South Africans spent most of last week debating the Constitutional Court’s decision to legalise the private use of marijuana. However, within days of this judgment, and with little attention, the court delivered another crucial decision that will have far-reaching consequences and potentially prejudice thousands of vulnerable older people and their families. In a disappointing decision a majority of seven justices rejected the appeal of whistle-blower Rosemary Hunter and found that the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA) did not need to undertake further investigation into the unlawful cancellation of thousands of pension funds. The undisputed facts of this case should be of grave concern to all South Africans. Between 2007 and 2013, the Financial Services Board (since replaced by the FSCA), the regulator of the financial services sector, cancelled the registrations of approximately 4,600 “orphan” pension funds that had ceased to have functioning boards of trustees. This was...

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