The Constitutional Court reason why you must register and vote in the 2016 Local Government Elections

2016-04-01 15:12

In all my 34 years in practice I felt so proud to be a lawyer  and reflecting on yesterday's Constitutional Court judgment I saw it as a watershed moment for the independence of the judiciary and the power of our constitution.

Since the seminal judgment abolishing the death penalty I trawled through the case law  after case law since 1996 but found nothing like the last one (let's call it the " Nkandla judgment ")  which was handed down at one of the dramatic and critical juncture  in our constitutional democracy's history. The message was clear.President Zuma and Parliament had failed in their constitutional obligations..

If I have to learn any lesson from that judgment it is this.We  have the will to change things through legal  means if we have resolute and determined people to doggedly pursue the matter.

Yes, we can, through the Constituion, bring down those who are violating the constitution and if you study the temper of the language used by Chief Justice speaking for a unanimous as opposed to a divided court you'd understand and have faith in our constitutional democracy.It was two minority parties that  doggedly pursued their quarry and took on the might and the arrogance of goliath.

One positive spin-off is the Rand reaching levels to R14-60 to the US$. NaySayers say it was a hollow victory.I don't agree.Granted that market forces react to a different beat but the fact cannot be discounted.

Then came this morning's announcement that Parliament dominated by the ANC will enforce the judgment is encouraging.In what Alec Hogg describes a 'short and punchy" statement it notes the party “respects the judgement which once again reaffirms our full confidence in the judiciary,” and that the ANC understand its “serious nature.”.

This is encouraging that we can bring down the kleptocrats and the corrupt and the inept  in  token positions of leadership.

So comes the 9-10 April 2016 ensure you are registered to vote and yes, when the time comes, vote for change.

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