'Enjoy your Constitution': Zuma

2016-12-10 14:42
President Jacob Zuma in Sharpeville, leading celebrations to mark 20 years of South Africa's constitution. (Tshidi Madia, News24)

President Jacob Zuma in Sharpeville, leading celebrations to mark 20 years of South Africa's constitution. (Tshidi Madia, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sharpeville - President Jacob Zuma has congratulated South Africa on marking the 20th anniversary of the Constitution being signed into law.

"It's a birth certificate of a democratic nation," said Zuma to several hundred guests gathered at the Sharpeville Sports Ground on Saturday.

He spoke about the Constitution's history and role, adding that it stipulated the separation of powers.

He focused on the different spheres of government and said people benefited when the judiciary, executive and Parliament worked well together.

He said the judiciary needed to be supported in doing its work.

"Our courts are trusted final arbiters in disputes in society. To maintain this role our judiciary needs to jealously safeguard its dignity, accessibility, impartiality and independence," the president said.

Zuma said when challenges arose between the three arms of the state, they were often addressed.

"When problems emerge, we meet and discuss them," said Zuma, regarding this as a sign of democracy.

Although Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng were absent, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, head of Public Prosecutions Sean Abrahams and Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane were in attendance.

EFF walkout

Before Zuma delivered his address, Economic Freedom Fighters councillors from the Sedibeng and Emfuleni regions staged a walkout.

This prompted a chuckle from the president, while African National Congress supporters in the marquee sang praise songs about him.

Sello Mahlare, an elderly Sharpeville resident criticised Zuma for celebrating the Constitution.

"He has no respect for the Constitution," Mahlare told journalists.

His comments, which had been echoed by some on social media, come on the back of a Constitutional Court finding against the president earlier this year, that he had failed to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution in the Nkandla saga.

Zuma, in what seemed like a carefully crafted speech, also addressed concerns over growing racism and a need to protect women and children in South Africa.

"The Constitution says we must heal the divisions of the past, we must all play our part in building a non racial society."

The president said it was clear based on recent media reports of racist incidents, that more work needed to done. But at the same time he said it was important to acknowledge that a lot of progress had been made in that regard.

December 10 also marked the end of the 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children.

Zuma urged South Africans to continue spreading the message of the campaign.

"All of us must continue to be vigilant to promote safer homes, communities and work places for women everyday of the year," he said.

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  johannesburg  |  constitution

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.

/Sport
 

12 Cool cat facts

Here are some surprising things you may not know about your fascinating feline

 
 

Paws

Chocolate can be fatal for dogs
Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Do you know what you are feeding your dog?
Watch: Proof animals have souls
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.