South Africa’s Freedom — The Bill of Rights — ten years on…and nothing but rules.


ITS BEEN ten years since the enactment of our Bill of Rights enshrining freedoms such as speech, political association and the right to think, but sadly, little is being done to celebrate South Africa’s crowning achievement. Political parties hate the constitution, judges claim more than their fair share of freedom, and ordinary citizens are left shackled to new laws that erode fundemental rights, like the right to privacy and dissent.

Is South Africa a nation that is free in word only? Are we slaves to parliament and career politicians that have done absolutely nothing to protect civil liberties? In another ten years, we won’t even remember that we had freedom, and in twenty rights will be quaint artifacts, polite nick nacks that we like to keep around to remember the days when we fought for human rights and believed in democracy.

Come on bloggers, I expected a lot more than blank verse and emoticons that wink but never say anything important.

Anybody out there remember Cyril Ramaphosa? The historical legislature and assembly that brought the world’s second national constititution to include “We the People…”

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3 comments

  1. wwatcher

    At the same time the middle class, the ones that need to revolt and uphold the freedom, became rich and thus became dupes of the system.

    And bloggers? They are ego-driven and small minded.

  2. nik

    The real thing that should concern us along with our emoticons [sic]and blank verse is that the constitution is ten years old this week and is in the process of receiving its 14th amendment. If i’m correct the USA constitution, never regarded with the same fanfare as ours was ten years back…Ra Ra “best ever written”… has been amended around 27 times in two hundred years.

    One senses that many of the things we enthusied about a decade ago have been diluted watered down and generally cramped and when one adds the battery of restrictive and intrusive legislation that has poured into our system over the past few years…new Terrorism act, the Convergence Bill, the FICA legislation, the interception of communications bill et al, et al… not to mention racially restrictive legislation then our rejoicing over the Constitution could well be phyrric.

  3. davidrobertlewis

    The consensus down here is that South African’s have lost the plot because of Zuma, Aids, and Nepad. We need to refocus ourselves on basic human rights, otherwise we’re just another third-rate country that can’t even spell F R E E D O M. Whatever happened to “we the people”? Looking at the resurgence of the religious right, the “Ja-baas” mentality and the terrible legislation you mention, I doubt if we’ll ever enjoy the same level of freedom that produced the Bill of Rights in the first place.

    BTW Rights are rights, not priveliges that can be taken away.

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