Law, Democracy & Development - Volume 12, Issue 1, 2008
Volumes & issues
Volume 12, Issue 1, 2008
Source: Law, Democracy & Development 12, pp XI –XVII (2008)More Less
South Africa - like many other countries on the African continent - is grappling with the deepening of its hard-won democracy. At the same time many other African countries are also taking great strides in moving from authoritarianism towards democratic statehood.
L'Afrique du Sud -comme beaucoup d'autres pays sur le continent africain-lutte avec sa démocratie durement acquise et qui s'intensifie. En même temps, plusieurs autres pays africains font de grands progrès en en allant de l'autoritarisme vers l'état démocratique.
Source: Law, Democracy & Development 12, pp 1 –28 (2008)More Less
At around two o'clock in the morning on 27 March 2005, Phiri resident Vusimuzi Paki awoke to the shouts of a tenant who was trying to put out a fire in one of the other backyard shacks on Paki's property. Assisted by neighbours, the first crucial minutes were spent trying to extinguish the fire using the pre-paid water meter supply that the Johannesburg Water company had recently installed to control the residents' water supply. However, the water pressure was insufficient to make much impact on the fire and, after a while, the pre-paid meter water supply automatically disconnected due to insufficient water credit. Residents were then forced to scoop up ditch water with buckets in a desperate attempt to put out the fire. More minutes passed. One neighbour tried to telephone the police at Moroka police station but no-one answered the phone. After battling for an hour, residents finally put out the fire, but not before the shack had burnt to the ground. It was only after Paki's tenant returned home from her night shift that everyone discovered to their horror that her two small children had been sleeping in the shack. They both died in the fire.
The betrayal of Steve Biko - South Africa's Initial Report to the UN Committee against Torture and responses from civil societyAuthor L. MuntinghSource: Law, Democracy & Development 12, pp 29 –48 (2008)More Less
"It took the death of Steve Biko under torture to provoke the [UN] General Assembly into drafting and accepting the 1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which requires state parties to take jurisdiction to punish torture committed within their territory either by or against their nationals."
Source: Law, Democracy & Development 12, pp 49 –71 (2008)More Less
Until fairly recently Botswana was almost universally praised for its excellent record on political governance, exemplified by a relatively functioning multi-party democracy since independence in 1966. This record on political governance has been underpinned by a generally well-managed economy. According to the United Nations, between the late 1960s and the early 1990s Botswana recorded the highest sustained real GDP growth rate in the world, averaging 6.1 per cent between 1966 and 1991.
Author M. SmitSource: Law, Democracy & Development 12, pp 73 –92 (2008)More Less
Following the first democratic election in 1994 and the establishment of a constitutional democracy, South African society has been undergoing a fundamental transformation. In education, democratisation has been formalised with the redistribution and extension of power to local school governing bodies with the removal of centralised control over certain aspects of educational decision-making. The directive principle in section 4(m) of the National Education Policy Act contains the democratic requirement that the national Minister of Education must ensure broad public participation in the development of the education by including stakeholders in policymaking and governance in the education system.
Source: Law, Democracy & Development 12, pp 93 –116 (2008)More Less
While regular multi-party elections do not necessarily guarantee the establishment of a democratic state, no state can be said to be democratic if it does not hold regular elections according to a set of rules that are fair to the political parties involved. In Africa, many countries moved away from one party states towards a system of multipartyism in the late nineteen eighties, but this has not always resulted in the establishment of true democracy. In this article we discuss the requirements for democracy and for free and fair elections against the background of the recent experience of the Democratic Republic of Congo ('DRC') which - with assistance from various international role players - has moved from a deeply authoritarian system to a multi-party system of government. We evaluate this experience and ask whether true democracy has now been established in the DRC and what this process can tell us about experiences elsewhere in Africa.
Author A.H. DekkerSource: Law, Democracy & Development 12, pp 117 –131 (2008)More Less
Social security is not only necessary to achieve social justice; it is also an indispensable tool in the fight against poverty. Social security refers to protective measures which are designed to guarantee everyone a certain degree of security, normally in the event of loss of income. This usually happens as a result of a certain calamity such as illness, injury or old age. The South African social security system consists mainly of social insurance and social assistance.
Islamic Canon law encounters South African financing and banking institutions : prospects and possibilities for Islamic economic empowerment and Black Economic Empowerment in a Democratic South AfricaAuthor N. AbdullahSource: Law, Democracy & Development 12, pp 133 –144 (2008)More Less
South Africa's government is committed to deracialising the economy and empowering the broader South African population. This type of economic and social reconstructionist philosophy is solidly based upon the Freedom Charter that espouses the principle of the sharing and empowering society as a whole, and not just certain privileged racial or social groups, as was previously practised by the apartheid regime. It was never the intention of the present government that the economy should merely change from the previously entrenched economic empowered class (that formerly occupied dominant positions within an apartheid-driven economy) to an emerging previously disadvantaged economic dominant class assuming the same roles (to the exclusion of others) within a democratic South Africa. This would simply be the mere switching of hands of an economy that has failed to undergo any radical systemic transformation in an era which demands the ongoing democratisation of its previously segregated and exclusionist social institutions. The inclusion of a privileged few formerly disadvantaged South Africans would simply not be enough to successfully reverse the devastating effects the apartheid legacy had bequeathed to the majority of historically disadvantaged South Africans.