Change Constitution if needs be, union says

2012-03-14 21:44

Johannesburg - The ANC should not be apologetic for seeking to amend the Constitution if it proves to be a hindrance to rooting out social injustices, Numsa said on Wednesday.

"If the Constitution... after 18 years, is proving incapable of making any meaningful dent in the real cleavages in South African society, then it is time to use the mechanisms embodied in the Constitution to amend it," the National Union of Metalworkers of SA said in a statement.

"The ANC need not apologise to anyone for doing this," it said.

Former president FW de Klerk recently criticised the African National Congress's announcement that its policy conference in June would usher in a "second transition" for the country.

This policy shift would focus on social and economic change in the next three to five decades.

In a public letter issued after the ANC released its draft policy documents, De Klerk questioned the party's plans to end the country’s "Constitutional consensus" reached 18 years ago.

He said when the country entered into a new democracy, it was agreed that the Constitution, and not the majority of the day, would be sovereign.

He said this was the basis on which the then ruling National Party, under his leadership, gave up power.

Numsa rejected the notion that, in 1994, all South Africans surrendered their sovereignty to a "compromise" Constitution which ushered in the new democratic dispensation.

"Only a fool would think that a compromise is a permanent solution, the union said.

"Our rejection of such an absurd idea is based on the understanding that the working class... cannot abandon the possibility of a civilisation not based on their exploitation by capitalists."

The union said it noted that the ANC had stated that it would not be blackmailed into fear of legitimately seeking to amend the Constitution, where this would be necessary to advance the social and economic freedom of all South Africans.

Numsa said most people, particularly some political parties, opposed to the idea, feared the black government.

"[This fear] was masked as the defence of the Constitution."

This "ruthless" defence by white monopoly capital had contributed to inequalities, predominantly among black women and the youth, Numsa said.

  • Mark - 2012-03-14 21:49

    Barking at the moon again.

      Mehluli - 2012-03-17 21:20

      The ANC is very much corrupt but the boss is filthy corrupt to such an extent that the boss does not want the constitution changed as it will expose the stupidity of the boss.

  • Kolobe - 2012-03-14 21:53

    problem with the anc institution is it loves to act like it doesnt know the enemy, truth be told we dont like each other. although some might have a justification for the dislike

      Francois - 2012-03-14 22:20

      Kolobe, I don't quite understand your statement: "Truth be told we don't like each other". Do you mean that you don't like the ANC as an institution or that you don't like Numsa and they in return respectively don't like you? Then onto Numsa, the 1996 Constitution was not a compromise, it was a Constitution that the ANC voted into being in parliament and if one assumes that a lot of it has been based on Codesa, Codesa was not a compromise, it was a negotiated settlement. Then the 1996 Constitution is a piece of paper, anyone with the ability to publish on News24, has the ability to get a copy of the Constitution. I have one. I left it with a time of Tuna and baked beans for a week and it did not do anything. (The food started rotting.) It is people who makes the Constitution come to life - and with the ANC being the dominant party (gee they won 70% of the votes in 99!) and Cosatu being the close buddy of the ANC, the fact that the constitution did not get the life Numsa wanted or gave the life to the people of SA, it is pretty much the ANC's own created problem. Mbeki could have ensured that the born frees receive a good education and have a chance at a decent job, but he got rid of competent teachers and a border fence to Zim. Thus poor education plus a stream of educated immigrants = poverty for those who cannot compete. Numsa do us all a favour, break away from the ANC - they have failed you. Go and establish a Labour party and let us debate the future for us all.

  • Wendy - 2012-03-14 21:56

    like changing the constitution to cover up corruption .. is that the social injustice you are talking about?

      lindz.kok - 2012-03-15 10:21

      yes wendy but that is just a very small part of theyre inherently evil ways. the bigger picture is to get the troublesome minorety under controll, no need to vote on land grabs, no need to fight minority partys no need to spend vacation funds on the safety of farmers. why do you think so many visits to zim are being made? where do you think they get these rose coloured ideas of changing the constetution and why so short after zumas last visit to mugabe?

