Current Legal Action:
Since the outbreak of the conflict in Yemen, South Africa has exported arms to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, two of the countries supplying arms that is fuelling the war in Yemen. The UN Expert Group on Yemen and reports by civil society organisations have accused Saudi Arabia and the UAE of violating international humanitarian law and the human rights of the Yemenis. Despite this, South Africa’s National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) has been approving arms export licences to both Saudi Arabia and the UAE. It is in this backdrop that Open Secrets and the Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC) launched an application to review the NCACC’s decision to approve export licences.
In December 2021, Open Secrets and the Unpaid Benefits Campaign (UBC), represented by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS), brought an application in the Gauteng High Court against the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA). In the spirit of greater transparency and responsiveness to the plight of pensioners, the application asks the Court to remedy the unlawful cancellation of pension funds.
This is an information portal on the 1999 Arms Deal and the Seriti Commission established to investigate allegations of corruption in the deal. Here you will find the documents, investigations, and ongoing legal cases on the Arms Deal by Open Secrets and our civil society partners. This portal is the succesor to the defunct Arms Deal Facts website and houses all the documents and information formerly held by that website.
Open Secrets and the Unpaid Benefits Campaign (UBC), represented by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) have applied to the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) on an urgent basis to ensure a transparent process to select the new Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners of the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA).
This was the first Covid-19 related case of excessive pricing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be referred to the Competition Tribunal. The Tribunal found Babelegi guilty of excessive pricing (“price gouging”) on face masks and issued a fine of R76 000. Babelegi took the decision on appeal to the Competition Appeal Court (CAC). The case was essentially about the application of the amended section 8 of the Competition Act, which was being considered for the first time. The public importance of this case was in setting precedent for protecting the public against exploitation of circumstances like pandemics and national disasters in order to profit at the expense of people’s right to health and other human rights. Considering this public importance, Open Secrets and the Health Justice Initiative (HJI) applied to be admitted as amici along with the Human Rights Commission.
“On the 15th of April 2021, Liberty’s application to have 23 pension funds that were unlawfully cancelled reinstated was heard in the Gauteng High Court. Open Secrets and the Unpaid Benefits Campaign (UBC), represented by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS), made an application to join the application as amicus curiae in the public interest. We argued that we should be admitted as amicus because some of the material facts that gave rise to Liberty’s application were missing and which were the subject of our investigation The Bottom Line. Moreover, the right to social security of many pensioners and pension beneficiaries was implicated in this and other future reinstatement applications.
So far Open Secrets, has made two submissions to Parliament. The first was on the Conduct of Financial Institutions Bill by National Treasury. The second was a submission to the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance regarding the Auditing Profession Amendment Bill.
The Auditing Profession Amendment bill seeks to amend the Auditing Profession Act of 2005 to address the challenges and limitations that the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) faces in discharging its regulatory and oversight responsibilities especially in light of current state of auditing and accounting professions.
The first People’s Tribunal on Economic Crime in South Africa was held from 3-7 February 2018 at the former Women’s Jail at Constitution Hill, Johannesburg. As secretariat of the People’s Tribunal, Open Secrets convened an organising committee comprising of a range of civil society organisations, including the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS), Corruption Watch, the Foundation for Human Rights (FHR), Open Secrets, Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) and the Right2Know Campaign (R2K).