As seductive as certain perspectives of international law may appear to those who disagree with the outcome of the interpretative exercise conducted by this Court in the contempt judgment, sight must not be lost of the proper place of international law, especially in respect of an application for rescission. The approach that my Brother adopts may be apposite in the context of an appeal, where a court is enjoined to consider whether the court a quo erred in its interpretation of the law. Although it should be clear by now, I shall repeat it once more: this is not an appeal, for this Court’s orders are not appealable. I am deeply concerned that seeking to rely on articles of the ICCPR as a basis for rescission constitutes nothing more than sophistry.
Government’s inability to accept criticism and facilitate dialogue was highlighted in the recent vociferous debate about whether Cape Town is a “racist city”. The phrasing of the debate is unproductive, but the truth is that there are few cities in South Africa where our nation’s divided past is so stark. Although our city has made some progress since 1994 in providing services to historically neglected communities, we must accept that Cape Town’s racial and class divisions remain largely intact. You just have to drive the short distance from Cape Town’s leafy suburbs to the sprawling shantytowns at the city’s margins to see this. Finding lasting solutions requires us to be honest about these difficult realities. – Gavin Silber in an article on PoliticswebBACK TO TOP