News24

SA has a strong judiciary - Albie Sachs

2011-09-29 07:58

Cape Town - South Africa has a strong judiciary, former Constitutional Court judge Albie Sachs said on Wednesday.

"Often people get preoccupied with individuals," he said in a speech to the Iman Abdullah Haron Education Trust at the University of Cape Town.

"But we have a strong judiciary."

The Constitutional Court was a "very collegial court", he said.

Sachs said South Africans would not easily give up their right to speak their minds.

"South Africans have won the right to know and speak our minds and I can't see us easily giving that up," Sachs said.

Freedom

"We know about the threats to our Constitution because the press remind us 24-7."

Sachs said it was important that the government "not tinker" with the main elements of the Constitution which was the greatest monument to people who died in the struggle.

People may not have homes, education and health services, he said, but they had freedom.

"People speak out and protest. We are not a scared society. We are not downtrodden. We know about injustices because people speak out."

Sachs said the government had tried "lots of honest things" that had not worked but "hopefully" it had learnt from its mistakes.

For all the pain, problems and difficulties, South Africa was a "terrific country", Sachs said.

"I am saddened by so many things that are wrong and unacceptable but there is a buoyancy to South Africa.

"We have memories and traditions that are very important and we have capacity to speak our minds."

Comments
  • Werner - 2011-09-29 08:13

    "But we have a strong judiciary." What are you smoking sir. Honestly. "South Africans have won the right to know and speak our minds and I can't see us easily giving that up," Sachs said. You can say that again. Even if a court orders a portion of speech to be unlawful and to incite murder, well dammit, we don't care! Someone give Albie Sachs a newspaper, please.

      GILLBERT - 2011-09-29 08:17

      i had a couple of drinks last night but i believe this oak is still drunk

      Civil_Rights - 2011-09-29 09:18

      strong judiciary my rear end. If so, then why do we still have criminals on the street, why is schabir shaik out of prison, why do murderers and rapist get light sentences and why is it that cases which feature prominent individuals take much longer to deliberate and convict the person in question. Why is it that corrupt politicians are never convicted of corruption. The only strong thing in SA is the crime rate and level of corruption from political and law enforcement figures.

      pragmatism - 2011-09-29 09:31

      @Werner and company, Albie Sachs is a Professor at Law School at Columbia University, New York. I think his opinion carries more weight than News24 fanatics who probably don't even have matric ...

      Met - 2011-09-29 09:32

      He has no option but to say that, otherwise he will have to acknowledge that SA is just another failed African state and that his own political views are/were based on an illusion of political idealism

      chocobutter - 2011-09-29 10:57

      Werner you sound like smart person,i think we must stop pointing fingers white people have done wrong things before and black people are doing wrong things now,lets stop public war threats and make south Africa a better place, because we all part of this mess from Apartheid till ANC. "We ARE RAINBOW NATION AND CHANGE START WITH AS"No one is perfect we all make mistakes.An age called Dark,not becouse the light fails to shine,but because people refuse to see it.The challenge may not be easy,but it is possible.

      Cybermatix - 2011-09-29 11:37

      @ pragmatism and company: "Albie Sachs is a Professor at Law School at Columbia University" Really? Could you supply me with reference please? Wikipedia doesn't know about this - and a quick search on Google also couldn't confirm it. Maybe it's just me. I do however believe that he is a communist, and of course a prominent member of the ANC. I don't see myself as a News24 fanatic, but his opinion carries a whole lot of negative weight for me. For instance he is quite OK with the fact that one member of a "generally corrupt" duo is a convicted criminal, and the other member is the president of a country. He is also quite OK with a constitution that guarantees no discrimination on the basis of race, and right next to that an official act (BEE) that has race in its title. The man is an idiot.

  • brazil1 - 2011-09-29 08:19

    this guy is fantastic!! he is the sort of person that SA can be proud of.

  • beicime - 2011-09-29 08:46

    Not an impartial judocial for too long if the ANC has got its way.

