- We start by wishing our patron Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu a speedy recovery from the surgical procedure and “stubborn infection” which are currently threatening his Christmas season. The latest news is that he is in good spirits and recovering in hospital in Cape Town. All being well he will discharged in the next few days.
- Still on the home front, we wish Renee Caprari well in her new role in the private sector and trust that she enjoyed her brief sojourn in the NGO sector with us. Chris Shone has featured in the thoughts and prayers of the team following the death of his father and the subsequent stroke and pneumonia of his mother; sterkte Chris. We also join the friends of feisty but gentle Pat Ellis, bookseller extra-ordinaire, who lost her life in what appears to have been a bungled burglary or robbery at her home in Rondebosch on 5 December. May she rest in peace.
- The project of Accountability Now that has consumed the most time and effort this quarter is our application to court in which we seek
declaratory relief against the Public Protector to the effect that she is no longer fit for office and has abused the office she currently holds. The matter is enrolled for hearing on 10 and 11 February 2020 in Pretoria. The hearing was delayed by the decision of the EFF to join in the proceedings (a legally impermissible step in our view) and by a purported counterclaim by the Public Protector which is both fact free and of dubious procedural soundness. Pat Ellis SC and Albert Lamey of the Pretoria Bar have accepted briefs to appear for us at the hearing. Sterling work has been done to get the matter properly thought through and prepared for hearing.
- The decision of government to put SAA into business rescue was preceded, as long ago as January 2018 by a letter from Accountability Now to the then CEO of SAA to do exactly that. Had he responded positively the financial hole in which SAA finds itself would not be nearly as deep as it is.
- Our ongoing interaction in the KAS rule of law programme took us to Durban in November for a workshop on corruption in the judiciary. The full report is on the home page of our website: https://accountabilitynow.org.za/workshop-on-judicial-corruption-and-the-independence-of-the-judiciary-in-africa/.
- Also on the anti-corruption front and in October, Paul Hoffman was invited to Pretoria to address the working group of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy. This presented an opportunity to advocate the establishment of a Chapter Nine Integrity Commission, (Ch9IC) an opportunity seized with both hands.
- The Rotary clubs and Probus clubs of Cape Town are supporting efforts to promote the idea of a Ch9IC with invitations to speak on the topic coming in thick and fast. Together with the U3A, this interest provides a platform for popularising an idea which encapsulates the best practice way to implement the decisions of the Constitutional Court regarding the required anti-corruption entity.
- The arms deal case remains bogged down in procedural wrangling which will hopefully end early in the new year with a hearing that is confined to the special pleas raised and to the invalidity of the loan that underpins the arms deal impugned by the Peace Centre in the action pending in the High Court.
- We have continued to comment on current affairs that impact on the notions of accountability and responsiveness, both in the written and oral media. We invite readers to liven up the festive season with a visit to the home page of our website to bring themselves up to speed on our input.
- Paul Hoffman has been elected as a director of Integrity Initiatives International (www.integrityinitiatives.org), certainly a major feather in his cap.
- Finally, Accountability Now wishes all those who read our newsletter well over the festive season; happy holidays and good health in the year ahead.
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