customary law

Peter Smith

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2
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Daniel Scher
Name
Peter Smith
Interviewee's Position
Member of Parliament
Interviewee's Organization
South Africa
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
South African
Place (Building/Street)
Parliament
Town/City
Cape Town
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Keywords
Abstract
Peter Smith, a member of South Africa's Parliament, discusses his involvement with the Inkatha Freedom Party, particularly during the talks to end apartheid, to form a new democratic state and to determine its structure. He describes the negotiation process among the different political parties, with the Inkatha party being mainly interested in developing a federal state and safeguarding the role of the Zulu monarchy. Smith also explains the factors that affected his party’s position during the negotiations, including the collusion of the two main parties, the Nationalist Party and the African National Congress; the outbreak of violence; and the spread of propaganda. Although the Inkatha party succeeded in its call for federalism, Smith notes that there were still problems that needed to be resolved:  The provinces that were established had limited functional areas, and in spite of their increased legislative powers, they lacked the ability to raise funds necessary for operation.
 
Profile
At the time of this interview, Peter Smith was a member of South Africa's Parliament in the Inkatha Freedom Party. He started working with the party in 1988 as a researcher. Smith was also a participant in the Convention for a Democratic South Africa talks. 
Full Audio File Size
36MB
Full Audio Title
Peter Smith Interview

Douglas Irvine

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Focus Area(s)
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4
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Itumeleng Makgetla
Name
Douglas Irvine
Interviewee's Position
Technical Adviser
Interviewee's Organization
Commission on Provincial Government of South Africa
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
South African
Town/City
Johannesburg
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Douglas Irvine, a technical adviser to the Commission on Provincial Government of South Africa, discusses the commission's work from 1994 to 1996.  He first locates the commission’s work in general debates on the provinces and local government at the time. He describes the challenges that the new provincial administrations confronted. He then talks about the composition of the commission and its advisory structures. Irvine explains how the commission advised the Constitutional Assembly on issues relating to the provinces and local government, and the key recommendations that the assembly included in the final constitutional text. He discusses the commission’s efforts to address the issue of traditional authorities and the introduction of the National Council of Provinces. He concludes by reflecting on the overall performance of the commission and its influence over other governmental organizations.    

Case Study:  Refashioning Provincial Government in Democratic South Africa, 1994-96

Profile

At the time of this interview, Douglas Irvine was a technical adviser to the Commission on Provincial Government of South Africa. He was also greatly involved in issues related to public management policy for the new state. Earlier, Irvine served as head of the Department of Political Studies and the dean of Social Science at the University of Natal. He took early retirement in 1996 to work in the field of applied development policy. In 2002, he joined the Small Business Project, a not-for-profit company based in South Africa, where he became the director of programs and research. 

Full Audio File Size
99MB
Full Audio Title
Douglas Irvine Interview

Ahmed Makarfi

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8
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Itumeleng Makgetla
Name
Ahmed Makarfi
Interviewee's Position
Senator and Chairman
Interviewee's Organization
Kaduna North
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Nigerian
Town/City
Abuja
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Senator Ahmed Makarfi of Kaduna North in Nigeria recounts his experiences using reform to diffuse clashes that took place over the implementation of Sharia law in 2000. He discusses the process of mediating issues in mixed Christian and Muslim communities, particularly clearing up misconceptions in Christian communities about whether such laws would apply to them. He also addresses the implementation of a system to officially recognize the traditional leaders of communities within Kaduna North and to facilitate cooperation between traditional leaders and local and state government. Makarfi also offers insights into the judicial and legal reforms that led to a tripartite legal system comprising common law, Sharia law, and customary law for specific communities.  He then discusses the capacity building problems facing Nigeria and what reforms were undertaken to address these gaps. Finally, Makarfi focuses on his belief in inclusiveness, openness of government and accessibility as a key part of both conflict resolution and service delivery.    
Profile
At the time of this interview, Ahmed Makarfi was serving as senator for Kaduna North, Kaduna State, Nigeria, as a member of the People’s Democratic Part (PDP). Makarfi has been involved in Nigerian politics for over 15 years and served as governor of Kaduna State for two four-year terms starting in 1999. He has also served on the Kaduna State Executive Council as State Commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning, and on the board of Trustees at the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution. Makarfi also has a bachelors in accounts and a masters of science degree in accounts and finance.
Full Audio File Size
97 MB
Full Audio Title
Senator Ahmed Makarfi Interview

Mario Gaspare Oriani-Ambrosini

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1
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Daniel Scher
Name
Mario Gaspare Oriani-Ambrosini
Interviewee's Position
Member of Parliament
Interviewee's Organization
South Africa
Language
English
Place (Building/Street)
Parliament
Town/City
Cape Town
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Keywords
Abstract
Mario Gaspare Oriani-Ambrosini, a South African member of Parliament in the Inkatha Freedom Party, describes his role during the negotiation process among the different political parties to end apartheid and to form a new democratic state. Oriani-Ambrosini’s main task was to create his party’s constitution. The chief players at the negotiating table were the National Party and the African National Congress. While the Inkatha party’s key interest was to build a federal state, one with a robust system of checks and balances, Oriani-Ambrosini says the other two parties had collectively opted for a strong unitary state. But after the negotiations, the Inkatha party succeeded in its call for decentralization through the establishment of autonomous provinces, ensuring that its existence, functions and powers were secured within the constitutional principle. Despite this achievement, Oriani-Ambrosini laments that through the provincial legislation, provinces have become implementers of the national government’s policies. He says they lack self-empowerment and depend heavily on the national level.
 
Profile

At the time of this interview, Mario Gaspare Oriani-Ambrosini was a member of the South African Parliament in the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). He served on committees that dealt with public enterprises, economic development, trade and industry, and justice and constitutional development.  He was also a part of the Finance and Rules, Private Member Bills and the Constitutional Review Joint Committee. The Italian-born lawyer was trained at the Georgetown University Law Center in the U.S. He worked with the Philadelphia Constitution Foundation and Human Rights Advocates International in negotiating, drafting and formulating constitutions for a wide range of clients that included the Boris Yeltsin Commission in Russia. In 1991, he started working for Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and his political party, the IFP. He became Buthelezi’s adviser from 1994 to 2004, the period when the prince was the minister of home affairs. Oriani-Ambrosini was also an adviser to the leader of the minority political party in Nelson Mandela's Government of National Unity. He was involved in reformulating the South African immigration system, formulating the second constitution that was produced by the Constitutional Assembly and drafting the constitution of KwaZulu-Natal in 1995. He retired from politics in 2004, but in 2009 he returned. Besides engaging in politics and constitutional law, Oriani-Ambrosini also worked as a commercial lawyer and businessman. In 2004, he reopened Ambrosini & Associates, a legal and business consultancy in the U.S.

Full Audio File Size
94MB
Full Audio Title
Mario Gaspare Oriani-Ambrosinii Interview