'We have got to change' - Sisulu stands by comments on Constitution, judiciary

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Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. (Photo: Gallo Images/Frennie Shivambu)
Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. (Photo: Gallo Images/Frennie Shivambu)
  • Lindiwe Sisulu came out in defence of her article which takes a controversial view on the Constitution and the country's judiciary.
  • Sisulu says she stands by the article. 
  • Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele says the government disagrees with Sisulu's comments and distances itself from them. 

Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says she stands by her comments penned in a controversial opinion piece in which she attacks the country’s Constitution and judiciary. 

In her article published on IOL last week, she reflects on injustices suffered by South Africans during colonialism and apartheid. 

Sisulu also launches a scathing attack on the Constitution and the judiciary. 

She questions how poverty could still exist under a Constitution admired around the world, and asks whether the country needs to overhaul its justice system. 

Sisulu told News24 this week that she stood by her statements, adding that she would comment further on the matter later.  

"That which is in the article, I stand by it. We have got to change. What is the point of self-correction if you cannot look back and say, we have done this wrong, and we can do it better? That article was sensationalised. We have got to change."

READ | 'Recklessness of highest order': Presidency 'strongly distances' itself from Sisulu's comments

As the backlash surrounding her statements grows, questions have been raised about why Sisulu, a government minister since 1994, has not herself brought about the changes she is seeking.  

She defended herself, claiming she had brought about a change in every government department she had been tasked to lead. 

"They have not listened to me before, have they? I have been in government before, and every time I have been in government, I have changed each department, precisely because I have a mission. I am not here just as a member of the ANC, and I have suffered."

Government distances itself

On Wednesday, Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele told News24 that Sisulu’s statements were not an accurate representation of what the Constitution stood for. 

"She misrepresents it in the sense that she projects it as a useless tool which is not responsive to the historical problems that were caused by apartheid in this country. The second thing is that she creates an impression that this Constitution was forced on South Africans. She negates all the processes that took place before this Constitution was adopted," he said. 

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