Constitutional Hill

Pius Langa: a man who knew the meaning of transformation

Former Chief Justice Pius Langa passed away earlier this week at the age of 74. This measured man, one who never seemed flustered and always seemed to have time to reflect before speaking, was both a good person and a brilliant jurist. His many meticulously crafted judgments leave behind a fitting memorial to his life and work. But it was his famous 2006 speech on the nature of “Transformative Constitutionalism” for which he might very well become best remembered.

When a famous person passes away in South Africa, it is customary to laud the deceased and to gloss over the more unsavoury aspects of his or her personality or his or her life and work. Even scoundrels like the late PW Botha and the late Hansie Cronje were lauded by many after their deaths; lauded for qualities it would be difficult (if not impossible) to believe they ever possessed. In an attempt to respect the deceased and his or her family, the harsh truth is discarded in favour of soothing fiction.

This problem does not arise in the case of the late Chief Justice, Pius Langa. He was a soft spoken, even quiet, man; one who had to leave school at the age of 14 to earn a living to help support his family, but who later completed his matric and then his various law degrees with the help of his brilliant mind, iron discipline, hard work and his tenacity.

After joining the Durban Bar, he gravitated towards political cases and became deeply involved in the struggle for democracy, helping to found the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (and becoming its President in 1988), and serving in the United Democratic Front. He was also involved as a legal advisor for the ANC during the CODESA negotiating process.

A fact that few people might be aware of is that Langa spoke just about every language and dialect spoken in South Africa (according to former Constitutional Court Justice Johan Kriegler). He was a true polyglot.

It was no surprise when then President Mandela appointed him as a judge to South Africa’s first Constitutional Court. It is difficult to single out for praise any one of his many judgments authored during his term as Constitutional Court Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and eventually Chief Justice. However, if I am forced to, I would have to say that his judgment in Bhe and Others v Khayelitsha Magistrate and Others, displayed some of his best qualities: his political astuteness and his deep concern for the marginalised and vulnerable members of society.

The case dealt, among other things, with the question of whether the customary law rule of intestate succession which only allowed male heirs to inherit was unconstitutional. His judgment reaffirmed the importance of customary law in our legal system, bemoaning the fact that the “positive aspects of customary law have long been neglected” in our law.

The inherent flexibility of the system is but one of its constructive facets. Customary law places much store in consensus-seeking and naturally provides for family and clan meetings which offer excellent opportunities for the prevention and resolution of disputes and disagreements. Nor are these aspects useful only in the area of disputes. They provide a setting which contributes to the unity of family structures and the fostering of co-operation, a sense of responsibility in and of belonging to its members, as well as the nurturing of healthy communitarian traditions such as ubuntu.These valuable aspects of customary law more than justify its protection by the Constitution.

Langa dealt sensitively and with great insight with the manner in which customary law has changed in the encounter with colonialism. He pointed out that originally the customary law rules did not operate in isolation. They were part of a system which fitted in with the community’s way of life and that the system had its own safeguards to ensure fairness in the context of entitlements, duties and responsibilities.

It was partly because of these changes in the context within which customary law rules were applied, that Langa found that the male-centric rule of customary law dealing with succession had to be declared unconstitutional. His judgment thus both affirmed the social, legal and political importance of customary law in democratic South Africa and insisted on its equal status, while simultaneously affirming that customary law rules were subject to the discipline of the Constitution.

Despite the many impressively constructed judgments written by Langa, his address on “Transformative Constitutionalism” – which he delivered at Stellenbosch University in 2006 (later published in the Stellenbosch law Review) – probably made the greatest impression on me personally.

In this address he affirms that ours is indeed a “transformative Constitution” before asking what this might mean and answering the question posed by saying:

This is a magnificent goal for a Constitution: to heal the wounds of the past and guide us to a better future. For me, this is the core idea of transformative constitutionalism: that we must change.

This insight is not particularly remarkable. What is remarkable is the manner in which former Chief Justice Langa engaged with the question of how we must change. If the Constitution serves as a bridge between the past and our future (a metaphor first used in the interim Constitution and popularised by the late Etienne Mureinik), “how,” asked Justice Langa, “does the society on the other side of the bridge differ from where we stand today?” His answer to this question suggests a quite radical understanding of the role of the Constitution and its ultimate aims.

The new society our Constitution is supposed to help bring into existence is one based on substantive equality. “Transformation”, in this sense, requires a social and an economic revolution:

a complete reconstruction of the state and society, including a redistribution of power and resources along egalitarian lines. The challenge of achieving equality within this transformation project involves the eradication of systemic forms of domination and material disadvantage based on race, gender, class and other grounds of inequality. It also entails the development of opportunities which allow people to realise their full human potential within positive social relationships.

In the legal field, “transformation” also refers to a radical overhaul of the formalistic legal culture, away from (in the words of Etienne Mureinik) “a culture of authority’’ to:

a culture of justification – a culture in which every exercise of power is expected to be justified; in which the leadership given by government rests on the cogency of the case offered in defence of its decisions, not the fear inspired by the force of its command. The new order must be a community built on persuasion, not coercion.

What Langa understood better than many liberal lawyers is that this approach to adjudication requires an acceptance of the politics of law.

There is no longer place for assertions that the law can be kept isolated from politics. While they are not the same, they are inherently and necessarily linked. At the same time, transformative adjudication requires judges to acknowledge the effect of what has been referred to elsewhere as the ‘personal, intellectual, moral or intellectual preconceptions’ on their decision-making. We all enter any decision with our own baggage, both on technical legal issues and on broader social issues. While the policy under apartheid legal culture was to deny these influences on decision-making, our constitutional legal culture requires that we expressly accept and embrace the role that our own beliefs, opinions and ideas play in our decisions.

