Chief justice owes us an explanation on Pillay matter
The “revelation” by chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng with regards to an overture made by minister Pravin Gordhan to the chief justice on behalf of judge Dhaya Pillay five years ago is worrisome and baffling.
Why was this not brought to the attention of the public at the time if there was any suggestion of a sinister motive?
Did the chief justice have an agenda himself in perverting the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) process of choosing two new justices for the Constitutional Court, so as to cast an aspersion upon judge Pillay’s integrity, character or capability?
It is my contention that chief justice Mogoeng acted contra bonos mores [against good morals] and at a most inopportune time.
Noting that Julius Malema and his cohorts are targeting Gordhan for political purposes and the fact that Malema is also a commissioner on the JSC, this would have been cannon fodder for him to use as a political weapon — and indeed the EFF wasted no time in preferring charges of corruption against Gordhan.
The innocent victim in this matter is, sadly, judge Pillay — a legal mind of distinction who finds herself in crossfire brought on by the man entrusted as the chief guardian of our constitution, and the political haranguing of a man bent on revenge.
Mogoeng owes all of SA an explanation as to his reasons for making his rather calculated pronouncement, which, in my candid opinion, is a veiled demurring clearly intended to vitiate a process in which his absolute impartiality was demanded.
Narendh Ganesh, Durban North
Most certainly a research paper
A research paper based on available government data was recently released which probed a very important socioeconomic question, namely, when all things are considered, was the alcohol ban instituted in SA the most direct and effective way to reduce trauma admissions to hospitals, particularly at weekends?
This paper demonstrated that the sharp reduction in people’s mobility (mainly because of the introduction of the curfew), exerted the larger influence on reducing trauma admissions at hospitals and hence casts doubt on the government-asserted scientific reasoning behind the effectiveness of the various alcohol restrictions on trauma admissions.
However, a member of the South African Medical Research Council was dismissive of this research paper on two accounts, stating that: “This appears to be a report … not a published research paper” and “It lacks the methodological detail needed to adequately assess the methodology applied.”
The suggestion that the paper in question constitutes a report is fallacious, as the paper makes an additional databased contribution to the debate around the effectiveness of alcohol-centred lockdown restrictions.
The research paper was peer reviewed, by myself in fact, and I produced a report critiquing the original paper. It is thus a research paper which has been subjected to peer review.
Regarding the comment that this research paper is “not a published research paper”: given that it was released as a preliminary draft this month, and the usual time taken for acceptance by a reputable journal is six to 12 months, expecting a paper to be published at this stage seems unreasonable.
The paper does outline the methodology used to estimate and compare the measured effects of both alcohol restrictions and mobility on trauma admissions. The actual details of the various statistical estimations are available separately in tabular form. One assumes such computer output constitutes the required “methodological details”.
The research paper, though preliminary and hence subject to ongoing critique and debate, remains valid; it is robust in its methodology and clear in its conclusions. Professor Graham Barr, emeritus professor in the department of statistical sciences, University of Cape Town
Prince Philip and Graeme Bloch
The coverage of two deaths, that of a queen’s consort and Graeme Bloch, displayed the inability of the Sunday Times to carefully consider its reporting in a changed and young democratic SA.
Most of the page was dominated by the death of the consort of an unelected head of state who has ruled over colonies to the advantage of Britain and the disadvantage of the indigenous majorities.
Less than a third of the page was devoted to the death of Bloch, whose life covers an important part of the development of democracy in SA.
The greater focus on the death of the consort of the British queen creates an impression of a yearning for an English colonial past, royalty and other undemocratic traditions. Damian de Lange, Johannesburg
Be like Estonia — digitise
After independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the Estonian government pursued a policy of ensuring good-quality and costeffective public service provision. At the time, its GDP per capita was a paltry $100, compared with SA’s $3,285. Today, Estonia’s GDP per capita is $22,986, compared with our unimpressive $4,736.
Estonia achieved this by digitalising as much as it could. SA urgently needs a public service that works. Digital technology has made this easier than ever, and our government must grab the possibilities that will enable it to govern with purpose — before we are left stranded on the wrong side of the digital divide. Adam Craker, CEO, IQbusiness
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