Constitutional Hill

About

This Blog is written and managed by Pierre de Vos, Claude Leon Foundation Chair in Constitutional Governance at the University of Cape Town. It deals with social and political aspects of South African society – mostly from a constitutional perspective.

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  • http://ConstitutionallySpeaking riyaaz ismail

    Professor

    What is your take on the public hearings into the Wal-mart/Massmart merger held by the Portfolio Committee on Economic Development?
    Taking note that SA signed the WTO trade agreements making it seemless for a foreign entity to trade/acquire business here in South Africa.

    At what point does law ,policy and national interest meet?
    Is our soul for sale?

  • Russell Hosking

    At what point in time, it’s now been seventeen year’s of democracy, will the ANCYL stop blaming all the wrong that goes on in our country on “white racists”?

    If Malema’s dealings are all legit and above board, why doesn’t he just disclose evidence thereof and prove the media wrong?

    Russell.

  • Andrew Buttress

    I would like to convey a simple legal fact to the 10 honourable justices who delivered judgment on the above matter on 29 July 2011.

    I read the above judgment regarding the extension of the Chief Justice’s term. The judgment reiterated my own private view all along. However it failed to mention the most simple obvious thing – the term Chief Justice in section 176(1) of the Constitution and the term Chief Justice in terms of Section 8(a) in the Judges‟ Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act 88 of 1989 is not one and the same legal appointment. The Act was passed under the 1984 Constitution and the ‘Chief Justice’ referred to in the Act is the Chief Justice of the old Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of Appeal. This position is now called the President of the SCA. When the 1993 Constitution was enacted the current Chief Justice was known as the President of the Constitutional Court. At some point in the last 17 years the terms were exchanged. The President of the Constitutional Court became Chief Justice and the Chief Justice became the President of the SCA.

    So, in order to dispose of the argument all that needed to be show was that Sec 8(a) of the Act was wholly inapplicable to extending the term of the Chief Justice in the first place. It can be used only by the president to extend the term of the President of the SCA.

    To whom should I convey this point of view? I am absolutely flabbergasted that 19 advocates of the High Court of South Africa, including nine Senior Counsel, appear to have missed this very important point. Section 8(a) may not be unconstitutional if the president uses it to extend the term of the President of the Supreme Court of Appeal. To make it short: The President was in the wrong court!

  • Gerald

    The 2001 Act replaced the 1989 Act. this is dispositive of your point. Section 7 of the 2001 Act provides for Performance of service by Constitutional Court judges and judges discharged from active service and it is that Act, in particular section Section 8 ((a) of the 2001 Act which was, rightly so, declared unconstitutional .

  • http://constitutionallyspeaking.co.za/where-are-you-going-to-stand-my-fellow-white-south-africans/ Andre Rossouw

    One question for you Mr de Vos, who are benefiting the most from apartheid, me, or say for instance Mr Julius Malema? Don’t you think he is benefiting from apartheid?

  • werner

    Mr de Vos. I beleive that most white folks would gladly agree to the tax if they thought it would make a difference. I won’t. It will also be squandered like countless bllions before it.

  • Mogamad

    Prof De Vos. i’m of the opinion that although most white people would think that the tax ‘issue’ would not make a difference, are speaking from an advantage point, thus forgetting the injustices of the past that are still being felt by the vast majority of the previously disadvantaged. i agree that perhaps it would not really make a substantial difference but it is at least an attempt to assist in realizing the true vision of the constitution which is an equal society. Perhaps this vision of an equal society may be an unobtainable one, but once we have the stopped venturing on this metaphorical bridge then the battle would be lost. it’s an historical fact that apartheid created a disparity between whites ad non-whites in which white people did in fact benefit greatly, the fruits of which are still very much present in society. i think that imposition of taxation is just an attempt to address this. the real question is whether the outcome of it would be a positive one for society as a whole regardless of race. the reality is that, yes billions do get squandered but the real injustice would be to stop investing in the poor and if this taxation would assist in addressing this issue, then i don’t think it would be a completely useless idea.

