Quote of the week

An ‘important purpose of section 34 [of the Constitution] is to guarantee the protection of the judicial process to persons who have disputes that can be resolved by law’ and that the right of access to court is ‘foundational to the stability of an orderly society. It ensures the peaceful, regulated and institutionalised mechanisms to resolve disputes, without resorting to self-help. The right of access to court is a bulwark against vigilantism, and the chaos and anarchy which it causes. Construed in this context of the rule of law and the principle against self-help in particular, access to court is indeed of cardinal importance’.The right guaranteed s34 would be rendered meaningless if court orders could be ignored with impunity:the underlying purposes of the right — and particularly that of avoidance of self-help — would be undermined if litigants could decide which orders they wished to obey and which they wished to ignore.

Plasket AJ
Victoria Park Ratepayers' Association v Greyvenouw CC and others (511/03) [2003] ZAECHC 19 (11 April 2003)
18 July 2008

Happy birthday Mr Mandela, but what about the others

It gives one a nice warm feeling to know that Nelson Mandela is celebrating his 90th birthday today. His humility, humour, sense of forgiveness and the fact that he does not act like a saint but like a real human being stands out.

I was wondering though: what about all those other guys who were on Robben Island with Mandela, who have died or are now forgotten. Don’t they get a bit irritated that the chattering classes make such a fuss about Mandela while they do not warrant a mention?

Mandela is a remarkable man and we are an incredible lucky country to have such a leader. But many others also sacrificed to make freedom possible. We should not forget them.

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