In the Throes of "the People": The Populist Challenge to South African Courts

"The danger of populism, as we have seen, is that it pits 'the people' against independent, democratic and constitutional institutions to cultivate a negative public sentiment about them" (Dan Mafora)

Join the discussion of 'In the Throes of "the People": The Populist Challenge to South African Courts'. Dan Mafora, the author, will be joined by Sfiso Nxumalo and Chelsea Ramsden. The paper interrogates the populist attacks on the courts, considers the effects of such attacks and seeks to provide potential strategies for warding off those attacks and safeguarding the courts' institutional integrity.

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  • Dan Mafora, CASAC

    Dan Mafora is the research officer at the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC). He is also a teaching assistant in the Department of Public Law, University of Cape Town. He completed his articles of clerkship at DLA Piper South Africa working in its banking and finance and mergers & acquisitions practices in 2020. Prior to that he was a law clerk to Justice Mbuyiseli R. Madlanga at the Constitutional Court. He holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Pretoria and is reading for his Master of Laws by research at the University of Cape Town.

  • Chelsea Ramsden, Helen Suzman Foundation

    Chelsea Ramsdean is a senior legal researcher at the Helen Suzman Foundation. She holds LLB and LLM (Public International Law) from the University of Johannesburg. She recently returned from Dublin where she completed LLM (International Human Rights Law) at University College Dublin as a Global Excellence Scholar. Chelsea’s work experience includes time as a law clerk at the Johannesburg High Court as well as the Constitutional Court of South Africa.

  • Sfiso Nxumalo, Oxford University

    Sfiso Benard Nxumalo is reading for a Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) in Law at the Faculty of Law at Oxford University. He holds a Bachelor of Civil Laws (BCL) from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of the Witwatersrand. He is the President of the Oxford Law Black Alumni Network and a Graduate Research Resident at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights. He is also a research assistant at the University of Oxford. Previously, Sfiso served as a law clerk to Justice Sisi Khampepe and Steven Majiedt at the Constitutional Court and was a candidate attorney at Bowmans.

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