  • jeanpierre.dumont - 2012-03-14 22:05

    Hey idiots! You cannot change the constitution without 67% of the vote - and based on recent track record you are set for a further reduction in your majority.

      marina.poniatowska - 2012-03-14 22:41

      I think you are very naive if you think they can't change the constitution. They'll just change the part of the constitution that prevents the gov from changing the constitution. Do you think a small little thing like laws and constitution stood in the way of the great (note the sarcasm) leader of Zim?

  • braamc - 2012-03-14 22:07

    It is not the constitution that is a hindrance, it is filthy thieving useless ANC that's the problem.

  • gavin.simpson.0 - 2012-03-14 22:10

    Two feet in the grave....

      Grahame Doupe - 2012-03-15 00:02

      And a head in the sand

  • bradleybrits - 2012-03-14 22:11

    Save them from themselves..

  • wesleywt - 2012-03-14 22:11

    Blaming the ANC's failure on the constitution is dumb. Why do dumb people make the news all the time on this website.

  • Eric Schollar - 2012-03-14 22:12

    And what does that new darling of the middle classes, comrade Vavi, and the sweeties in COSATU say about this?

  • Andres - 2012-03-14 22:13

    NUMSA, COSATU-Affiliate, COSATU-ANC-Alliance... duh! Of course they'd agree. Of course, at lack of a better argument, use the tired old race card of: "Numsa said most people, particularly some political parties, opposed to the idea, feared the black government." It's not black government people fear, its a government who makes their own rules to suit their own narrow-agendas and own aspirations of unchecked power that's the fear. Cheap tactics again to cover up another ANC ruse. When in doubt, chastise all those against as being counter-revolutionary, racists or imperialists.

      Andres - 2012-03-14 22:18

      And newsflash NUMSA: If there's a property/mines grab, guess who'll benefit: The politically connected. Did you really think the powerful politicians would have a mine-worker suddenly running for CEO? It'll be a cadre in the big office! The only way you can become richer is to become smarter... build your own future and own it yourself, not rely on the government for your future. A government who has proven they'd rather misappropriate R30billion a year, than spend it on you, me or any S.African. Oh, and anther PS. You scrap the right to assets and ownership in ANY country... hyperinflation follows within 12months. So, if you like to starve to death, by all means... go for it!

      lovenergy - 2012-03-15 08:31

      It's scary how hard they try to incite hate between their citizens, definitely not the responsible thing to do towards the people of South-Africa if you truly wanted to promote peace. Let's just hope that the rest of South Africa will see them for what they are before it's too late.

  • Lacrimose - 2012-03-14 22:15

    'Dent.. in cleavages'? So you want to make a bigger hole? Grammatical criticism aside, the Constitution is not the problem. Look around you, today. For the last 18 years, IMPLEMENTATION is the problem. There has to be a better solution than "when in crises use a bigger hammer". Don't touch me on my Constitution! Apply your 'collective minds'. Find a better way

  • Cracker - 2012-03-14 22:17

    Numsa, the elite in the ANC, the likes of Malema and the SACP still have to decide which will take and share what. They don't seem to quite like each other that much that they will peacefully stake each other's claims for the spoils they imagine await them. Grow up Numsa and stop misleading your members. Rather inform them to become owners of the economy through financial and share buying in companies. White monopoly capital? What is it? How do you transfer it and to whom and without destroying the value of the capital in the process? There is an inherent value in so-called capital. It is not a pile of money or gold lying somewhere, waiting for the taking. Many factors go into the value of the capital. Disregard those factors or destroy them and see what results. The truth is that taking from the real and genuine creators of wealth will destroy the whole country except the new opportunistic feudal lords. The grassroots members of Numsa should rather become part and parcel of the wealth creating community or go on living in bitterness and failing forever and ever while their leaders live it up.

  • Comrade - 2012-03-14 22:19

    HERE WE GO ............Back to the stone age!!

  • Geronimo - 2012-03-14 22:21

    "This policy shift would focus on social and economic change in the next three to five decades." OMG. All this "transformation" mumbo jumbo is set to continue for another 30 to 50 years?! OMG.

      Tony - 2012-03-14 22:29

      With all the transformers in government Zumas should change his name to Optimis Prime....