  • http://constitutionallyspeaking.co.za/where-are-you-going-to-stand-my-fellow-white-south-africans/ Andre Rossouw

    @Mogamad
    You speak of billions as if it is small change. Wake up, it would be much better to make work of corruption so that that money can be used for the schools and hospitals. We should build a nation that is healthy and educated, but that is clearly not the priority of government. The fact is, it does not help to throw money at a problem if the money is not used wisely. Why always take money from the whites because it will only be used to enrich the already rich government officials.
    Have you ever thought of this: What good has black empowerment done to this country? What does black empowerment help if one person can be director of multiple companies? Doesn’t only he/she benefit from from this? Wouldn’t it be better for a black individual to only be deemed a black empowered employee for one company? That would give at least more blacks to take advantage of this, not that it really helps, because the poor are still poor, and only that individual is getting advantage of BEEE(Don’t know how many E’s is needed)

    You can take all the money in the world and it will help nothing if it is not used wisely. I would gladly pay more tax if it will be used for what it was intended for. But that is not the case, which makes the gap between the rich and the poor even greater.

    Our country is getting overpopulated because the more kids you have, the mre grants you get, and they kids still suffer because the parents don’t know how to use the money. There should be a limit on it, for instance, only give grants if they have kids after 21 years of age, and also only get grants for the first two kids.

    People should also be taught that if you don’t work, someone else will get your job, and you are not just there because of your skin colour. There is an attitude that they cannot be fired because of their skin colour, so they are just there, meaning absolutely nothing to the company apart from getting contracts because they have the right colour. Oh yes, and paying that employee a salary that they never have to work for.

    Am I a racist for giving money to the black jobless person at the corner of the street because government cannot commit to their promises?

  • Ebie

    I agree with Emiritus Desmond Tutu’s statement that white wealth taxes should be applied. i base my argument on 2 premises. firstly everyone acknowledges that the TRC was a failure in general, and secondly that the ANC ceded too much ground during the negotiation period. therefore, in oder to give our country redistributive justice and to attain true substantive equaity these taxes should be implemented. Its is axiomatic by now that ‘whites’ were the only beneficiaries of apatheid and non-whites received no benefit and were in fact discriminated on drastically, through measues such as taking of land away through the Group Areas Act. I do not propose however that all white people be taxed, only those in for e.g. the bracket earning a 1million plus p.a. I believe that only whites should be taxed because they were the sole benefiaries of apartheid, therefore non-whites who are substantially rich should not be taxed because they took what liitle opputunity they had and made the most of it. furthermore this will assist in the transformation of society and the redistribution of resources, as non-whites will realise that white people accept that they benefited unfairly in the past, not just by words but by actions. i.e paying taxes. if people are worried that these funds will for e.g ended up in private politicians trust funds, I suggest that a separate account be setup specifically for what I would like to call ‘redistributive taxes’ with the Human Rights Commission for for instance. I believe these funds should be distributed to the most poor individuals first, an ombudsman could even be appointed to faciltate and oversee this process so that corruption can be ruled out. Futhermore I believe this should not be a once off tax, because apartheid was not a ‘once off crime’. according to the TRC apartheid lasted for about 40years therefore these taxes should be implemented for at least 40years though this will not solve the phsychological effects of apartheid it will allow very urgently needed funds to be diverted from whites would attained these funds illegaly through draconian aprtheid laws to non-whites who were robbed in the past. White people are ignorant to the fact that they have received the best oppurtunities over generations, for e.g. @ UCT most students especially in the law faculty are white yet they complain of the higher requirements they need to get it they do not take cognisance of the fact that many non-whites come from disadvanted schools and struggle to cope with varsity life whereas whites receive firts class education from private schools and are therefore more likely to succeed with their studies.

