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The Land Is Ours tells the story of South Africa’s first black lawyers, who operated in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In an age of aggressive colonial expansion, land dispossession and forced labour, these men believed in a constitutional system that respected individual rights and freedoms, and they used the law as an instrument against injustice.
The book follows the lives, ideas and careers of Henry Sylvester Williams, Alfred Mangena, Richard Msimang, Pixley ka Isaka Seme, Ngcubu Poswayo and George Montsioa, who were all members of the ANC. It analyses the legal cases they took on, explores how they reconciled the law with the political upheavals of the day, and considers how they sustained their fidelity to the law when legal victories were undermined by politics.
The Land Is Ours shows that these lawyers developed the concept of a Bill of Rights, which is now an international norm. The book is particularly relevant in light of current calls to scrap the Constitution and its protections of individual rights: it clearly demonstrates that, from the beginning, the struggle for freedom was based on the idea of the rule of law.
It is well known that the African National Congress was formed in 1912 and is considered the oldest political organisation on the African continent. What is often not widely known is that the person who founded it was one Pixley ka Isaka Seme, a thirty-year-old black South African from Inanda outside the city of Durban.
What is remarkable about Seme’s achievement in founding the ANC is not only that he succeeded where most had failed at forging black political unity. It is also the speed at which he did it. He had just returned to South Africa from the United Kingdom and the United States of America, where he had been a student since he was a teenager. In slightly over a year the founding conference of the ANC was convened and he was at its helm as the main organiser.
Seme also established a national newspaper, became one of the pioneering black lawyers in South Africa, bought land from white farmers for black settlement right at the time when opposition to it was gaining momentum, became a sought-after adviser and confidant to African royalty, and was considered a leading visionary for black economic empowerment. And yet, when he became president general of the ANC in the 1930s, he brought it to its knees through sheer ineptitude and an authoritarian style of leadership. On more than one occasion he was found guilty for breaching the law, which partly led to him being struck off the roll of attorneys.
This book discusses in detail Seme’s extraordinary life, from his humble beginnings at Inanda Mission to his triumphs and disappointments across the continents, in his public and private life. When Seme died in 1951 he was bankrupt and his political standing had suffered greatly. And yet he was praised as one of the greatest South Africans ever to have lived. For all this, he has largely been forgotten. This biography brings the remarkable life of this extraordinary South African back to public consciousness.
In Rule Of Law, Glynnis Breytenbach reflects back on her career as a prosecutor, including specific cases she has tried, and on her life to provide a fascinating commentary on the importance of the independence of judicial institutions and the precariousness of this independence.
Her current challenges are directly linked to how outspoken she is and how she continues to campaign fiercely for the rule of law in this country.
Interpretation of statutes is about understanding enacted law-texts, that is, making sense of the legislative scheme applicable to the situation at hand. Statutory Interpretation: An Introduction for Students aims to teach students to interpret and apply legislation within the total legal environment.
Part 1 (‘Statute law’) introduces students to the different types and categories of legislation, the structural components of legislation, the sometimes confusing ‘codes’ used in legislative texts, and the challenges of applying old order legislation together with new legislation. Part 2 (‘How legislation is interpreted’) comprises a chapter on the theoretical foundations of interpretation and an overview of the basic approaches to statutory interpretation in South Africa, and a chapter dealing with the practical application of the rules of interpretation. Part 3 (‘Judicial law-making during interpretation, and peremptory and directory provisions’) deals with day-to-day applications, and Part 4 is a basic introduction to constitutional interpretation. Students are also introduced to less well-known aspects of statutory interpretation, such as deeming clauses, the suspension of legislation, sunset clauses, legalese, and the counter-majoritarian difficulty.
The fifth edition of Statutory Interpretation: An Introduction for Students is a user-friendly introduction to the basic principles of statutory interpretation. It is aimed mainly at undergraduate students, but practitioners will also find it useful. The rules and principles of statutory interpretation are explained using hypothetical situations and practical examples from case law and legislation.
Wilfrid Cooper was a rare man during the dark days of apartheid: an advocate whose career coincided almost perfectly with the rise and fall of the Nationalist government, intersecting eerily with that of its “architect” HF Verwoerd, and yet a man whose enlightened principles and liberal thinking saw him regularly defending those less fortunate.
His storied legal career saw him embroiled in numerous political affairs throughout the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. He represented, among others, Verwoerd’s assassin Dimitri Tsafendas; the SWAPO Six in Swakopmund; the families of Imam Abdullah Haron, Mapetla Mohapi and Hoossen Haffajee and others who died “jumping down stairwells while in detention” or hanged by their own jeans in their cells; and Steven Biko and other activists who were arrested by the security police in the dead of night. There were also the highprofile criminal cases, including the original Kebble-style “assisted suicide” of Baron Dieter van Schauroth and the scandalous case of the Scissors Murderess Marlene Lehnberg.