Lastly, in his address Langa also seemed to reject the potentially conservative and even oppressive view that “transformation” is a distinct event, requiring a once-off change from one situation towards another or the transfer of power from some individuals to others. Providing a ringing endorsement of pluralistic, democratic politics, Langa remarked:

Transformation is a permanent ideal, a way of looking at the world that creates a space in which dialogue and contestation are truly possible, in which new ways of being are constantly explored and created, accepted and rejected and in which change is unpredictable but the idea of change is constant. This is perhaps the ultimate vision of a transformative, rather than a transitional Constitution. This is a perspective that sees the Constitution as not transformative because of its peculiar historical position or its particular socio-economic goals but because it envisions a society that will always be open to change and contestation, a society that will always be defined by transformation.

These selected quotations from the former Chief Justices’ 2006 Stellenbosch address provide us only with a flavour of the nuanced and important ideas contained in it. Personally it reminds me of the utmost integrity and eminence of the man whose judgments and speeches we will continue to study in years to come.

PS: For those who are interested in exploring Chief Justice Langa’s judgments in more depth, there will be a conference honouring his life and work at UCT on 16 and 17 January next year.  The original call for papers (18 June 2013) can be found here.” [http://constitutionallyspeaking.co.za/call-for-papers-conference-in-honour-of-pius-langa-at-uct/]

  • Truth

    “There is no longer place for assertions that the law can be kept isolated from politics.” This is a mouthful. I have commented on your blog before, arguing that I do not understand why the likes of Kevin Malunga and yourself were of the view that some of the cases brought to courts by the DA were political and therefore should have never come before courts.

    I noted that all cases that are brought before courts can be classified in one category or another: economic, social, family, traditional but the test which courts must apply is whether or not they have jurisdiction. If the court has jurisdiction why should it shy away from hearing that matter simply because the matter is political?

  • Maggs Naidu – The DA will bring back apartheid! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Former Chief Justice Pius Langa remarked:

    “Transformation is a permanent ideal, a way of looking at the world that creates a space in which dialogue and contestation are truly possible, in which new ways of being are constantly explored and created, accepted and rejected and in which change is unpredictable but the idea of change is constant. This is perhaps the ultimate vision of a transformative, rather than a transitional Constitution. This is a perspective that sees the Constitution as not transformative because of its peculiar historical position or its particular socio-economic goals but because it envisions a society that will always be open to change and contestation, a society that will always be defined by transformation.”

    And Speech by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng defending the JSC:

    “This illegitimate neo-political campaign to have certain people appointed must be strongly opposed. We must all use all available avenues to expose this retrogressive campaign and the danger it poses to nation-building and reconciliation. But be warned, that engagement is not for the faint-hearted. The defence of genuine transformation, as was the case during apartheid, inevitably attracts mockery, being labelled conservative and a tool of the Executive. Be ready for untold attacks from all sorts of people projecting themselves as fiercely independent, impartial, progressive analysts or highly respected professional commentators. Be ready to be trashed by a well coordinated network of individuals and entities often pretending to be working in isolation from each other.”

  • Maggs Naidu – Professor Zuma knows what he is doing! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    And in the wake of amazing Chief Justices …

    Posted on July 25, 2013 by Carmel Rickard

    THOUGH beset by serious problems of his own, South Africa’s Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has a lot of advice for judges in the rest of Africa. …

    It is astonishing to read all that the Chief Justice believes can be achieved by the judiciary:

    Peace, good governance and sustainable economic development could be attained when the judiciary enjoyed individual and institutional independence and was faithful to its constitutional mandate.

    Each African country ‘desperately needed’ a truly independent and efficient judiciary to create peace and stability. Crime and corruption would be reduced if people knew that ‘arrest, prosecution, conviction and sentence for the guilty’ was predictable.

    Anyone plotting to grab power from government would be deterred by knowing ‘what an independent judiciary in their country could do to them’.

    When the other branches of government knew that courts would act as the guardians of the constitution and do their job without fear or favour, they would observe and promote the rule of law.

    Government and business officials would obey the law and observe business ethics once everyone knew that the courts would act fearlessly against anyone ‘from the President to a mayor’.

    And when potential investors understood that in Africa ‘you will get justice against any law-breaker when defrauded’, then ‘they will come in droves to invest, given the huge and diligent labour force, the fertile and productive land, the very rich minerals and abundant natural resources we have to offer.’

    http://www.tradingplaces2night.co.za/carmels-writing/investors-in-droves-if-african-courts-free-chief-justice/

  • Herman Lategan

    Baie goed, die blog, dankie, wat ‘n wonderlike man.

  • spoiler

    RIP – a great jurist – we need more like him.

  • John Roberts

    Truth
    July 25, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Don’t expect an answer from Pierre. His ilk don’t respond when they’re caught out being wrong (and political). Pierre is always right. Never wrong.

    In theory he believes that practice and theory are the same but in practice we know it’s not.

  • Dmwangi

    P.L. was an intellectual heavyweight. Fortunately, so is the current CJ. The continuities far outweigh the differences.

    @Maggs & OB:

    Will you be deriding these remarks and the assertion that there is something valuable in customary law in the wake of his death?:

    “The inherent flexibility of the system is but one of its constructive facets. Customary law places much store in consensus-seeking and naturally provides for family and clan meetings which offer excellent opportunities for the prevention and resolution of disputes and disagreements. Nor are these aspects useful only in the area of disputes. They provide a setting which contributes to the unity of family structures and the fostering of co-operation, a sense of responsibility in and of belonging to its members, as well as the nurturing of healthy communitarian traditions such as ubuntu.These valuable aspects of customary law more than justify its protection by the Constitution.”

