Southern Africa Litigation Centre

Swazi court strikes the balance between protecting freedom of expression and national security

Last Friday, the Swaziland High Court handed down a significant judgment on the rights to freedom of expression in the context of the protection of national security. The court struck down a number of provisions in the Sedition and Subversive Activities and Suppression of Terrorism Acts on the grounds that they unjustifiably limited the rights…

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SA’s UN vote against press freedom NGO is a vote against diversity of perspectives

By Caroline James This week, South Africa was one of eight countries in the United Nations Committee on Non-Governmental Organisations that voted to deny the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) observer status at the United Nations (UN). South Africa voted against accreditation along with countries like China and Russia who are not known for their…

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Angola can no longer be regarded as a democracy

By Caroline James Freedom of expression and association suffered another blow in Angola recently with the conviction of 17 young activists. These activists were sentenced to jail terms of between two and eight years after being convicted of various offences against state security in connection with their participation at a gathering in which their dissatisfaction…

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Al-Bashir ruling: Will SA do the right thing?

By Angela Mudukuti There have been many significant developments in the world of international criminal justice recently. Last week the International Criminal Court confirmed charges against Ugandan Dominic Ongwen, recorded a guilty plea from Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi and convicted the former vice-president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo. The International…

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Swazis deserve to know why controversial judge Ramodibedi got away

By Caroline James In April 2015 Swaziland’s judiciary was rocked by a scandal involving its chief justice, two high court judges, the registrar of the high court, and the minister of justice. Bizarre scenes followed as the judges appeared in the dock in court to apply for bail, and the chief justice, Michael Ramodibedi, spent…

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Do we have a duty to arrest Omar al-Bashir and hand him to the ICC?

By Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh These will be some of the deliberations at the Supreme Court of Appeal hearing tomorrow in the state’s appeal of the June 2015 high court order to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Will this court arrive at a different conclusion in respect of the arrest of al-Bashir? The state certainly hopes so….

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The dangerous accountability deficit in Malawi’s health sector

By Annabel Raw Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world and is heavily dependent on aid. About 40% of its annual budget comes from international donors. However, following the revelation of a massive corruption scandal dubbed “cashgate”, donors have been slashing their disbursements. In October, the IMF also suspended loans to Malawi…

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The state of play in the al-Bashir saga

By Angela Mudukuti On September 16, the North Gauteng High Court denied the South African government leave to appeal in the case pertaining to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes. After a United Nations (UN) Security Council referral of the…

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5 simple things that could get you arrested in Angola

By Muluka Miti-Drummond When people think of Angola many think of the 27-year-long civil war that ended in 2002. Some might even think of oil and diamonds. And if you know anything about African presidents, you’ll probably think of José Eduardo dos Santos, the current president of Angola and Africa’s second longest serving president. What…

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Civil society plays key role in promoting health rights in southern Africa

By Annabel Raw The Southern Africa Litigation Centre’s health rights programme was established in 2007 to advance human rights and the rule of law in southern Africa in relation to the HIV pandemic. Our work under this programme demonstrates the importance of human rights and the rule of law in issues of HIV and health…

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