Move over Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe, you’ve met your match. You probably thought there could be no one like Hlophe again in your lifetime: a senior judge under investigation, impeachment a possibility, a series of distasteful court cases, the judge sounding off in less than parliamentary language and slamming other top officials, political alliances stubbing toes over how to proceed, a looming constitutional crisis – and still no finality in sight. Enter Judge Michael Ramodibedi.
His story, unfolding on our doorstep, involves many of the same issues – and much more. Ramodibedi has held senior posts in at least four African countries: Seychelles, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. But it’s his current position as chief justice of Swaziland and as president of the appeal court in Lesotho, that are under scrutiny.
Running a business from home sounds like a cosy alternative, and think of all the rent you’d save. But, as a high court decision handed down this week makes clear, it’s not an option for every property.
Sometimes your title deeds or local association can bar such a project, even if the zoning is right. The Vanilla Street Home Owners Association, which runs Bardale Village in Kuils River, Cape Town, objected to the owner of a property in the village, Basheera Ismail, operating a hair salon from her home. It is something she’s been doing since June 2008.
Help me here, people: I don’t understand Parliament’s position on elder rape. Why is it that raping a child attracts a mandatory life sentence, but there’s no similar sanction for raping someone in her eighties?
It’s a question you have to ask following an appeal judgment this week dealing with the rape of an elderly woman.
Faced with facts that didn’t add up, a judge put himself out to get to the truth – and has exposed what seems like a racket between debt counsellors, lawyers and a valuer to prey on over-indebted clients.
In his Western Cape High Court judgment last week, Judge Ashley Binns-Ward recounted his growing unease with two cases he had been hearing.