Leave the courts alone - Kathrada

2012-12-12 07:27

Johannesburg - Hints reflecting a desire to curb the powers of the courts - including the Constitutional Court - were disturbing, struggle veteran Ahmed Kathrada said on Tuesday.

"Interestingly, these reactions have contributed towards the birth of new terminology... 'untransformed', 'neo-liberals', 'coconuts' and the newest is 'clever blacks'."

Kathrada bemoaned what he described as the constant repetition of such terms.

He was speaking at the December graduation ceremony of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, where an honorary doctorate was conferred on him.

Kathrada, 83, paid tribute to the late Constitutional Court Judge Arthur Chaskalson and urged the country’s political leaders to uphold and protect the Constitution.

"Since its establishment, the court has jealously guarded the Constitution without fear or favour," Kathrada said.

"Some of its judgments have been criticised by individuals in government and ruling party."

Kathrada became involved in the struggle for liberation at the age of 12 when he joined the Young Communist League in 1941.

He was jailed alongside former president Nelson Mandela and others following the Rivonia trial, and spent 26 years in prison, 18 of which were on Robben Island.

  • squeegee.pilot - 2012-12-12 07:46

    Criminals have never liked the courts or the rule of law...

      fussed.anderson - 2012-12-12 07:55

      So very true

  • zolisa.dlokovu - 2012-12-12 07:46

    Ahmed Kathrada is another freedom fighter who spent 26 years in prison.We are always told that Nelson Mandela is the one who liberated us after spending 27 years in Robben Island. Walter Sisulu is another one. He was jailed for 26 years

      goyougoodthing - 2012-12-12 08:56

      The real heroes are Tutu, Sisulu and Luthuli. The REAL brains trust. Mandela just happened to get all the attention.

  • Thabo Mbewu - 2012-12-12 08:01

    It is uncommon for those who were most privileged to cede privileges to the underprivileged with a smile! Oppression and exploitation was constitutional to them!!! Call us whatever, 'clever blacks' suits us well!! Ha ha ha!!!!

  • marilyn.docherty.9 - 2012-12-12 08:01

    There should be no POLITICS in issues of the court! The ANC is trying to undermine any institution that has any image of credibility.

  • cecile.kiley1 - 2012-12-12 08:03

    Much respect to you sir and your rational plea for constitutional freedom for all. HEY! B*TCHES, LEAVE THEM COURTS ALONE!! (sorry couldn't resist the Pink Floyd song analogy)

  • chris.potgieter.73 - 2012-12-12 08:04

    The fate of our country remains in the hands of the voters. The majority of whom are ANC supporters but have not been educated to understand that they do not have to vote for the ANC again and again when nothing has changed since 1994. This is now the legacy of those that had been jailed for so many years. They produced the current crop of leaders who insures that your X will become your cross.

  • steve.ritchie.739 - 2012-12-12 08:24

    The courts have already been interfered with by the cANCer and it's top thieves. Smacks of communistic ideals and dictatorship.

  • Gerald Jordaan - 2012-12-12 08:43

    Zuma must keep his grubby little paws off the judiciary !! Unlike Midas everything Zuma touches turns to sh*t !!

  • paul.vanvuuren.927 - 2012-12-12 08:55

    How else is the cANCer going hide all their thieving and corruption

  • martinvdmerwe.icmi - 2012-12-12 12:14

    The only reason why government would love to less the power that courts have is because they are corrupt

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