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Freedom Day: Constitution increasingly under pressure

South Africa is entering a period where the Constitution will increasingly be tested and come under more pressure. Opposition parties, the media and civic organisations, therefore, have an ever increasing task to act as watchdogs to expose the abuse of power and the ignoring of the Constitution.

A governing party such as the ANC is always very pro-Constitution and pro-democracy after they have won an election. This was also the case after 27 April 1994. As the possibility that the ANC could lose power starts to appear, the real test whether the ANC is truly democratic, bound to the Constitution and will be prepared to hand over power, is getting closer.

A government under pressure easily ignores the Constitution. Thus, the Constitutional court found in the recent case that president Zuma and parliament had ignored the provisions of the Constitution regarding the Public Protector’s Nkandla findings.

The majority of people in South Africa want reconciliation, cooperation and peace. True reconciliation is a win-win situation where there is room for every language, cultural group, race and gender for each person to be themselves. After 22 years, 27 April and other public holidays are increasingly starting to gain the meaning in government speeches of the victory of one group over another. This is not what had happened in 1994 and is a recipe for conflict and not for reconciliation.

On public holidays we need more future orientated messages in which appreciation is expressed for the contribution that both white and black people had made in the past to make South Africa an economic giant in Africa. This will work contrary to the current negative polarisation. It would also implement the preamble to the South African Constitution which asks for respect “for those who have worked to build and develop our country”.

South Africa is a country with unbelievable potential and talent. If it is utilised correctly, we will create room for all the residents of the country and the different communities to live together prosperously, and in peace and harmony. If political populism, selfishness, self-enrichment and corruption however gain the upper hand, we will go the same way as many other failed states had gone.

 

Contact no.: 083 419 5403 / 082 674 6670

 

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