Wilfrid Cooper reached the peak of his considerable legal prowess in a time when South Africans led a parallel existence, the majority downtrodden while white privilege reigned serenely in the suburbs – a time that could have easily provided him a less controversial career had he desired. And yet even as he and his gregarious wife Gertrude enjoyed wonderful and very sociable years in their Newlands home in Cape Town – an area that was itself remodelled under the Group Areas Act – he chose to walk the path less taken in the shadow of Devil’s Peak. This is his story.
Introduction to law and legal skills introduces LLB students to legal history and basic frameworks and concepts in a graduated, applied and engaging way. The core focus of this text is its innovative educational and learning-developed approach, which helps teach students how to think as lawyers. Knowledge of theory and concept is reinforced through applied, practical exercises which support comprehension. This integrated approach furthers understanding to build and develop independent academic skills. In particular, the text encourages the development of language skills, critical and independent thinking, and legal research skills.
Margaretha van Hulsteyn (also known as Scrappy) is the daughter of respected Pretoria attorney Sir Willem van Hulsteyn, and she's an aspiring actress. While studying in London after the Great War, Scrappy changes her name to Marda Vanne and enters into a relationship with one of the foremost actresses of her day, Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies.
However, on a visit to her parents in the Union of South Africa, Marda meets Hans Strydom, an attorney and uncompromising radical politician with the soubriquet ‘The Lion of the North’. Their meeting changes the course of her life, at least temporarily… Strydom went on to become a principal progenitor of the harshest discriminatory legislation which endured for decades until his nephew, President FW de Klerk, in a volte-face, dismantled the laws of apartheid.
A work of biographical fiction, The Lion & The Thespian is based on the true story of the marriage of Hans Strydom, prime minister of South Africa from 1954 to 1958, to the actress Marda Vanne. Veteran author David Bloomberg (former executive mayor of Cape Town, and founder of Metropolitan Life), following extensive reading and research, has adhered faithfully to the chronology of the lives of the main protagonists, their personalities and the historical facts with which they were associated. Creative license has allowed Bloomberg to recreate appropriate scenes and dialogue, complemented by reported sources and recorded speeches.
Ubuntu: An African Jurisprudence examines how and why South African courts and law-makers have been using the concept of ubuntu over the last thirty years, reflecting the views of judges and scholars, and above all proclaiming the importance of this new idea for South African legal thinking. Although ubuntu is the product of relations in and between the close-knit groups of a precolonial society, its basic aims - social harmony and caring for others - give it an inherently inclusive scope. This principle is therefore quite capable of embracing all those who constitute the heterogeneous populations of modern states. Included in this work are discussions of two traditional institutions that provide model settings for the realisation of ubuntu: imbizo, national gatherings consulted by traditional rulers to decide matters of general concern, and indaba, a typically African process of making decisions based on the consensus of the group. Courts and law-makers have used imbizo to give effect to the constitutional requirement of participatory democracy, and indaba to suggest an alternative method of decision-making to systems of majority voting. Ubuntu offers something extraordinarily valuable to South Africa and, in fact, to the wider world. Its emphasis on our responsibility for the welfare of our fellow beings acts as a timely antidote not only to the typically rationalist, disinterested system of justice in Western law, but also to the sense of anomie so prevalent in today's society.
When Daniel is tasked with writing the biography of his grandfather, Jules Browde - one of South Africa’s most celebrated advocates - he gets straight to work. But the task that at first seems so simple comes to overwhelm him.
The troubled progress of Daniel’s book stands in sharp contrast to the clear-edged tales his grandfather tells him. Spanning almost a century, these gripping stories compellingly conjure other worlds: the streets of 1920s Yeoville, the battlefields of the Second World War, the courtrooms of apartheid South Africa.
The Relatively Public Life Of Jules Browde is more than the portrait of an unusual South African life, it is the moving tale of a complex and tender relationship between grandfather and grandson, and an exploration of how we are made and unmade in the stories we tell about our lives.
Objections In Civil Litigation deals in concise terms with the categories of objection and the leading and most useful authorities for each objection. A synopsis of the nature and content of each objection is included.
The book equips the busy practitioner confronted with an unruly witness with the tools to formulate a cogent and legally sound argument, at short notice, as to why a particular piece of testimony should be excluded.