  • http://constitutionallyspeaking.co.za/where-are-you-going-to-stand-my-fellow-white-south-africans/ Andre Rossouw

    @Ebie
    You are just another person that thinks throwing money at a problem will resolve it. EDUCATION IS NEEDED. But since that cannot just be taken from someone, the next best thing is take their money. And who is going to appoint that ‘anti-corrupt’ ombudsman? The same person that appointed our previous police commissioner?
    I am acknowledging the fact that whites took advantage of apartheid, and I am against apartheid. But the country needs to be built from the ground up, and not from the top down.

  • Mogamad

    @Andre

    you speak very wisely of very important issues. However you make as if all the governement officials are corrupt and are squandering the money. can you definitively say that the billions of money invested by government into education for exmaple is being squandered? on what basis are you speaking? where is your evidence for this? true it is an issue that billions upon billions are going missing and perhaps into the pockets of politicians but it still does not address the issues of the past.

    Plans must be put in place which could address the issue of corruption, yes! but does this mean that we should all stop paying taxes until the corruption ends? it is a known fact throughout history that power corrupts. However does this mean that the rest of the population should stop investing in possibilities which could help the major issue of poverty which this beautiful country of ours faces?

    i state not that we should overlook the fact that corruption is the reason why the poor are getting poorer. i only put forward the idea that there are ways in which this country could actively address the inequalities of the past and perhaps this imposition of taxation would assist this very issue that stares us in the face everytime we drive past the airport.

    its an issue which is greater than corruption. if we make corruption as the focal point in our efforts to provide resources to assist the impoveridged then ofcourse we are going to see the need to stop the flow of these resources.

    perhaps what should take place is that the money which is obtained through this kind of taxation should be filtered into NGO’s which assist the poor on a more practical level. Auditors should be employed to ensure that the money is being used efficiently.

    the basis of my counter argument is that we as a nation are finding so many reasons as to how not to do our part in society but few reasons as to how to actively assist the less fortunate. i do not state that it is remotely acceptable for the governement to keep doing what they doing the way they doing it, but i state that we as citizens of South africa should actively participate in anything that would: 1) provide for poor and 2) voice our satisfaction on how the country is being run e.g as to the issue on resource management.

    in summary i wish to express that your concerns are not misguided and that you do in fact raise issues which are completely relevant. However should white people base there concerns on a premise that is not always true? if this idea on taxation is okayed in legislation to follow, can you really say what will be done with the resources before it is being given? to my mind it does not make sense to express concerns as a cover up to say ‘well, we would gladly give this form of taxation a chance, but we not really into it because we think that the government will possibly squander the money’, should we base the realisation of an opportunity to correct the wrong of apartheid on a ‘if’ or ‘but’…

    also i do wish to express that although it may seem that i am pro-government or what have you. i am in fact not, all i am saying is that the injustices of the past obliges us to take steps in efforts to address these issues in a positive manner and the idea of imposing taxes on the ‘white elites’ should not be a conditional idea. it is an idea which should seriously be considered, analysed and formalised into an exceptable, fair and practical realisation, of which the fruits must be known to the ones who are providing it. the Governement must provide and promulgate accurate records on the use of the resources and if they do not then we should vote them out.

  • Paul

    Congratulations on just becoming the most hated (except for Julius Malema) man under the Caucasian population in South Africa. For what reason on earth should the Caucasian youth; anyone who couldn’t vote until 1994, have to pay such a tax? South Africa never did anything for the Caucasian youth, except rob it of opportunity. You are a very lost and confused man Vossie

  • Ebie

    @Paul. The reason whites of this generation should pay tax is to correct the errors that previous generations of whites have made. Paying tax is trivial compared to the suffering my family and millions others like us suffered during apartheid. What was the reason for us suffering? Do you still believe whites are superior to non-whites? Should we just forget about the past, and the countless ramifications that are still present today. That is injustice, already no 1 was tried for apartheid crimes. It is clear that you do not understand the advantages you once privleged whites got and are still getting, why is economic wealth still concentrated in the white minority. You want to cry to give a minute proportion of you wealth off when you gained millions during apartheid. How do you propose we form a truly egalitarian society in the aftermath of apartheid? Look @ UCT for example why are whites still dominant on campus even though they are the minority of the population?

