South Africa

State of the judiciary: new report on Malawi, Namibia, South Africa

For many judges it will come as a relief to hear some good news for once, in the form of largely positive public perception about the judiciary and its role in society. The good news emerges from a just-published report on the state of the judiciary in Malawi, Namibia and South Africa. Every member of the bench in those three countries will be only too well aware of the short-comings of their own judicial system, exacerbated by the restrictions imposed by the Covid pandemic, among a number of other problems.

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One of the key issues on the minds of everyone concerned about justice in the three countries examined by the new report, Malawi, Namibia and South Africa, is the extent of corruption, perceived or real, in the legal system, the courts and the judiciary.

Judge orders at least two years of state-funded therapy for 10-year-old raped by her uncle

A South African judge has ordered that a child, raped by a close family member, must be provided with state-funded counselling for at least two years to help her recover from the trauma of the sexual attacks. Further sessions may be added at the end of the two years, depending on whether the child needs more help at that stage. Despite an epidemic of child and adult rape in South Africa, such an order, made in this case as part of judgment on sentence, is extremely rare.  

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The rape of children is an enormous problem in a number of African countries, with South Africa being one of the hot spots. But this week, a court in SA’s Eastern Cape province delivered a decision in such a case that stands out for several reasons.

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