  • stephen scott - 2011-09-29 08:50

    Just wait a bit Albie.

  • Peacock - 2011-09-29 08:56

    Such a stupid idiot "People speak out and protest." Who speaks out and protests and WHO the F*%K listens. ( give you a hint - the unions with their strikes for more money which is not available, so they then screw up the country etc etc. The people to listen to should be those who are being punished on a daily basis by their hard earned money being STOLEN from them by what they call "Legitimacy"

  • burtfred - 2011-09-29 09:03

    "People may not have homes, education and health services, he said, but they had freedom" Well I never. Coming from an intelligent man like Justice Sacks, this is sad. I have to carry around a kilogram of keys, I even have to bolt my computer to the concrete floor, because I live in Johannesburg. But, according to the judge, I am "free" We also have freedom to slash our own wrists, don't we?

  • Darwinian - 2011-09-29 09:05

    Farm murder: 10 suspects acquitted......................

      Blip - 2011-09-29 09:12

      Well, that's exactly what ought to happen if the prosecution doesn't build a strong enough case. That's a good judiciary.

      pragmatism - 2011-09-29 09:27

      @Darwinian, catch a wake up... the fact that those suspects were acquitted has nothing to do with the judiciary, it has more to do with the shody police work... do you even know how a case is built and how it gets to court, people need to start thinking before letting their fingers run amok on the keyboard...

      Chronoman - 2011-09-29 10:03

      @Blip, no the prosecution lost a docket, sold it, threw it away, was bribed to throw it away.

  • Greegs - 2011-09-29 09:10

    Strong judiciary my ass! Murderers and rapists get off with less bail than stock theft. You're a joke.....

  • Andrew - 2011-09-29 09:15

    You mean strongly in favor of people with the right connections

  • Ralph2 - 2011-09-29 09:17

    terrific 1667, "frightening," from L. terrificus "causing terror or fear," from terrere "fill with fear" (see terrible) + root of facere "to make" (see factitious).When one considers the origin of the word "terrific" then Sachs is right. We are a terrifying country.

  • leonard - 2011-09-29 09:20

    albie(no respect shown)tell me,your once in a while contribution to judicial matters and matters of state,are they willingly given or coerced by the ruling party?Seems to me like you are trying to get an increase in your pension.I always respected you for honesty and integrity,no more. With regards Johannes,just another ANC employee trying to justify that which can not be defended.Don`t even respond to him.

  • pragmatism - 2011-09-29 09:23

    tell that to all these anti-South Africans that often have nothing but negative things to say about South Africa... there are a lot of positives... the COP17 conference around the corner, the fact that SA has been chosen to host the 2013 African Cup of Nations... the fact that crime figures are down... the fact that South Africa is the only African country that is a member of the G20... the fact that South African Tax Revenue has increased from R100 billion in 1994 to R640 billion in 2010... the fact that the South African Rand was the second best performing currency against the US Dollar between 2007 and 2011, according to Bloomberg’s Currency Scorecard.... the fact that the number of tourists visiting South Africa has grown from 3.9million in 1994 to 11.3 million in 2010. South Africa is ranked among the top 5 countries in the world in respect of tourism growth (growing at 3 times the global average).... the fact that South Africa was the first African country to host the FIFA Soccer World Cup in 2010. It is only the second country in the world to have hosted the Cricket, Rugby Union and Soccer World Cups... Ladies and Gentlemen, inspite of all this good, there are people who will find a few bad things and highlight those things till Kingdom come! Some people are born like that, we can't really change them, but we can change our own thinking...

      Greegs - 2011-09-29 09:58

      It's great to have a positive attitude and I must compliment you for that. All these wonderful facts mentioned above is inspiring for South African's. The question I have for you is...... why is poverty getting worse? Why with the increased tax revenues have services become worse? What plan does the ANC have to attract international investment and retain skills in the country?

      pragmatism - 2011-09-29 10:05

      @Greegs, you just proved my point, I mentioned about ten positives, and you mentioned about three negatives... go figure!