  • M Pearlestein

    @ Ebie,

    You could ask the same question about Jewish and Chinese students being a majority in many US universities. What you overlook is human genetic diversity. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v461/n7265/box/461726a_BX1.html

    Very simply, you have quite different selection pressures in year round tropical agricultural societies where the men can do less work select for more ‘big man traits’. As UC Davis economist Greg Clark has pointed out, state control, intensive agriculture lead to selection for to traits which were beneficial for the accrual of wealth (e.g., for intelligence, self-discipline, delayal of gratification, etc.) would have become more prevalent over time.

    Books like Clark’s ‘A Farewell to Alm’s’ and ‘The 10,000 Year Explosion’ discuss this in greater detail and integrate recent genomics research.

    http://www.econ.ucdavis.edu/faculty/gclark/a_farewell_to_alms.html

  • M Pearlestein

    @ Ebie,

    Again, in relation to why some minority groups are overrepresented, see Cochran & Harpending’s paper discussed here by Steven Pinker. Also, look up some research by Linda Gottfredson on education and group representation.

    http://pinker.wjh.harvard.edu/articles/media/2006_06_17_thenewrepublic.html

  • Mogamad

    @ Pearlestein

    why are you bombarding Ebie with information when clealry you are using it as a scape goat to the issues that he has raised. i might be expressing a little bit of bias, but to me it seems as if you taking the easy way out by stating that “well there are other institutions which present us with the same kind of demographics as UCT does”. i support the notion that the fact UCT is still very much ‘white’ mirrors the injustices of the past.

    The values of substantive equality is very much enshrined in the constitution.
    look at the preamble, it states very clearly that ‘we recognise the injustices of the past and honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land’. therefore if we look at how apartheid has affected a large majority of the ‘non-white’ population, then surely it should be clear as day that there has to be a positive duty to address the past injustices in the words of Sandra fredman. it is unfortunate that you overlook the very fact that you have indeed benefitted from apartheid.

    i wish to express that throwing a whole lot of books to cover up the truth is not doing anything. we need to do two things: (1) recognise that the ‘non-white’ majority have been wounded by apartheid and we as the generation of ‘free borns’ are still feeling the effects thereof and (2) positive action should be inacted to adress this. we will never ever reach a point in time where we all equal because equality does not really exist in its purest form, but once we stop recognising and addressing inequality then we are turning our backs on history which continues to shape the society we live in.

  • DAWN CORIN

    I first went onto your blog as I was irritated at your comments re taxing whites, as well as the fact that as a mother of a white student trying to get into UCT, I found the racial bias unfair – especially in light of the fact that you do not query as to WHERE the learner attended school – just what colour the student is. Therefore, two learners both attending a high fee paying government school – one white, one black – to get into engineering, the white would have to attain a pass rate of 80% for maths and 80% for science. The black student (attending the same school) would have to get 60% for maths and 60% for science. You would, therefore, prefer to take an underchieving black than an achieving white, even though both of them have had EXACTLY the same education. It does not make sense to me. However, having read your articles I find them extraordinarily enlightening and much as I do not agree with all your views – I do think that your articles are extremely well researched and that you are a voice of reason and look forward to reading your daily blog – every day!

  • anti_non_siquitur

    You are a very wise and open minded man Professor. Your inputs are enlightening. I think when God judges us after armageddon he will use people like you in His prosecution team. Every articel you pen is written from a clear vantage position not some damp, misty crany that some of your opponents are blabbering from. Ignore them…. I am sure you dont mind the title of being “THE MOST HATED CAUCASIAN IN THE COUNTRY” lol….

