Nuclear ruling shows people power does work

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File photo of anti-nuclear protesters outside the Western Cape High Court. (Pic: Matthew le Cordeur, Fin24)
File photo of anti-nuclear protesters outside the Western Cape High Court. (Pic: Matthew le Cordeur, Fin24)

THANK you, Judge Lee Bosalek. For now, anyway, we celebrate your judgment, the decision that shelves the nuclear deal. I have no doubt (since so much is riding on it) that we will face a huge blowback from the people currently occupying positions of power, but for now, well, champagne is in order.

I think perhaps two vitally important things stand out about this decision. And they’re not about the fact that this decision resolves all the much-disputed issues around nuclear versus renewables. Because, of course, it doesn’t even begin to. No, they’re about living in a real democracy.

One: no decision of such enormous consequence to the people of South Africa should ever have been taken in the absence of a public consultation process. And it should never happen again. Nothing about us without us. This should go without saying. This is the spirit of the democracy that was so hard won. Few of us who queued all day to vote on April 27 1994 would have envisaged a time when our new government would plunge us into semi-eternal debt in this way.

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