  • Zoo Keeper

    Sad about Langa passing.

    He did the office a great service.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Dmwang

    “P.L. was an intellectual heavyweight. Fortunately, so is the current CJ”

    Dmwangi was it our current CJ’s manifest intellectual heft that inspired a HOLY PROPHET to predict that he would one day rise to august office?

    Thanks.

  • Brett Nortje – The ANC are backward! Completely out of place in the 21st Century….

    Maggs Naidu – The DA will bring back apartheid! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) says:
    July 25, 2013 at 8:31 am

    On behalf of all the management of the Constitutionally Speaking blog I have to inform you that this constant whining about the obiter utterances of Chief Justice Mogoeng is starting to get up managerial noses.

    Scheduling blogs for Constitutionally Speaking is no easy matter. The sad passing of former Chief Justice Langa necessitated shifting back in the publication schedule several blogs penned by our colleague Prof Pierre De Vos at 30 000 feet in the first class cabin of a BA flight to Paris.

    The first postponed blog might upset privileged white students and alumni of Stellenbosch University who are completely lacking in self-awareness but appear to be ever ready to defend the privileges they take for granted as their right. The second blog has as subject matter the privileged white members of the Cape Bar who are trying to sabotage transformation in their briefing patterns, their briefs usually being concluded at the 19th hole. The third blog in the queue features a polemic about ongoing white privilege between the SAIRR (South African Institute of Race Relations)’s Frans Cronje and commentator Marelise van der Merwe. There is also an unfinished blog done at the same time revisting ‘whiteness’ as witnessed by Christi van der Westhuizen.

    So, while we appreciate your suggestions, you can see – our programme is quite full.

    Thank you.

  • Gwebecimele

    “Borain said a third scenario, involving the ANC garnering only 51 percent of the vote, was “very scary”.

    “If that happens, all bets are off.”

    Pushed to suggest how political parties might fare in the coming election, he estimated the ANC would take 58 percent, the Democratic Alliance 26 percent, a figure he later revised to 30 percent, and newly-formed Agang SA about two percent.

    On the DA, Borain said the main opposition party would find it “difficult to overcome barriers to its growth”.

    On the future prospects of Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters – whose leadership he described as “the clowns and fools of our politics” – Borain said they could take up to five percent of the vote.

    “But I can’t see them getting out to vote,” he added. “

  • Gwebecimele

    Woodwork vs. Worldbank

  • Maggs Naidu – Professor Zuma knows what he is doing! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Dmwangi
    July 25, 2013 at 16:58 pm

    Hey Dm,

    “P.L. was an intellectual heavyweight. Fortunately, so is the current CJ.”

    Hmmm!

    As I see it, the intellectual equivalence between you and King Dalindyebo is far greater than between the late former CJ and the current one.

  • Ozoneblue

    Brett Nortje – The ANC are backward! Completely out of place in the 21st Century….
    July 25, 2013 at 19:14 pm

    “So, while we appreciate your suggestions, you can see – our programme is quite full.”

    Fine. I will stop complaining. I get the message too.

    “Vavi told eNCA that he never expected to fear for his life in a democratic SA.

    “What is disappointing to me and I must say… that’s a life I was expecting to go through including death at all moments, way back before 1994. After 1994 naïvely I thought that those things are things of the past… can never fear to speak on your phone, can never fear that food would be poisoned, that will have a car accident that is engineered or can never fear that you will be assassinated. But that’s unfortunately the reality 19 years into the democracy today.”"

    http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Vavis-family-fears-for-his-life-20130725

    Viva. Let the National Democratic Revolution roll on!

  • Ozoneblue

    Interesting article in the Mail Online.

    “The documents, prepared for the head of Zimbabwe’s highly feared Central Intelligence Organisation and the Joint Operational Command (JOC), the body that oversees state security, contain a number of alarming disclosures.

    Nikuv International Projects, an Israeli firm, is being paid $13 million (£8.5 million) to manipulate voter registration, counter ‘unfavourable’ results and ‘neutralise’ opposition votes.

    The Chinese government is helping with ballot rigging, advising on voter intimidation and providing jamming equipment to silence independent radio stations.

    Already, 45,534 youths have been trained and deployed across the country in armed militia to ‘stem resistance’, with another 7,343 undergoing training and ‘mass reorientation classes’ to be ready three days before polling.

    Security forces are adamant that six Zanu-PF moderates ‘must be STOPPED’ from standing. One of the named politicians, Edward Chindori-Chininga, died last month in a suspicious car crash. His family say it was an assassination.

    Funding for the covert campaign is coming from controversial diamond companies, the presidents of two African countries and prominent business figures from Britain, China and Zimbabwe.

    Millions of dollars are being directed towards leaders of southern African countries providing independent election monitors to ‘drum up support for poll credibility before, during and after elections’.”

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2371951/Proof-Mugabe-buys-elections-Astonishing-documents-evidence-neutralising-voters-millions-paid-systematic-rigging-smuggling-blood-diamonds–ensure-tyrant-89-clings-power.html#ixzz2a5fdBbDo
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  • Ozoneblue

    Dmwangi
    July 25, 2013 at 16:58 pm

    “@Maggs & OB:

    Will you be deriding these remarks and the assertion that there is something valuable in customary law in the wake of his death?:”

    I’m on record for defending African customary law as long as it is in line universally agreed principles of human rights. Same with AA and BEE for that matter – but I reject with the contempt it deserves a new sort of politically correct aparthgeid or racial hierarchy based on “demographic” bantustans as dictated by the NDR and as read into the Constitution by the ANC and the new CJ.

