Mandela's legacy is being eroded, fast
Court challenges on the Nationa Prosecuting Authority boss and the make-up of the judiciary illustrate SA's discarded principles. Nelson Mandela with Helen Suzman, whose foundation has challenged the Judicial Service Commission for using race as an appointment criterion. The country has begun the journey of reflection on the legacy of Nelson Mandela.
I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination." It took South Africa some 30 years to vindicate this dedication when the Constitution was passed into law. The idea of a nonracial society of Africans at the southern tip of the continent to which Mandela was so faithfully committed, not only when he was facing a possible death sentence at the conclusion of that trial but also throughout his presidency and thereafter, represented the very best hope for our country's future.
When he was president, Mandela was confronted in 1996 with a Constitutional Court judgment adverse to a presidential proclamation and in favour of the executive council of the Western Cape. Mandela responded by accepting the decision; even though he dis-agreed with the court, he noted that it existed to guide the government in its compliance with the Constitution, which is exactly what the court had done in this case.
In these two actions, Mandela taught two great lessons: if South Africa was to achieve a democratic result to the struggle for freedom, it would have to commit itself to a nonracial vision. If it was to continue to be democratic, the Constitution, in which the rule of law was enshrined, had to be respected – particularly when judgments that may find against the government were delivered by the courts.
Sadly, the speed with which we appear to have travelled away from these cardinal principles – and hence from the Mandela legacy – has been illustrated in two recently launched court challenges.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at Mail & Guardian