The opponent will similarly be assisted in dealing with the objection in a helpful and lucid manner.
In My Own Liberator, Dikgang Moseneke pays homage to the many people and places that have helped to define and shape him. In tracing his ancestry, the influence on both his maternal and paternal sides is evident in the values they imbued in their children - the importance of family, the value of hard work and education, an uncompromising moral code, compassion for those less fortunate and unflinching refusal to accept an unjust political regime or acknowledge its oppressive laws. As a young activist in the Pan-Africanist Congress, at the tender age of fifteen, Moseneke was arrested, detained and, in 1963, sentenced to ten years on Robben Island for participating in anti-apartheid activities. Physical incarceration, harsh conditions and inhumane treatment could not imprison the political prisoners' minds, however, and for many the Island became a school not only in politics but an opportunity for dedicated study, formal and informal. It set the young Moseneke on a path towards a law degree that would provide the bedrock for a long and fruitful legal career and see him serve his country in the highest court. My Own Liberator charts Moseneke's rise as one of the country's top legal minds, who not only helped to draft the interim constitution, but for fifteen years acted as a guardian of that constitution for all South Africans, helping to make it a living document for the country and its people.
Human rights are axiomatic with liberal freedom. This book builds on the critique of this mainstream and official position on human rights, drawing attention to how human rights have been deployed to advance political and cultural intents rather than bring about freedom for disenfranchised groups. Its approach is unique insofar as it focuses on queer, feminist and postcolonial human rights advocacy, exposing how such interventions have at times advanced neo-liberal agendas and new forms of imperialism, and enabled a carceral politics rather than producing freedom for their constituencies. Through a focus on campaigns for same-sex marriage, ending violence against women, and the Islamic veil bans in liberal democracies, human rights emerge as forms of governance that operate through normative prescriptions, which bind even as they purport to free, and establish a hierarchy of the human subject: who is human and who is not; who qualifies for rights and who does not. This book argues that the futurity of human rights rests in a transformative engagement with non-liberal registers of freedom beyond the narrow confines of the liberal fishbowl. This book will have a global appeal for students and academics concerned with international and human rights law, jurisprudence, critical legal theory, gender studies, postcolonial studies, feminist legal theory, queer theory, religious studies, and philosophy. It will appeal to political activists and policymakers in the global justice arena concerned with the freedom of disenfranchised groups, human rights, gender justice, and the rights sexual and religious minorities.
This humorous collection of stories from life at the Bar and on the Bench in the Cape takes a look back at four decades, starting at the end of World War Two and finishing with the arrival of democracy in South Africa.
These tales and recollections, mostly from Bar members now in their 80s, show what an extraordinary time it was for lawyers. Also, remarkably, how much is of relevance to lawyers practising today.
The anecdotes and reminiscences of members of the Bar during this period were collected and edited by Mr Justice Gerald Friedman and Jeremy Gauntlett SC.
Law Of Persons, now in its sixth edition, has become a standard text on the South African law of persons. The book was first published in 1995, just after the dawn of South Africa’s first democratic dispensation. The book constitutes a general and fully referenced source on the law of persons, and reflects the transformation of the law of persons in line with the values entrenched in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, with specific reference to the Bill of Rights.
First-year students will derive the most benefit from Law of Persons if the book is used in conjunction with the Law of Persons Sourcebook.
Property is a constitutionally protected right around the world. Expropriations are lawful only if they can be legitimately justified. In the past few decades, there has been an increasing number of expropriations in favour of private business projects. Governments hope that these projects will create jobs and economic growth, but the justification of such third-party transfers for economic development is controversial. The public benefits of such expropriations are disputed, since they directly benefit private parties, and frequently do not have the desired outcome. The Legitimate Justification of Expropriation: A Comparative Law and Governance Analysis investigates the institutional, procedural, and substantive conditions under which different jurisdictions permit third-party transfers for economic development. The jurisdictions examined are the Netherlands, Germany, New York State and South Africa. The Legitimate Justification of Expropriation: A Comparative Law and Governance Analysis shows that employment or economic growth created by private business projects is a legitimate end in all the jurisdictions under examination. However, some striking differences between the jurisdictions are evident, with respect to several questions, including: Which state body decides on whether economic development is a legitimate end? Can a judge prevent unnecessary or excessive expropriations? Is the project developer obliged to implement the project? Against the backdrop of international good governance standards, The Legitimate Justification of Expropriation: A Comparative Law and Governance Analysis assesses whether the laws in these jurisdictions are adequate. The book demonstrates that the examined jurisdictions in various respects fail to meet international standards and recommends legal reforms to ensure compliance.
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