    .

  • Pingback: Pius Langa: a man who knew the meaning of transformation

  • Paul Kearney

    Well if Pius Langa knew the meaning of transformation that knowledge died with him. It actually means pack the field with deployed cadres and run a mile from genuine established intellect (Gauntlett, Budlender etc not PdeV and his ilk). If Pius Langa was the intellectual legal giant we are led to believe he was either he didn’t do much of a job of leaving a legacy (have a look at the numbers of awaiting trial prisoners) or he must be bitterly disappointed. If PdeV had any spine or intellect he would be emulating Pius and standing up for the poor and downtrodden in court. How about volunteering pro bono for Marikana miners “Prof”? Although looking at the miners’ lawyers wanting legal aid, and tapping the NGO’s handsomely with some sloppy accounting, its all about loot now. Or has it always been; including our Pius? And our PdeV? Time to put money where mouth is “Prof”.

  • Maggs Naidu – Professor Zuma knows what he is doing! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    July 25, 2013 at 18:55 pm

    Dworky,

    Stop annoying Dmwangi even though he talks a lot of SMACK!

    (Just kidding – continue annoying him)

    But you have to agree with DM that there’s a material similarity between the later former and the current CJs.

    One was Pius the other is pious – that makes them like joined at the soul, ne!

  • Ozoneblue

    So lets see what is this “true meaning of transformation” become now. A political mechanism to maintain control and power! See this very accurate comment on politicsweb.

    “You need the struggle like Africans waged against apartheid to have AA measures removed from statute books of South Africa. Knowing your people lacks guts to do what we did against apartheid government the AA are here to stay as long as African people are responsible for installing the government of the day, no government will introduce policies that is not appealing to its electorate and hope to win the election. The ANC is not going to be elected by African people to govern and be ruled as how to govern by white people at the same time.”

    by zulu carpet on July 01 2013, 09:48

    http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71654?oid=386829&sn=Detail&pid=71616

  • Gwebecimele

    Where is the Hanekom disciplinary comittee ? This is unANC.

    http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2013/07/26/ex-mayor-municipal-manager-guilty

  • Maggs Naidu – Professor Zuma knows what he is doing! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Amid the praise for Langa, there was an awkward silence: President Jacob Zuma, in expressing his condolences, did not pause to apologise for the abuses heaped upon the Langa court in his name. ANC leader and Zuma supporter Gwede Mantashe, in an interview with this paper, described the judges of the Constitutional Court as “counter-revolutionaries” after they ruled against Zuma, his lawyer Michael Hulley and the French arms company Thint.

    It was Langa who wrote the majority judgment upholding the legality of the search warrants the Scorpions used to raid Zuma’s home, seizing documents related to the fraud and corruption investigations flowing from the arms deal.

    Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe, whose alleged effort to suborn the Constitutional Court in favour of Zuma was met head-on by Langa himself, has yet to account fully to the Judicial Service Commission.

    Mantashe is now secretary general of the ANC, Hulley sits at Zuma’s hand as his official legal adviser, and the spy tapes that were the pretext for the dropping of charges, when the courts would not play along, remain under lock and key despite a court order to the contrary.

    Mantashe’s rhetoric has since become a staple of those in the governing party who feel the rule of law is an obstacle to their ambitions, rather than the enabler of deep transformation that Langa understood it to be. “Anti-majoritarian” is their word for constitutionalism.

    http://mg.co.za/article/2013-07-26-00-editorial-langa-the-gentle-guarantor-of-sas-freedom/

  • Maggs Naidu – Professor Zuma knows what he is doing! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    A deeper tragedy is that this demagogy now finds an echo in the current chief justice. Mogoeng Mogoeng has, without naming him, attacked Langa’s friend and colleague Johann Kriegler for raising concerns about the way the Judicial Service Commission applies transformation criteria in the appointment of judges. Mogoeng might as well be Blade Nzimande or Ngoako Ramatlhodi when he rubbishes “a movement that masquerades as agents for the enforcement of constitutional compliance when they are in fact a change-resistance force”. Mogoeng appears unaware that he is not a politician, and may have to sit in judgment on a case brought by the Helen Suzman Foundation that deals with precisely this issue, something he will now surely be unable to do.

  • Ozoneblue

    What wonderful things are yet to come?

    17 years in SA – and ordered to leave

    http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2013-07-26-17-years-in-sa-and-ordered-to-leave/#.UfJUGtc88VY

    Well luckily they are not robbed, brutally beaten and/or stoned to death like our Somalis and Pakistanis shop keepers, not yet. I wonder if PdV can find it in his heart to say something compassionate on behalf of a WHITE man.

  • Dmwangi

    OB:

    “I’m on record for defending African customary law as long as it is in line universally agreed principles of human rights.”

    This does not make sense. There are no “universally agreed principles” regarding anything – human rights, history, mathematics, etc. If there were universally agreed principles of human rights or law, then by logical implication, they would already be embodied in customary law and hence there would be no point in discussing the need for customary law to conform to them.

    What you seem to mean, then, is you are fine with customary law as long as it is in harmony with your own views about human rights – which also seems a bit trite.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Maggs

    “Mogoeng appears unaware that he is not a politician, and may have to sit in judgment on a case brought by the Helen Suzman Foundation that deals with precisely this issue, something he will now surely be unable to do.:

    Maggs, with respect, I am not interested in any case brought by the LIBERAL Helen Suzman foundation. As thoughtfully pointed out by ANC in the Western Cape legislature recently, Ms Suzman was a “killer.”

    Thanks.

