When somebody expresses unpopular, shockingly bigoted or other incendiary views on social media or elsewhere and the inevitable backlash follows, there are always people who caution that the resultant outcry threatens the freedom of expression of the wrongdoer. The same thing happened after Helen Zille tweeted about her admiration for aspects of colonialism. The problem is that this argument is based on a rather crude and uninformed view of the nature of free speech in a democracy.

I was not going to write about Helen Zille’s tweets in which she argued that colonialism was not only negative because it brought South Africa health care, piped water, roads and an independent judiciary. (Zille might not have been aware that it was only after the end of colonialism and with the advent of democracy that a fully independent judiciary was established in South Africa.) (more…)


Quote of the week

The judgments are replete with the findings of dishonesty and mala fides against Major General Ntlemeza. These were judicial pronouncements. They therefore constitute direct evidence that Major General Ntlemeza lacks the requisite honesty, integrity and conscientiousness to occupy the position of any public office, not to mention an office as more important as that of the National Head of the DPCI, where independence, honesty and integrity are paramount to qualities. Currently no appeal lies against the findings of dishonesty and impropriety made by the Court in the judgments. Accordingly, such serious findings of fact in relation to Major General Ntlemeza, which go directly to Major General Ntlemeza’s trustworthiness, his honesty and integrity, are definitive. Until such findings are appealed against successfully they shall remain as a lapidary against Lieutenant General Ntlemeza.

Mabuse J
Helen Suzman Foundation and Another v Minister of Police and Others
2015 Constitutionally Speaking | website created by Idea in a Forest