05 July, 2006

January 2006 : then and now

Even with almost five months still to run, 2006 has been a year to remember. Looking at events that were set in motion in January alone :

The year started on a sad note as news broke of the murder of 6-year old Steven Siebert while on holiday in Plettenberg Bay. By the end of January, the court hearing into the death of 6-month old Jordan Leigh Norton had started in the Cape High Court ; the case is still in progress.

The debate surrounding cross-border municipalities intensified as the Constitution Twelfth Amendment Act and Cross Boundary Municipalities Laws Repeal and Related Matters Act of 2005 was signed into effect. InfoUpdate no.4 of 27 January referred to the history of the boundary disputes. Even now, in August, the controversy continues.

Although Cricket 365 reported on 4 January that Judge Siraj Desai would be heading an inquest into the death of cricketer Hansie Cronje in an aeroplane accident, it was exactly seven months later on 4 August that it was reported that the court proceedings will start on Monday 7 August. This will be nine days after two residents of the greater Pietermaritzburg area, Harry Antel and his nephew Karl Stegen, died in a plane crash at Baynesfield. A news article commented on the increase in plane crashes in the first half of the year. Many questions have been raised around the crash that claimed Cronje's life.

Comments were invited on the SA Law Reform Commission's Discussion Paper on Privacy and Data Protection. The Law Society of South Africa organised a series of seminars around the country during July on the subject of Information Security and Privacy : Attorneys Duties.

On Friday 27 January I was one of a delegation of eight who visited the Durban Magistrates' Courts to see the pilot electronic project in action. Our newsletter, InfoUpdate no.16 of 16 July 2004 had carried details of the earlier stages of this project.

The Shaik trial was in full swing in the Durban High Court. The subsequent appeal will be heard in the Supreme Court of Appeal between 21 and 25 August.

These are just some of the matters that arose in January that have current parallels.

And, the feature of my job which I love the most, an unexpected change in direction was occasioned by the arrival of an email yesterday from someone who had come across my blog and had a number of questions. The subject of South African rugby came into the discussion - I admit to knowing almost nothing of current value on the subject but came across this link a short while ago which has kick-started an interest in this afternoon's game.