  • Ozoneblue

    Dmwangi
    July 26, 2013 at 15:14 pm

    Correct. There is a difference between right and wrong. What you are advocating is cultural relativism. Typical white liberal, PdV style weak-assed PM drenched cultural relativism. Accordingly it is OK for black people to be racist homophobic bigots – murdering xenophobics, fascists, genocidal nazi-like savages, rapists, tribal misogynists, even cannibalism can be excused etc and so on and so forth because it is “part of their culture” and they have been “oppressed” – and if it is criticised (at all) it is always the fault of “White Supremacists”, or 3000 years of colonialism or “White Male Patriarchy” or Apartheid or Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck or the weather.

    well I say FUCK THAT.

  • Maggs Naidu – Professor Zuma knows what he is doing! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Brett Nortje – The ANC are backward! Completely out of place in the 21st Century….
    July 25, 2013 at 19:14 pm

    Hey Brett,

    I saw a WHITE fellow today.

    He had a large wheel barrow.

    It was fully laden.

    He looked around suspiciously.

    WDYSTT?

  • Dmwangi

    OB:

    There is something like a “thin” morality that has enough consensus in the world that it comes close to qualifying as universal – e.g. injunctions against murder, rape, theft, etc. But my basic point still holds: to qualify as universal means it is already encapsulated in cust. law and to say that you are fine with those elements that are uncontroversial, is to say more or less nothing. Do you accept the controversial parts? For instance, polygamy; inheritance rites; or slaughtering of animals – all of which are not universally accepted, notably by feminists, and vegans, respectively.

    I am not a cultural relativist. I am making an objective moral truth claim: We have a right to govern ourselves in ways congruent with our traditions, if we so choose.

  • Ozoneblue

    Dmwangi
    July 26, 2013 at 16:18 pm

    But calling human being pigs and dogs as Mugabe just did – no matter what their sexual orientation is universally unacceptable – in fact it is down right fascist hate speech. Why did you nor any other commentator, including our apologetic “White liberals” express any criticism towards that – nowhere that I could see?

  • Maggs Naidu – Professor Zuma knows what he is doing! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Two nursing sisters at a rural health clinic in KwaZulu-Natal allegedly referred a sick five-month-old baby to a sangoma, a health official said on
    Friday. …

    “We went out to collect the baby — who was covered in some kind of muti and was sicker than before – but the sangoma was reluctant to let her go,” he said.

    “Eventually we managed to take the baby to a private doctor, who diagnosed bronchitis,” said Theunissen.

    http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2013/07/26/kzn-rural-clinic-sent-baby-to-sangoma

  • Dmwangi

    OB:

    Thank you for answering my question instead of deflecting with some bizarre jeremiad about Mugabe (as if we’re supposed to take his campaign rhetoric seriously).

    But since you’ve given me the opportunity, allow me to express my moral outrage. Mugabe was wrong to compare homosexuals to pigs and dogs since, contrary to PdV’s recent blog, gays, as humans, possess an inviolable dignity that pigs and dogs, as nonrational beasts, do not. However, his underlying point was correct that the West likes to engage in “rights imperialism” on all kinds of controversial matters, foisting their views about sexuality, gender, abortion, etc. on peoples the world over.

  • Brett Nortje – The ANC are backward! Completely out of place in the 21st Century….

    I couldn’t agree more. Poor people actually had value until the British busibodies stamped out the slave trade.

  • Lisbeth

    >Dmwangi

    “… gays, as humans, possess an inviolable dignity that pigs and dogs, as nonrational beasts, do not”

    It is my considered opinion that pigs, being genetically almost indistinguishable from humans, should not have their dignity violated in any way by the likes of you.

  • Maggs Naidu – Professor Zuma knows what he is doing! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Lisbeth
    July 26, 2013 at 18:56 pm

    Lisbeth,

    “It is my considered opinion that pigs, being genetically almost indistinguishable from humans, should not have their dignity violated in any way by the likes of you.”

    Hmmm – perhaps there should be clear markings stating “for human CONSUMPTION only. Not for sexual exploitation.” on every pack of BACON!

    In that way Dwmangi will not get confused (more than he already is).

  • Dmwangi

    @Brett:

    How many times do I have to point out that would be a lot more impressive had they not been progenitors of the slave trade in the first place. You don’t get much credit for rectifying a problem you created in the first instance – though I do like W. Wilberforce.

    @Lisbeth:

    Just try to stop me – I will eat pork til the end of time!

  • Dmwangi

    @Lisbeth:

    P.S.

    Is your expertise in biological taxonomy commensurate with your unrivaled knowledge of economics?

  • Maggs Naidu – Professor Zuma knows what he is doing! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Dmwangi
    July 26, 2013 at 19:17 pm

    Hey DM,

    “@Lisbeth : Is your expertise in biological taxonomy commensurate with your unrivaled knowledge of economics?”

    Lisbeth knows nothing about biological taxonomy or economics.

    Write her two paragraphs or so on each!

  • Lisbeth

    >Dmwangi and Maggs

    “Is your expertise in biological taxonomy commensurate with your unrivaled knowledge of economics?”

    “Lisbeth knows nothing about biological taxonomy or economics.”

    My answer to your respective questions has to be an unqualified yes. Any assistance the two of you can render to help enlighten me on both biological taxonomy and matters economical will be immensely appreciated.

  • Maggs Naidu – Professor Zuma knows what he is doing! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Lisbeth
    July 26, 2013 at 20:28 pm

    Lisbeth – I have no question for you!

    I directed my comment to Dmwangi so that he could give us a short course on each of biological taxonomy or economics.

    Go back to washing the dishes – as you know a woman’s place is in the kitchen.

    Let me sort this out with Dmwangi man to closet guy!