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  • Peter

    Blacks should compensate Whites for giving them South Africa ??
    Emeritus Arch Bishop of Cape Town is at it again and in the news for asking whites to pay a reparation tax or wealth tax because they all apparently benefitted from Apartheid.
    Along came his cheerleading constitutional expert and praise singer Piere de Vos from UCT and said, “The problem is, of course, that some white people – out of shame or ignorance or maybe a bit of both – do not want to admit that white South Africans almost all benefited from apartheid vis-�-vis black South Africans.”
    As I have proved in Opening Pandora’s Apartheid Box.everyone in South Africa benefitted form Apartheid, Black and White. Blacks had the highest literary standards and the highest life standard of all the blacks in Africa.
    Self hating liberal idiot, De Vos reckons, “If I had been born black and poor, I almost certainly would not have gone to University and I would almost certainly never have been a Law Professor at UCT (University of Cape Town), earning quite a nice salary, thank you.”
    I love the way he chooses his words. “Almost All”.”Almost Certainly”.As always both De Vos and The Arch fails to explain how it was at all possible for Tutu to study and become a teacher just like his father was. They also fail to explain how Nelson Mandela and countless other blacks
    managed to become lawyers during Apartheid South Africa a lawyer just like De Vos.
    They further failed to explain how the Apartheid government built ten Universities for blacks including Medunsa which is a unique medical university that turned out 200 highly qualified black doctors every year all at state costs, paid for by the white taxpayers. It also trained paramedics and nurses.
    Since 1970 the budget for black education was raised by about 30% per year every year. More than any other government department.
    In the period 1955 -1984 the amount of black school students increased 31 times from 35,000 to 1,096 000.
    65% of black South African children were at school compared to Egypt 64%, Nigeria 57%, Ghana 52%, Tanzania 50% and Ethiopia 29%.
    Amongst the adults of South Africa, 71% could read and write (80% between the ages 12 and 22). Compare this to Kenya 47%, Egypt 38%, Nigeria 34% and Mozambique at 26%.
    In South Africa, the whites built 15 new classrooms for blacks every working day, every year. At 40 children per class it meant space for an additional 600 black students every day.
    In 1985 there were 42,000 Blacks at 5 universities in South Africa, about the same amount at the universities of the homelands.
    In an article called “Die Afrikaner” 11 Feb 1987, the quarterly magazine called “Vox Africana Nr 29 4/87 stated that South Africa had 4,8 million whites and 18,2 million blacks in 1987. The
    whites paid 77% of the taxes and the blacks only 15%…despite this…56% of
    the government budget was spent on blacks.
    During the time of Dr. Verwoerd, the living standards of Blacks were rising at 5,4% per year against that of the whites at 3,9% per year. In 1965 the economic growth of South Africa was the second highest in the world at 7,9%. The rate of inflation was a mere 2% per annum and the prime interest rate only 3% per annum. Domestic savings were so great that South Africa needed no foreign loans for normal economic expansion.
    Even Lord Deedes admitted, “White South Africa grew to become the economic giant of the continent, the other members of the Commonwealth virtually sank into poverty.”
    At the hight of Apartheid in 1978 Soweto had 115 football fields, 3 Rugby fields, 4 athletic tracks, 11 Cricket fields, 2 Golf courses, 47 Tennis courts, 7 swimming pools built to Olympic standards, 5 Bowling alleys, 81 Netball fields, 39 children play parks, and countless civic halls, movie houses and clubhouses.