      Chronoman - 2011-09-29 10:06

      I agree with the positive things you highlight. People are not necessarily negative when they point out what does not work here, e.g. our judiciary which has been seriously tarnished by amongst others our president. People do it because they want more things in the "This works well" column.

      Cybermatix - 2011-09-29 12:08

      I know this one guy, he goes to church every Sunday, participates in community work, pays his taxes, drives within the speed limit, contributes generously to a number of charities, and sings in the church choir. He also beats up his wife and rapes her every so often, when not sleeping with his secretary. Hey but that's OK according to you, 6 positives and only 2 negatives. He's actually a very good person. Get a clue man.

  • Hendrik - 2011-09-29 09:32

    MMMM, says the guy who could not sit on the bench when Mandela was in the Constitutional Court, because he can't make a decision against Mandela. Funny how when its Albie, its fine. But when it is Mogoeng,(who they speculate would always decide in the ANC's favour) then it is a disaster. Same with Chaskalson, he never made a ruling against the ANC, and above all, the RAPED the Constitution to extend his term, but if its Zuma and Mogoeng, NOOOOOOO! The point is, the Judiciary is only strong if it suit the right people.

  • JP - 2011-09-29 09:39

    With all due respect to the honourable Justice Sachs, the Judiciary will never be independent as long as the ANC continues to disregard the separation of powers. Just look at the comments made by prominent leaders within the tripartite alliance, following the judgement in the Malema hate speech trial.

  • Davearch - 2011-09-29 09:40

    Maybe you should spend more time with your mates like Julius educating him ...

  • AntonioP - 2011-09-29 09:41

    What is this man on? "South Africans have won the right to know and speak our minds and I can't see us easily giving that up," Sachs said." The prob with this and all other pinko liberals is that they wear rose-tinted glasses; refuse to see reality. For one, this ou must not have heard about the Protection of ANC Corruptions Act. Soon this will be a reality -exposure of the ANC corruptions and bunglings becomes unbearable. In fact this whole article is meaningless blather -except that his tenet that we (still) can speak our minds is true. For the rest SA is failed dismally by his ANC-mates and the trend is strongly downward -also wrt "freedom". But perhaps his sub-conscious mind knows more than he knows: "For all the pain, problems and difficulties, South Africa WAS a "terrific country", Sachs said." WAS -as in "used to be, before it was phucked up by his ANC-mates. (Freudian slip!) High five!

      Nkulekweni - 2011-09-29 10:20

      South Africa was a terrific country for who AntonioP?

      AntonioP - 2011-09-29 13:50

      Nkulekweni, why ask me? Why not ask your mate, Sachs? Or ask the 50% of young blacks, age 15-35 who'll never work in their lifetime: "how do you enjoy your "freedom" so far?" And I will ask you Nkulekweni, this: "you, the ANC, destroyers of SA's future, how DO you dare and try to be clever here? Hang your head in shame and just shut up already. SA SHOULD have been a terrific country by NOW, that was the idea in 1994 -but your ANC had other plans...

  • AfrikaBoer - 2011-09-29 09:52

    "We know about the threats to our Constitution because the press remind us 24-7." And we do something about it. Like writing a secrecy bill to ensure that they are not allowed to write about it again. Impressive.

  • AntonioP - 2011-09-29 09:53

    BTW, RE: "SA has a strong judiciary, "did he read "No judgment on 90% of SA cases"? Is this man connected to reality?

  • Lejoe Joang - 2011-09-29 10:12

    I am dissapointed to read this comment from the ex-justice of the highest court of our land. I wonder what he was doing while he spent half of his carreer presiding over number of cases some of them were the axact cases that were aimed at strengthening and building up a strong and independent judiciary system as well as separation of powers and the rule of law and the rule of governance. Maybe the poor old man forgot all those terminology due to what is happening now. The same judiciary that he talkes about is struggling to far worse than his tenure in the Concourt. I suggest he must go back there or chair the commission of inquiry.

