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21 August 2015
Jubilation filled the Constitutional Court on Thursday after the Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela Tribal Communal Property Association won a hard-fought and contentious battle for platinum-rich land in the North West. When Justice Chris Jafta handed down judgment on Thursday, he ended the long struggle within the association, which consists of 32 villages in the Moses Kotane local municipality, the Bakgatla-...
21 August 2015
The Constitutional Court has sent out a strong message to the Department of Land Affairs, which favoured traditional authorities over communities, through a landmark judgment, says Centre for Law and Society director Aninka Claassens. The court on Thursday handed back mineral-rich land to a North West community that had been locked in a dispute with its traditional authority, ending a long, hard-...
21 August 2015
 The Constitutional Court on Thursday issued a “resounding and unanimous judgment in support of democratic control of land in traditional areas”‚ the Centre for Law and Society (CLS) said. Save & Share Email Print The court also said that the wishes of traditional leaders should not trump the decisions of a majority of a community. The society said the ruling “...
21 August 2015
After seven years of litigation and internecine warfare, a community in North West will legally hold the rights to land they were deprived of during apartheid, following a Constitutional Court judgment handed down on Thursday. The Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela community is made up of 32 villages in the Moses Kotane district municipality in North West province. For years, the community has been at...
19 August 2015
The fifth annual Public Interest Law Gathering (PILG) was held at the University of the Witwatersrand last month, and provided South African lawyers and civil society with an opportunity to reflect on issues affecting the public interest sphere and to discuss ways in which the law can be used as a tool for social change. As in all previous years, the event featured fascinating discussions on...
12 August 2015
The Department of Home Affairs said it will comply with the Constitutional Court's order to re-open the refugee centre in Port Elizabeth. The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Refugee Rights Centre challenged the closure of centre in the High Court in February 2012 and won the case in 2013. The department appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeal which ruled against it. The closure...
11 August 2015
On Wednesday, the Constitutional court dismissed an application by the department of home affairs to appeal a Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) judgment that declared its decision to close the Port Elizabeth refugee office unlawful. This means that the SCA judgment stands. Asylum seekers and people wishing to be granted refugee status have to apply for in person at a refugee office, such as the one...
11 August 2015
The media and the public will now be allowed to attend asylum seekers’ appeals when conducted following the adoption of the Refugee Amendment Bill. Parliament’s portfolio committee on home affairs adopted the bill last week. The bill would ease asylum seekers’ appeals and refugees’ applications to maintain their status in the country as it would fast-track both processes,...
11 August 2015
A Western Cape Cape High Court judge is facing a legal conundrum after three illegal immigrants arrested during a national clampdown – Operation Fiela – turned to the courts to test the lawfulness of their detention. Judge Dennis Davis found himself on the verge of “pulling out his hair” on Friday when he was faced with arguments for and against the release of the three...
8 August 2015
Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) has expressed outrage at the use of “derogatory and offensive remarks” by Deputy Minister of Police Maggie Sotyu during a memorial service for three slain officers. Sotyu was speaking at the joint memorial service of constables Njabulo Buthelezi, James Seolwane and Celimpilo Hlabisa at the Vosloorus Civic Centre last week. They were recently killed in...