  • Dmwangi

    With respect, Maggs, Lisbeth would be entirely out of place in the kitchen. As a fellow radical feminist traveler, you are well aware that her element is a gathering of women, who, while not necessarily lesbians, have sworn-off male-female relationships, for a colloquia on “deconstructing patriarchal and heternormative” assumptions in contemporary society in order to “liberate” women from the “oppression” of millennia of unjust phallicist institutional sexism propagated through the “privileging” of XY-chromosomal “knowledge” creation, which must be “problematised” in order to “unmask” the male-centric conspiracy and “raise the consciousness” of all involved.

  • Ozoneblue

    Dmwangi
    July 26, 2013 at 21:55 pm

    “As a fellow radical feminist traveler, you are well aware that her element is a gathering of women, who, while not necessarily lesbians, have sworn-off male-female relationships, for a colloquia on “deconstructing patriarchal and heternormative” assumptions in contemporary society in order to “liberate” women from the “oppression” of millennia of unjust phallicist”

    No matter. I would take her if she is fit. Even if she is violently liberal/misgenisist/lesbien/malantropic or malephobic.

    If not totally fit – wtf – after a couple of beers we usually end up all equal – naked, exhausted, dissatisfied, malcontent even nauseas and worried about how many calories we are destined to consume at latish breakfast or the brunch.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Ozone

    “after a couple of beers we usually end up all equal – naked, exhausted, dissatisfied, malcontent even nauseas …”

    Ozone, I respectfully suggest you take a short break from blogging. You are tired. You are young. You have a lot to learn. Yet one day you may lead this blog.

    Thanks.

  • Maggs Naidu – Another one bites the dust! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    So Dworky,

    Vavi also stood firm while he was having a hard time.

    And he flopped!!!!!

    http://www.citypress.co.za/politics/vavi-in-rape-blackmail-scandal/

  • Mike

    “Transformation is a permanent ideal” – sounds like George Orwell political speak where the inherit link between politics and law results in populist politics driving the agenda in the Constitutional court.
    Transformation means to change and once changed that then requires certainty and not a permanent state of flux.
    By the way the UDF have got a lot to answer for concerning the brutality of their youth on the older traditional black in KZN in the 1980′s who did not subscribe to their politics.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Mike

    “UDF have got a lot to answer for concerning the brutality of their youth on the older traditional black in KZN in the 1980′s”

    Mike is right. One could not but feel sympathy for the “older traditional black”, who, despite his SADF training in the Caprivi Strip, was mercilessly gunned down by UDF before he had a chance to fire a shot!

    Thanks.

  • Lisbeth

    Ozone:

    “If not totally fit – wtf – after a couple of beers we usually end up all equal – naked, exhausted, dissatisfied, malcontent even nauseas and worried about how many calories we are destined to consume at latish breakfast or the brunch.”

    How totally depressing! Is that what happens to beer drinkers?

  • Maggs Naidu – beer! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Lisbeth
    July 27, 2013 at 15:36 pm

    Lisbeth,

    “How totally depressing! Is that what happens to beer drinkers?”

    It is really shocking that you are not aware that when totally and utterly drunk having become “naked, exhausted, dissatisfied, malcontent even nauseas “, beer drinkers are “worried about how many calories [they] are destined to consume”.

    Ok – not really shocking since you’re a girl and girls really don’t know anything about anything.

    p.s. Do study Dmwangi’s comment at July 26, 2013 at 21:55 pm. Hopefully you will learn something important from that.

  • Mike

    @MDF – perhaps you would like to comment on old black people being forced to drink a bottle of cooking oil or swallow OMO soap powder because they did not adhere to a UDF boycott.

  • Dmwangi

    Maggs:

    I am DEMANDING that our Minister of Education immediately instruct teachers to cease and desist from attempting to impart any knowledge regarding physics, mathematics, or economics to learners. From the “gendered perspective” these tools of rape are doing vast harm to women and should not be transmitted to the next generation:

    “Newton’s Principia Mathematica is a rape manual as science is a male rape of female nature.”

    -Sandra Harding, Director of the UCLA Center for the Study of Women

    “In a passage reminiscent of a feminist description of Newton’s Principia (a “rape manual”), Luce Irigaray argues that E=mc2 is a “sexed equation”.

    Why? Because “it privileges the speed of light over other speeds that are vitally necessary to us.” Just as typical of this school of thought is Irigaray’s thesis on fluid mechanics.

    Fluids you see, have been unfairly neglected. “Masculine physics” privileges rigid, solid things.

    Her American expositor Katherine Hayles expresses Irigaray’s thoughts in (comparatively) clear language:

    The privileging of solid over fluid mechanics, and indeed the inability of science to deal with turbulent flow at all, she attributes to the association of fluidity with femininity. Whereas men have sex organs that protrude and become rigid, women have openings that leak menstrual blood and vaginal fluids… From this perspective it is no wonder that science has not been able to arrive at a successful model for turbulence.

    The problem of turbulent flow cannot be solved because the conceptions of fluids (and of women) have been formulated so as necessarily to leave unarticulated remainders.”

    “Irigaray also argues that the phallic economy places women alongside signs and currency, since all forms of exchange are conducted exclusively between men. (See the essay “Women on the Market”). Irigaray shows how women are exchanged between men in the same way as any other commodity is. She argues that our entire society is predicated on this exchange of women. Her exchange value is determined by society, while her use value is her natural qualities. Thus, a woman’s self is divided between her use and exchange values, and she is only desired for the exchange value. This system creates three types of women: the mother, who is all use value; the virgin, who is all exchange value; and the prostitute, who embodies both use and exchange value.