    In addition to this, Soweto had 300 churches, 365 schools, 2 Technical Colleges, 8 clinics, 63 child day care centres, 11 Post Offices, and its own fruit and vegetable market.
    There were 2300 registered companies that belonged to black businessmen, about 1000 private taxi companies. 3% of the 50,000 vehicle owners in 1978 were Mercedes Benz owners. Soweto alone had more cars, taxis, schools, churches and sport facilities than most independent countries in Africa. The Blacks of South Africa had more private vehicles than the entire white
    population of the USSR at the time.
    Today Soweto has modern shopping malls like, Dobsonville Shopping Centre. In 2005 the Protea Gardens Mall opened. This was followed by the Baramall Shopping Centre and the Jabulani Shopping complex and the Maponya Mall. Experts say that Soweto has as much as 25% oversupply of retail space.
    The Canadian Medical Doctor, Dr Kenneth Walker wrote about Soweto, (I freely translate from “Verrat an S�dafrika”, Klaus Vaque, 1987,pg 41): “In Soweto I saw many homes that costs about $100,000 (1978) and that had a BMW in the driveway. All houses are single storey. Many are recently painted. Many had flowerpots in the windows and lawn in the front. Only 2% were shacks. If I had the choice to live in Soweto or in the apartment dwellings or “Projects” of New York, Chicago, or Detroit where there is so much crime, then I would not hesitate for one moment and choose Soweto.”
    The biggest hospital in the world, Baragwanath with 3200 beds and at its peak almost 8000 staff had 23 operation theatres fitted out with the most modern medical equipment that existed in the world. Blacks were treated here, operated on…at full state costs to the white-taxpayers for unlimited periods. The budget of this hospital was and is higher than the yearly budget of most small member states of the United Nations.
    Next door to Baragwanath is the St. John’s Eye Clinic. The clinic is world famous for the treatment of Glaucoma, Cataracts, traumatic eye injuries and rare tropical diseases. All built and maintained by white taxpayer’s money for blacks.
    Baragwanath in 1978 employed 450 medical doctors in full-time service. It treated 112 000 in-patients and 1.62 million out-patients per year. The children and infant death rate with 34.8 per 1000 was lower than Harlem in New York.
    In 1982 alone, this hospital performed 898 heart operations of world quality.
    Ironically…90% of the blood donors for this hospital were whites, who donated blood free of charge, totally voluntarily…to save black lives. (Quoted from The Citizen, 2 April 1987).
    Whites have already given blacks their blood. What more do they want?
    De Vos calls for a “ones off reconstruction tax”..did he forget that 20,000 “Victims of Apartheid” were compensated R30,000 each back in the days of the TRC?
    Personally I think that Prof Pierre De Vos and Bishop Tutu should go get an education about the truth about Apartheid. They can start by reading my Pandora Series.
    Whites have given blacks the entire country for free. In fact, there is nothing more to give. Today blacks are destroying all the infrastructure that we paid for and built. Then still has the audacity to tell whites they should leave.
    What I want to know is who are going to compensate whites for all the schools, hospitals, dams, airports, harbours, railroads, etc that they have built? It is high time for blacks to start paying whites. Nothing is for free.
    Bishop Tutu and De Vos can start by selling their mansions and BMW’s and
    give it to the poor white fund of Solidarity “Helpende Hand”.

