Quote of the week

Excluding refugees from the right to work as private security providers simply because they are refugees will inevitably foster a climate of xenophobia which will be harmful to refugees and inconsistent with the overall vision of our Constitution. As a group that is by definition vulnerable, the impact of discrimination of this sort can be damaging in a significant way. In reaching this conclusion it is important to bear in mind that it is not only the social stigma which may result from such discrimination, but also the material impact that it may have on refugees.

Mokgoro J and O’Regan J (dissenting)
Union of Refugee Women and Others v Director, Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority and Others (CCT 39/06) [2006] ZACC 23
28 November 2006

Civil Union Bill said to ignite debates accross Africa

This facinating article from Afrol news claims that the acceptance of same-sex marriage in South Africa has opened up spaces for discussions on homosexuality in many other parts of Africa.

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This is what I call the productive power of the Constitution: Constitutional rights can have an effcet far beyond the mere invalidation of existing pieces of legislation. Because the law is also productive – by that I mean it helps to produce the reality we live in – constitutional challenges can have far-reaching social and political effects by changing the way people think about their world.

Of course, it can also produce powerful forces of resistance. After the discussions are over, there is always the likelihood of a backlash and more repression. But that backlash may again, in turn, lead to resistance by gay and lesbian groups now emboldened.

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