February 24 2011 at 12:44

When a police officer commits a crime, whether on or off duty, people feel worried. We want police to be exemplary; people we can look up to; good guys in our fight against the baddies. So how do you feel to discover that members of the police, convicted of serious crimes, routinely keep their jobs in the force?

This emerged from an appeal judgment delivered on Tuesday, dealing with the rape of a 13-year-old girl by a detective in 1998.

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January 27 2011 at 11:42

Mabye it's the wind. Perhaps all that salty air does something to the people who live there. But the windy city certainly has the rest of us bemused. This week we hear that the Port Elizabeth magistrate's courts are in chaos with no chief magistrate and attempts to appoint someone having come unstuck.

There's nasty litigation about who should get the job - the acting incumbent or the candidate approved by the Minister of Justice - and a local newspaper reports that infighting over the issue has been causing problems for more than a year. Meanwhile the municipality is in similar turmoil, at least as far as its handling of tenders is concerned.

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January 20 2011 at 08:08

As a society, we've become more understanding when a woman murders an abusive partner. It's hard not to feel sympathy for someone who can take no more physical and emotional damage, and kills a monster.

But what about an abused woman who kills her own children? Should we feel sympathy for her?

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December 30 2010 at 07:25

HE lay with his spouse in a burial mound in Russia, symbols of their royal status, power and wealth adorning both skeletons, their tomb untouched for 27 centuries. But while the find was thrilling for the archaeologists involved, it was the palaeopathologists, specialists in ancient diseases, who ultimately benefited most.

For the man had died of metastasising cancer and this is the oldest confirmed case of prostate cancer in history.

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December 23 2010 at 07:21

At the heart of the recent Mail & Guardian judgment sit two figures, mere shadows in most comment on the case: judges Dikgang Moseneke and Sisi Khampepe.

Commissioned by then-president Thabo Mbeki to observe and report on the 2002 Zimbabwe elections, the judges filed an account of their observations, which representatives of the office of the president refuse to release. What exactly they did in Zimbabwe remains obscure; the state's argument in court obscures matters even further, smudging the nature of the judges' work by claiming that they were effectively diplomats whose work was due the secrecy, WikiLeaks notwithstanding, usually accorded a country's foreign service.

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