In 2007, the late Kader Asmal submitted a report to Parliament on the effectiveness of South Africa’s constitutional bodies responsible for entrenching constitutional democracy, the so-called Chapter 9 Institutions. Asmal’s 260 page report was commissioned by then (and current) Speaker, Baleka Mbete and examined the role and functioning of institutions such as the Public Protector, the Commission for Gender Equality and the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), amongst others. The Report was important because of the way in which it examined the oversight role Parliament had over these institutions, their budgetary constraints and also their individual relationships with the executive. Asmal also proposed the establishment of an umbrella human rights body, namely the South African Commission on Human Rights and Equality which might have wider powers than the SAHRC.
The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and the Goedgedacht Forum for Social Reflection thought that this is an appropriate time for Parliament, civil society and Chapter 9 Institutions themselves to discuss and debate more fully some of the Asmal report recommendations.
In collaboration with The Allan Gray Centre for Leadership Ethics (Rhodes University)
For many, issues of race, class, recognition, restitution, recognition and the lack of attention to the inner-life all combine in ways that have led us to where we are. How do these play a role? What needs to be done to ensure that we move forward and progress to the kind of society we would like to have?
Organised by PACSA in partnership with the Goedgedacht Forum and sponsored by Oxfam (Australia) this Roundtable discussion followed on an earlier roundtable in March, Changing Male Identity in South Africa: Learning from Positive Masculinities. Its purpose was to allow further time for deepening the discussion. This report provides an overview of the process as well as the key themes that emerged from the discussion.
Issues of leadership and especially ethically informed leadership, have been highlighted over the past few years. There is an urgent need to interrogate what ethical leadership consists in and how it could find expression in public space. For many, the need to look beyond our political leaders has become apparent in the light of ongoing corruption and scandals which have plagued our political landscape over the past few years. Civil society, business, the media, academics and religious organisations have also been grappling with the same issues within their own ranks. For this reason the Alan Gray Centre for Leadership Ethics (Grahamstown University) and the Goedgedacht Forum for Social Reflection brought together a group of distinguished public figures and university students to examine some of the challenges we face, and explore some of the reasons why commonplace ethical commitments do not always find expression in our public institutions.