      Geronimo - 2012-03-15 00:30

      @Sydney, yes... look at the rest of Africa... *despair*

      schalk.mattheys - 2012-03-15 09:54

      @ Sydney, You are absolutely right...when what you think "the real economic transformation begins" everyone, especially the majority poor population groups will feel it. And for this statement you can offer the pathetic justification that "this is africa we have our ways of doing things ... lol" REALLY? I'm sorry bru, you and your african ways of doing things suck. If you can laugh at people struggling in poverty and dying of hunger as is happening all over Africa because of "the way you do things in africa" you obviously don’t understand the future you think you know is coming...

  • Tony - 2012-03-14 22:27

    Stooped is as stooped does.... Shop stoopids wouldn't get it ....... Especially those from numb SA!

  • Ian - 2012-03-14 22:35

    just 1 problem dumb twit union, your association of national clowns needs a 2/3 majority and judging by the last muncipal election you losing more and the DA gained more so BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

  • ThandaMzansi - 2012-03-14 22:45

    Is anyone else getting the feeling that we bought back our reputation by selling our souls to the devil? If the ANC has free reign to do as they please (without a two thirds majority as legally required) then heaven help us all.

      Mantsho - 2012-03-15 00:01

      A lots of people dont realize the danger we are facing. the quetion is will the people of SA do something when they finally open their eyes.

  • Ronald - 2012-03-14 22:51

    In the UK, when a person has to go for counselling because of some or the other anti-social behaviour, be it a criminal offence, a drug or alcohol problem, nervous breakdown, gangsterism, etc, one of the main questions asked is "Who or what can you blame for your situation?". The matter of taking responsibility for your actions does not appear in the therapy regimen at all. This is a fact as a family member practised there as a psychologist but gave up because of the warped system. The UK people are taught to always find the fault with someone or somewhere else. In SA we seem to have this mindset down pat without any assistance from government. The whites are asked, threatened and forced by legislation to admit to every and all culpability during and for apartheid, but the present government and their supporters refuse to do the same with present events and situations under their control, going the spineless route, blaming apartheid and colonialism. While people live in denial of the past or the present, they deny themselves the freedoms they so actively preach about. This goes for the past as well as the present governments and their supporters. The changing of the Constitution cannot rectify the attitudes, culture, inadequacies, lack of drive and ambition or deficiencies of people.

  • Lacrimose - 2012-03-14 22:53

    If needs be? What are the needs? The Constitution is not needy, many of the people entrusted with the fulfillment of it are. From another, related article "the Planning commission wants.... “a capable state” while the ANC wants a “developmental state”. Ergo, altering the constitution signifies an admission that the ANC is not capable of fulfilling the terms of the constitution. One they drafted and signed and swore to uphold and protect. Yesterday ANC were whining that COSATU 'signed' (related to the toll-road fiasco) and so by inference must toe the line. Bottom line - do a better job, find a better way. Don't meddle with what you agreed to (and don't point fingers at others for dong the same). You've reneged on so much in the last 18yrs, any attempts to salvage your reputation must come from within. Not re-writing the contract you entered into with the citizens. Many of whom sacrificed 4/5 generations based on your promises. Stand and DELIVER.

  • Bertus Pretorius - 2012-03-14 22:54

    Yes Numsa, because the ANC is doing such a wonderful job at running a country with the most influential and international respected constitution. How's BBBBEEEE working for you, while little Zuma and little Mandela live the lives of sultans? Are you happy that our most basic, core rights (already given in the constitution) can not be met, due to maladministration and corruption? \r\n\r\nWake up, it's not our constitution that's keeping SA a third world...

  • Terrence.dejager - 2012-03-14 22:58

    Smoke and mirrors. This is an attempt to deflect blame, our constitution is sound. All of the issues we face are as a result of mismanagement by the government as evidenced by every report generated by both government, parastatal and private organisations.