    Within the same essay, “Women on the Market,” Irigaray argues that women are in demand due to their perceived shortage and as a result, males seek “to have them all,” or seek a surplus like the excess of commodity buying power, capital, that capitalists seek constantly. Irigaray speculates thus that perhaps, “the way women are used matter less than their number.” In this further analogy of women “on the market,” understood through Marxist terms, Irigaray points out that women, like commodities, are moved between men based on their exchange value rather than just their use value, and the desire will always be surplus – making women almost seem like capital in this case, to be accumulated. “As commodities, women are thus two things at once: utilitarian objects and bearers of value.”

  • Brett Nortje – The ANC are backward! Completely out of place in the 21st Century….

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder says:
    July 27, 2013 at 15:05 pm

    Buthelezi would have been pretty naive to stand by doing nothing but thumbtwiddle after the UDF had wiped AZAPO of the face of the earth, you silly FI!

    The UDF has a lot to answer for beside that – like ‘Liberation before education’ and the illiteracy that gives birth to organisations like SADTU and EFF. The UDF put an end to political representation in black townships by putting tyres around councillors’ necks. Any semblance of service delivery. The UDF stopped NGOs like the Urban Foundation building houses in black areas. And a lot more.

    It is hard to think of a country with 500 000 murders in 17 years without the influence of UDF.

    So tell me, Dworky, what was President Zupta up to during the 80s?

    Praise the Lord! Even as a 20yo I had the good sense to look at UDF but to let reason prevail over emotion!

  • Maggs Naidu – WHITE People stole ALL the land! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Brett Nortje – The ANC are backward! Completely out of place in the 21st Century….
    July 28, 2013 at 7:54 am

    Hey Brett,

    I saw something suspicious this morning.

    A large, fat WHITE fellow was in an empty field filling a huge bag.

    He looked around nervously.

    Was he :

    a) stealing more land;
    b) getting mud to make more WHITE people from;
    c) responding to his natural instinct.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Brett

    “The UDF put an end to political representation in black townships by putting tyres around councillors’ necks. ”

    Brett is right. Black tribes should have been grateful that whites granted them democracy at the LOCAL level — to prepare them for full democratic rights in their own INDEPENDENT SOVEREIGN HOMELAND STATES!

    Now I have forgotten why, despite such white generosity, apartheid was UNCHRISTIAN. Please remind me, Brett.

    Thanks.

    Any semblance of service delivery. The UDF stopped NGOs like the Urban Foundation building houses in black areas. And a lot more.

    It is hard to think of a country with 500 000 murders in 17 years without the influence of UDF.

    So tell me, Dworky, what was President Zupta up to during the 80s?

  • Maggs Naidu – Prof Motala knows what he is talking about! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    And in other news …

    Our chief justice speaks the truth

    July 21 2013 at 11:01am
    By Ziyad Motala

    Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, in a speech at a meeting of Advocates for Transformation, critiqued those who claim the Judicial Service Commission(JSC) is controlled by politicians.

    He criticised unnamed NGOs and individuals, who he asserted are waging a war against transformation and being more interested in the advancement of white males.

    The chief justice referenced the briefing patterns that favour white males. He asked why this is not a matter of concern to those critiquing the JSC. His speech has earned the wrath of a sector of society.

    http://www.iol.co.za/sundayindependent/our-chief-justice-speaks-the-truth-1.1550059#.UfTGfaxqiMo

  • Mau

    “The challenge of achieving equality within this transformation project involves the eradication of systemic forms of domination and material disadvantage based on race, gender, class and other grounds of inequality.”

    Sounds like this Pius guy had some wisdom. It’s a pity these words are starting to ring hollow to my particular ethnic persuasion as our political leaders, and even our current CJ and legal commentators all pay lip service and speak with forked tongue when it comes to reality. After all, we should ‘eradicate’ these things as long as we are the ones with the right skin colour?

  • Mau

    “Vavi: We all do things in dark corners”

    We know Maggs does, but… Someone care to who the “We” is that Vavi is talking about?

    http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Vavi-We-all-do-things-in-dark-corners-20130728

  • Ozoneblue

    Mau
    July 28, 2013 at 10:59 am

    “After all, we should ‘eradicate’ these things as long as we are the ones with the right skin colour?”

    They “eradicated” the problem in Zimbabwe through a well orchestrated state-sponsored program of ethnic cleansing. Much like in Nazi Germany. Only full blooded Africans/Germans could rejoice in such a “transformation”.

  • Ozoneblue

    Maggs Naidu – Prof Motala knows what he is talking about! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)
    July 28, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Eish. But our bargaining chicken running Indians are angry, hey. Why does he rather not life here in Africa, with the Idi Amins, the Robert Mugabes and the Pumlani Mfekas? Why did we not hear a from Prof Motala when our African hero Robert Mugabe compared homosexuals to pigs and dogs, or when Pumlani Mfeka said that Indians should rather fuck off back to India?

    I’m still waiting.

  • Ozoneblue

    But I think I know why. It is called “human rights” – but not as we know it Jim.

    “It has become increasingly apparent to me, and has been made devastatingly clear during the proceedings of the past week, that my understanding of the constitutional values… and duty of the commission, and even of basic rights such as those of human dignity and freedom of speech, is so far removed from the understanding of the majority of the commission that it is not possible for me to play an effective role on the commission.”

    Former JSC advocate, Isak Smuts.

  • Maggs Naidu – Prof Motala knows what he is talking about! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Mau
    July 28, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Hey Mau,

    Careful of dark corners – I may be there!

