Erosion of the rule of law in South Africa

The Government of the Republic of South Africa has recently put forward the claim that the Rule of Law is fully operative within its territory.

In doing so it defines the Rule of Law as follows:

The rule of law may mean different things to different people, but there is general agreement that it requires that a person on trial be accused in open court; be given an opportunity of denying the charge and of defending himself and that he be given the choice of a counsel.

This, of course, is but one aspect of the Rule of Law, and it is not an aspect that is alleged to have been seriously infringed in South Africa. The Report of Professor Falk on the trial of Tuhadeleni and others, reproduced in Part II of this Study, illustrates both the procedure at a trial in a case of a political nature in South Africa and the limited extent to which such a trial, however fair in itself, protects the individual in a state where other aspects of the Rule of Law are neglected or overridden.

It is the object of Part I of this Study to illustrate, by giving a number of examples, the erosion of the Rule of Law in South Africa in a number of fields other than the actual conduct of trials.

SouthAfrica-erosion of the rule of law-trial observation report-1968-eng (full text in English, PDF)

ReportsTrial observation reports