  • Xhasikhaya Tyokwana

    I recently requested results of previous tender from South African Airways procurement office .I had asked them to cover the following variables in their response (The name of the companies that won the bids ,the price at which the companies won the tenders, as well as procurement points the comanies scored ).Initially, The procurement personel at SAA said it was against thheir policy to reveal such information .I then chalenged them citing the promotion of access to information act .Only then ,they refered my request to their legal department ,which sent me Promotion Of Access To Information Form .
    I then filled the form citing the reasons for me to want the information was for educational and research purpose .
    SAA’s response was ,it was against their policy to reveal the information .
    I still question the constitutionality of such policies ,if state owned enterprises have polices that block transparency .Policies like these are anti competitive ,in market place ,variables such as price are everything .
    I have all the exchanges I had with SAA’s personnel which I am more than willing to forward .I would ask for your legal advise on this matter

  • Stochos

    Dear Professor

    My issues here are noise pollution vs Freedom of Religion and would like your thoughts on this matter with regards to our constitution.

    What are the constitutional limitations to the Freedom of Religion?

    Can a mosque (or any other church) use amplified loudspeakers and cause a disturbance to the residents surrounding the mosque?

  • http://ConstitutionallySpeaking Riyaaz Ismail

    Stochos,i do realise that your concern was addressed to the good Professor,but allow me to respond.
    Every right has a reciprocal obligation,and no or very few(i think)rights are absolute.
    In other words a right can be curtailed,so if in the daily functioning of a particular religion where it uses a public address system to conduct its activity,then a duty exists for this place of worship to tone it down or find some other way of addressing its congregants.

  • shhyman

    Your wish has been granted today Oswald Piro street is no longer !

  • Sam van den Berg

    Regarding the Humphries judgment and the JubJub case, I have a question. I am mostly ignorant of the law, but is there not such a thing as mens rea meaning, I think, a clear and conscious intention to do harm — in these cases, an intention to kill? Does the Humphries case not risk being overturned by the SCA? Or will the SCA accept an extension of the principle of mens rea to mean something like an intentional action involving awareness that harm or death is likely to result?

  • John Parkerwood

    Hi Professor. You commented in one of your recent posts that as white South Africans, we should denounce racism in our social circles, at braais, social events etc, and basically whenever we are in the company of fellow whites and they make racist comments or racist jokes. Well, not in those exact words, but that was the basic message I feel you were conveying. I could not agree more. I have long held the view that the fight against racism starts right here, with me. It is up to me to challenge it wherever I experience it or observe it. I regularly challenge colleagues and family members when they pass blatantly racist comments. As for friends, well, I get to choose my friends, therefore nobody who I regard as a friend generally would make themselves guilty of uttering racial slurs…well, not in my company at least. I wish to take this concept one step further. I hope that South Africans of all races would also be progressive and bold enough to embrace a similar mindset and denounce all forms or acts of racism that they encounter, not only when it is committed against their own people, but also when committed BY people of their own race. I often overhear my mixed race or “coloured” colleagues being blatantly racist towards black people for example, sometimes behind their backs and sometimes directly. This is not acceptable, and I tell them exactly that. Also, as a police officer, I often experience blatant racism from members of the public. Somehow, people think it is acceptable to treat police officers with disdain, to address us in the most disgusting language, to assault us and to subject us to their racist tirades. In some extreme cases, they will even later lie, and twist the whole story around, because hey, as white police officers, I suppose we are always the racist, brutes that people like to think we are. Be that as it may, I digress. The point I wish to make is simply this: we all have a responsibility to end racism in our time, to denounce it, to reject it and regardless of whether or not we constantly experience racism from “the other side”, to simply suck it up and decide that we will be bigger than that, and stick to our principles. Eventually, I hope, most people will adopt a similar attitude. We must not pass this social evil on to our children. It must end here and now. Oh yes, I enjoyed your talk today at campus (I’m one of your new students).

  • Julian Comalie

    John Parkerwood’s ideas are obviously well intended, and to be sure, we must oppose racism wherever its ugly head crops up. But I do feel that we need to give much more considered reflection to the whole issue of racism. What I mean is that, without trying to abstractly theorize the issue, we all need to begin to problematize our own identities, whether white, coloured, black or whatever. I, as a coloured guy, do not simply express my humaness through expressing my colouredness. In other words, my humaness is not expresssed through my colouredness, if you know what I mean! The same goes for all the other racial categories. I actually started to write something on this last year, but unfortunately, as a result of doing Constitutional Law this year, I can’t continue working on it!

  • http://none Prof

    Is income tax constitutional – See this link:

    http://criticalthought.co.za/is-income-tax-constitutional/

  • LAWSTUDENT

    Good Morning Pierre de Vos

    Your blog is incredibly insightful and educational, especially as a law student. If there is any way you can assist with our moot problem.

    Please send me an email if you are able to assist.

    thank you

  • Kobie Venter

    Pierre,

    Help seblief, ek verstaan nie die verskil in publieke reaksie tussen hierdie 2010 kunswerk en die van Murray nie?

    http://worldart.co.za/uploads/media/CT%20review8Nov2010.pdf

    Kan hierdie kunswerk as argument gebruik word in die Spear hofsaak?

    dankie.