  • Dmwangi

    This cannot be true — because I’d like to think there is not enough beer in the world for OB to be in bed with Maggs. On the other hand, PdV is Boer:

    “Johannesburg – Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema has alleged that the tax case against him is a politically motivated conspiracy run by a group of Indians ‘in bed’ with Afrikaners, the Sunday Times reported.

    “I’m subjected to political persecution by political leadership led by [Finance Minister] Pravin [Gordhan], with his group of Indians,” Malema was quoted as telling the newspaper.

    “It’s a small clique of Indians who are in bed with a group of Afrikaners in [the SA Revenue Service], and Afrikaners in the law fraternity.”

    He reportedly claimed the “small group of Indians” had a “political programme” against him.

    “The Afrikaner are [sic] pursuing a racial hatred against Julius and what he advocates for,” he was quoted as saying.

    On Tuesday, Malema’s Polokwane house was auctioned.

    Sars attached the property to recoup Malema’s R16m tax debt.

    In May, Malema’s incomplete mansion in Sandton, Johannesburg, was sold at auction for R5.9m. His farm in Limpopo fetched R2.5m at auction in June.

    Several of his household goods were also auctioned earlier in the year.

    Malema also faces corruption charges in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court. He is accused of making nearly R4m from corrupt activities, and is out on bail of R10 000.”

  • Ozoneblue

    Dmwangi
    July 28, 2013 at 18:02 pm

    “The Afrikaner are [sic] pursuing a racial hatred against Julius and what he advocates for,” he was quoted as saying.”

    LOL. This fucking stupid asshole reasons we hate him cause he is black, not because he wants to kill us and incite his followers to do the same, chase us into the sea and/or denies our fundamental human rights including but not limited to our indigenous RIGHT to land.

  • Lisbeth

    >Ozoneblue

    “Fellow white South Africans, if you agree with us you are more than welcome to join us in the redistribution of land and wealth in South Africa,” he said. “This land is too big. There is nobody who will be driven to the sea. We will share, black and white. But failure to share means you will be forced to share.”

    Jelly just wants you to share with him and his mates, and in return you will be granted immunity! Isn’t that quite a generous offer? I’m fully prepared to hand over my tiny garden to the EFF. It turns into a swamp every time it rains and should be ideally suited for frog farming.

  • Mike

    @MDF – It is a fact that the ANC through its surrogate the UDF was in a violent confrontation with every single political party in this country during the 1980′s and forced allegiance on the black community through the car tire.
    What we are seeing is a return to pre 1980′s with splinter political groups being formed expressing different political opinions now that cadre employment and jobs for pals in the ANC is being seeing for, for what it is.
    Please indicate where all these civilians were mown down in the Caprivi and what district such as Ovamboland Kavango etc.

  • Zoo Keeper

    Dmwangi

    I read an article in the Sunday Times about the State being about to outlaw spanking a child in the home – with an accompanying illogical explanation from the minister.

    However, what interested me was that this legislation is introduced, not because of the pressures of the electorate but because of pressure from the UN.

    So here we have a concrete example of legislation (and it is obviously not the only one) which arrives in SA courtesy of international pressure.

    Our country is supposed to be sovereign. Meaning that legally it is independent. The representatives of the people surely can only take direction from the people. If they pass laws as a result of a treaty or pressure from the UN – i.e. not from electoral pressure but because of external pressure, is it possible that the law is de facto unconstitutional regardless of its content?

    I don’t know, and I suspect the ConCourt would cower away from a decision based on the separation of powers doctrine. Be that as it may, do you think there’d be a case to be made that the source of the legislation must be “clean” to be constitutional?

  • Brett Nortje – Dunning–Kruger effect: Is it possible the ANC do not realise how badly they suck at running our country?

    One can speculate at length why the ANC do not learn from their mistakes. I’m pleased they keep on making them. Remember the furore last time they tried that cunning plan on the South African people?

    Most people know why there is chaos in South African schools, although, in retrospect, taking corporal punishment out of our schools was not a bad idea considering Mbeki let SADTU in….

  • Zoo Keeper

    Brett

    We have existing laws which are simply not policed. This is just passing more laws to hide inadequacies of enforcement of existing laws.

    Besides, how much place does the State have in a private household? Interesting question that?

  • Dmwangi

    Zoo:

    ” Be that as it may, do you think there’d be a case to be made that the source of the legislation must be “clean” to be constitutional?”

    Unfortunately, I do not think there is. Perhaps it is my strongly deferential stance toward legislatures, but I do not see how the motivation behind a bill could make it unconstitutional if the actual content is constitutionally licit.

    What we need, then, is an electorate engaged and knowledgable enough to make its legislators responsive to it rather than to outside interest groups. However, electoral accountability is a very attenuated tool when there is a one-party monopoly. It’s a real conundrum.

    Perhaps we’ll have to count on the fact that the guys who work for SAPS can barely enforce laws against murder and rape (I’m sure Brett has the statistics), much less something as ubiquitous, relatively benign, and strongly supported as child discipline. Also, I’d surmise the vast majority of police do not oppose spanking and don’t consider a law valid unless it aligns with their own sovereign legal preferences.

  • Dmwangi

    Agreed!

    Zoo Keeper
    July 29, 2013 at 17:46 pm

  • Ozoneblue

    Dmwangi
    July 29, 2013 at 18:14 pm

    Hey Dmwani.

    Lets all celebrate. White Liberal Cancer is officially invading Africa !

    New spanking law in the works

    http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/New-spanking-law-in-the-works-20130728

    Woohoo.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rm-ihSFC280

  • Ozoneblue

    And in related news.

    Malema: Indians, Afrikaners out to get me

  • Ozoneblue

    Is this the most spoilt child in Britain?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agnUJuN_TVA