helen Zille is a bit fake. All that (bottle) blond hair. Those red, botoxed, lips. The fancy designer glasses. Ouch! Tony has let out his inner bitch. And to prove the point he describes the rally (in Mitchells Plain) as follows:

The DA diva dashes down the staircase to the stage, the crowd roars and, behold, Jacob Zuma-like, she grabs the microphone and begins singing — more baritone than soprano. The ANC president’s trademark anthem, Umshini wami (Bring me my Machine Gun), inspires the ire of the politically correct. But the DA song of the day, which Zille lustily belts out and to which she dances, probably also warrants the attention of the thought — or at least the gender — police. Koekie Lookie , which the crowd loves, roughly translates from Kaapsetaal into “Hot Chick”. Helen’s musical repertoire — if not her sense of rhythm — is also on fire. She proceeds to belt out an old Nat anthem, suitably transposed, “Klim op die DA Bus” (climb on the DA bus), and then another piece of musical doggerel: “Brom, brom, brom, die DA kom”.

For those wanting to read the tea leaves there seems to be much implicit criticism of Zille in this piece. Calling your new leader a diva and pointing out that she cannot dance is a bit rude, not? In any case, read the piece. I cannot believe I am saying this, but it is really well written, funny, a bit bitchy but quite human – so different from Leon’s image when he was the grumpy, often stilted politician complaining about the ANC.

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