SA at crossroads – Bizos

2013-04-23 17:41

Struggle stalwart and human rights lawyer George Bizos has warned that South Africa is at a crossroads when it comes to the legitimacy of its constitutional order.

“As great trees continue to fall within our forest and where the old guard of moral authority wanes, it is the youth who must work to build our country and ensure that morality can be reconciled with law and justice,” he said.

Bizos made these comments at the School of Practical Philosophy last night, on the topic of law, justice and morality.

He did not mention anyone by name but, several struggle stalwarts have passed away recently.

These include former Chief Justice Arthur Chaskalson, ANC activist Amina Cachalia and professor Jakes Gerwel.

Chaskalson was a lifelong friend of Bizos and they started the Legal Resource Centre together, to provide access to justice for poor people.

Bizos last night called on South Africans to “bind ourselves to our just laws” because we are at a crossroads.

“The one road, lined with securocrats, the plundering of the public purse and the attack on our democratic institutions, if taken, will create imbalances where law and justice cannot be reconciled with morality, as our institutions and the very laws themselves will be perceived to be illegitimate.

“The other road is harder to follow, it requires all of us to work together with a common purpose, to do our job, and to ensure both individually and collectively that we bind ourselves to our just laws and act against those who break them.”

Bizos, who is representing the families of some of the miners slain at Marikana, said we had to act to ensure the legitimacy of our democracy.

“Despite some criticisms, in the main, we are governed by democratically elected representatives and have an independent judiciary, but this does not mean that these institutions should not be constantly regulated by the citizenry,” he said.

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