  • Cracker - 2012-03-14 23:12

    The ideas ostensibly relied on for changes to the Constitution have all been tried out before. They failed and led to worse injustices and inequalities but in the sense that the number of poor increased. Watch for example what is taking place in Venezuela right now. Another basket case taking shape there. What exactly is it that the Constitution must be changed for? We should all think it through carefully. Changing the Constitution to put the fat cats who have already profited handsomely due to their positions and have FAILED the poor, makes no sense. The poor and unemployed will gain NOTHING. As for the situation of squatters around the cities, the land they occupy belongs to the government and local authorities. Changing the Constitution will make no difference except that if ownership and private initiative is negatively affected it will only add to the misery. Changing the Constitution will not create ONE single extra job or provide water and sanitation to the so-called landless and poor. (I and 99% of the population also happen to be landless except for our relatively tiny little urban demarcations with a dwelling on it. Much like the squatters but luckily more comfortable with title deed. How will amending the Constitution change it?) A lot of nonsense is being fed into the minds of people who unfortunately are not as privileged like many of us to read these forums for alternative information and views. The trade unions will never create productive jobs. FACT!!!

      Cracker - 2012-03-14 23:16

      Correction: Changing the Constitution to put in control and reward the fat cats who have already profited handsomely due to their positions and have FAILED the poor, makes no sense. The poor and unemployed will gain NOTHING.

  • Blessed Ndlovu Maratuza - 2012-03-14 23:14

    As long as this process of changing or revisiting the constitution will involve everyone, then let it be so... Why is everyone fussing about it..?

      Tony - 2012-03-15 06:10

      Apartheid involved everyone, what was all the fuss about?

      schalk.mattheys - 2012-03-15 10:02

      Blessed, my bru, my brah, do you actually know what the constitution is and what it stands for?

  • Raul - 2012-03-14 23:25

    BULL ... Bunch of Morons! It is not the Constitution that is incapable it is the ANC/governement that has shown ineptitude, incapacity and inefficiency in implementing. We live in a country with Swedish type of laws with Somalian implementation. Remember the Grootboom matter? In 2000 the Constitutional Court made a judgement that the state's housing system did not cater for the underprevileged and for those ones with most urgent need-THE HOMELESS. THE GOVERNEMENT FAILED TO IMPLEMENT AND to FOLLOW THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT JUDGEMENT.IN SPITE OF THE JUDGEMENT, THE Governement failed to provide Irene Grootboom with a house. She died peniless and without achieving her dream.After 18 years,the government is proving incapable and incompetente. There are many other Constitutional Courts Judgements on socio-economic matters where the government failed to follow the court order. The plan to evaluate the transformative impact of the Constitutional Court judgements IS ANOTHER gimick and a window dressing invented by the ANC to gain control and an attempt to manipulate the Constitution.

  • theo.prinse - 2012-03-14 23:59

    This proposal of the communists is either getting silly or becoming to have large analogy with Critical Race Theory of Derrick Bell.

  • mknnko003 - 2012-03-15 02:20

    The Government Fails the the Constitution gets to be a scapegoat?

  • Gemma-Leigh Evans - 2012-03-15 05:24

    Woah!! I'm sorry, but I DO NOT approve of someone who doesn't even have a Matric or any valued form of education signing off on my, and anyone else's, constitutional rights!!! I only have a Matric, for instance, and I certainly don't feel that would even qualify me to make changes of that magnitude!! All this is, if you ask me, is a means to point the finger at anything but themselves and if they were to so-called ammend it, I'm quite sure it would transform our government into a dictatorship!! Every individual in this country needs to be heard on a proposal of this magnitude!

  • Jacques Jacobs - 2012-03-15 06:46

    We don't fear the 'black' government, we fear the incompetent, corrupt, CAPITALIST government that we have now...

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-03-15 07:09

    The ANC is a criminal mafia, who should not be allowed near any government or constitution. How else could they be described after it became clear that juts last year they stole or corrupted more than R20billion? If you vote for them, you become part of that criminality. Is that what you want to be?

  • William - 2012-03-15 08:37

    White Monopoly Capital (WMC) sounds more and more like Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)that the Bush Administration used to justify their illegal war in Iraq. Bottom line, neither of those exist. This whole political situation in SA is just one massive joke. Ag shame man!

  • ludlowdj - 2012-03-15 11:47

    NUMSA another communist money making racket, who's opinion is neither wanted or needed, any tampering with the constitution is little more than the ANC preparing to pull an uncle Bob on the country.

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