FUL Endorses ‘Defend our Democracy’ Campaign

17 March 2021

Freedom Under Law endorses the Defend our Democracy campaign, launched a week ago in a bid to defend the Constitution.

The campaign, which has gained support across South Africa, aims to galvanize South Africans under a united call to action against the assault on our country’s constitutional democracy: download or read the full statement here.

FUL joins South Africans in calling for the defence of our Constitution and the upholding of the rule of law.

For more information on the campaign, click here.

You can also sign the online petition here.

Zuma’s Conduct is a Calculated Defiance of the Rule of Law, says FUL

2 February 2021

MEDIA STATEMENT BY FREEDOM UNDER LAW

Mr Zuma has now gone too far. When he took office as president of our country he promised to be faithful to the Republic and to obey, observe, uphold and maintain the Constitution and all other law. Many witnesses have told the Zondo Commission that he and his associates have breached each of those promises. 

The country has watched Mr Zuma play clever tricks, desperately trying to avoid his having to respond to these accusations. The Constitutional Court has now made plain that the time for this ducking and diving is past. Instead of complying with its simple instruction, Mr Zuma has now resorted to his well-worn defence of victimhood wrapped in populism. 

This time, though, it is breathtaking in its presumption. Mr Zuma not only blames the dismissal of each of his lawyers’ evasive tactics on dishonest judges but seriously equates his fear of the witness stand with the heroic battle for freedom and justice of the late Robert Sobukwe. This is bare-faced effrontery, even for Mr Zuma’s spin-doctors.

Of course Mr Zuma’s conduct – ably aided and abetted throughout by his lawyers – has been in calculated defiance of the rule of law. If he persists in his refusal to respond to the mass of allegations, we look forward to the law taking its course.

FUL Calls for the Malawian Government to Respect the Rule of Law and Judicial Independence

16 June 2020

MEDIA STATEMENT BY FREEDOM UNDER LAW

Freedom Under Law (FUL) is alarmed at the developing judicial crisis in Malawi. Malawi’s cabinet is seeking the removal of two of Malawi’s most senior judges, Chief Justice Nyirenda and Supreme Court Judge Twea, by ordering them on leave pending retirement. This is in clear violation of Malawian law safeguarding judicial independence.

The attempt to remove these judges is the most recent in a series of escalating attacks on the independence of the judiciary in Malawi. These attacks are authored by the president and the executive and follow on from judgments of Malawi’s highest courts setting aside the presidential election of 21 May 2019 and ordering new elections.

FUL notes and applauds the role played by the Malawian judiciary, the legal profession and civil society in resisting these attacks, and joins the many Malawian and international organisations calling on the government to respect and uphold the rule of law and judicial independence.

FUL Condemns Police Brutality in the US and South Africa

8 June 2020

MEDIA STATEMENT BY FREEDOM UNDER LAW

As an organisation dedicated to the rule of law, we at FUL are mindful that the police brutality meted out to George Floyd in the US and the millions of peaceful protestors it has rallied around the world in outrage at a system infected by racism and discrimination underline that law as double-standard is worse than no law at all. Rule of law emptied of justice, fairness, and equality can merit no respect: its enforcers deserve no trust.

We are reminded of our own past here in South Africa – that we need not look beyond our borders for examples of the pernicious effects of racism and discrimination. Even today in South Africa, victims of the worst abuses of the police and the security forces are almost always black.

In recognising this terrible moment in the US, and the universal outrage at Floyd’s death as a symbol of what is so wrong, we join the condemnation.

Closer to home, we point to the death of Collins Khoza as violative of the rule of law, exacerbated by the SANDF response. Reports of as many as thirteen other deaths following arrest or other police action during lockdown merit the swiftest, strongest investigation and, where appropriate, prosecution.

Such deaths are to be abhorred at any time but especially under a lockdown regime that can derive its legitimacy only from protecting the lives of all in our country.