March 7 2013 at 10:12

This is the story of a judge, a Turkish grande dame, a rich young man, an ostentation of peacocks – and a cherry tree.

At the centre of my tale, one of a dispute between two property owners united in their love of an enormous cherry tree, is that most eccentric of South African judges, Nigel Willis.

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January 10 2013 at 09:16

This week, the first of the year, I’ve spent hours reading the most recent judgments of the Swazi appeal court only to be sickened by the enormity of the rape problem in that country. But while the drive for tougher rape sentences in South Africa came from the legislature, in Swaziland those rumblings come from the bench.

Rape and the correct sentence to impose on rapists was one of the dominating issues during this most recent appeal court session. But while these decisions may be useful, they were made against a complex background not mentioned by the judges.

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December 13 2012 at 11:07

A nice bit of political hypocrisy this week when South Africa announced a contract awarding corrupters from our neighbours a spot of work here worth billions of rand.

Remember the series of scandalous corruption trials in Maseru starting in 2001?

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December 6 2012 at 10:33

A significant week for the judiciary this, with the death of former chief justice Arthur Chaskalson and, a few days later, of Judge Andrew Wilson, who headed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) amnesty committee.

Following widespread coverage of the many tributes to Chaskalson, few people will be unaware of the role he played in South Africa’s legal and political life.

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November 29 2012 at 11:20


When Deputy Justice Minister Andries Nel spoke in The Hague earlier this month, some people might have wondered why he bothered. Addressing a high-level meeting at the seat of the International Criminal Court (ICC), he assured the rest of the world that South Africa fully supported the ICC and the laws that set it up.

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