  • Dineo - 2011-09-29 10:21

    It only has strong sentencing if it is a black person. So many white people have gone off on cases of human rights violation, hate speech, murder. The man who was an accessory to crime of the murder of his employee by throwing him in the lion cage walked. Until such time the race is not looked into but now not transformed even their hearts. WOuter Basson should be sentenced to life but he is going to walk cause .....

      EnglishBoer - 2011-09-29 12:42

      He should have been sentenced for feeding garbage to a lion.

  • Musa Ngubane - 2011-09-29 10:37

    Here we go again. This is a former constitutional court judge speaking here and these racist whites are attacking him because he praises the South African judiciary. If he was criticising, they would be singing his praises. What's wrong with you racist agents? You are becoming irrelevant. These people are nothing but disgruntled, racist agents who criticise every thing. You are disgusting!

      Hendrik - 2011-09-29 11:13

      Hey idiot, this guy wasn't even objective when he was a judge, note my comment above. So how can he be taken seriously now?

      leonard - 2011-09-29 11:13

      @The honourable A H Musa Ngubane.....The so called white racists as would term us,are concerned citizens of this disintergrating country very much alert to and aware of the tricks of the ANC.Sachs is WHITE and yet we still choose to chastise him.Colour does not come into this dicussion,only truth.I will remind you,Zuma has the military,police ,judiciary and parliament in his back pocket.He can now do whatever he wishes.Key to this IS the judiciary.A H

      AntonioP - 2011-09-29 13:59

      Hi Musa, We whites / anybody who criticises this ANC-govt corrupt, bungling disaster for SA, will never be irrelevant as long as you pekkies don't shape up. Only if you become not reliant on our skills, tax-revenues THEN perhaps we'll become irrelevant. Gee a state of SA I could WISH for!

      AntonioP - 2011-09-29 14:32

      Hi Musa, We whites / anybody who criticises this ANC-govt corrupt, bungling disaster for SA, will never be irrelevant as long as you pekkies don't shape up. Only if you become not reliant on our skills, tax-revenues THEN perhaps we'll become irrelevant. Gee a state of SA I could WISH for!

      AntonioP - 2011-09-29 14:33

      Hi Musa, We whites / anybody who criticises this ANC-govt corrupt, bungling disaster for SA, will never be irrelevant as long as you pekkies don't shape up. Only if you become not reliant on our skills, tax-revenues THEN perhaps we'll become irrelevant. Gee a state of SA I could WISH for!

  • croix - 2011-09-29 11:39

    Yes, and the moon is made of green cheese!

  • Musa Ngubane - 2011-09-29 11:42

    @ falcon 2020: I have submitted long time ago my ideas to minister Trevor Manuel's NPC. Of course as a patriotic citizen I'm looking at the future of our beloved country, unlike those who always lamenting since the fall of apartheid. @ hendrik & leonard: I'm not surprised, that's white mentality, white tendencies.

      Not Black - 2011-09-29 19:24

      So Mr patriot, Did Trevor Maual even bother to reply to you? I guess NOT. You can continue to to look to the future, whilst ALL those YOU voted for are in the 1st Class Section of the GRAVY TRAIN, laughing at YOU. Wake up, and see how far down the toilet this Country's Justice System will go. I REST MY CASE.

  • Not Black - 2011-09-29 11:48

    Dear Albie sachs, when the DRUGS and GRASS that you consume does wear off, Please go and spend a day in a SA Court , Supreme, Magistrates. Then look at what goes on there. Then assess the Performance of the Justice Minister & Other Law Agencies. Maybe then you will wake up properly. Are you also on the Gravy Train in the 1st Class Section? Seems like it. I Rest My Case.

  • Jon Low - 2014-06-21 14:39

    "I am saddened by so many things that are wrong and unacceptable but there is a buoyancy to South Africa..." Buoyancy? What on earth is this supposed to mean? That we float, like whipped scum, on top of the waves?

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