Quote of the week

Over the last 150 days we have learned much about the power of the habitual in post-millennial, post-apartheid South Africa. We have heard it in the grumbling, cavilling, quarrelling and grousing about the logic (or lack of) of government decrees. We have also seen it in the defiance of logic among the many bourgeois folks who mistook their entitlement for rights, whether to go running, do yoga on the beach, surf, get takeaway coffees, or to purchase items subjected to restricted trade… We saw it in the contradictory messages relayed by official government channels, in the conflict between some experts advising government, between government officials and such experts, and in the ways in which opposition parties contradicted themselves as they opposed government proclamations.

Angelo Fick
Johannesburg Review of Books
12 April 2007

Home Affairs to the rescue

A reader responds to my post on the state’s recognition of a change in one’s sex/gender.

There seems to be another way to change your gender – even if you don’t intend to: just apply to Home Affairs for a passport. Quote from yesterday’s Cape Times: “Sindie Bosch has been waiting a year for a passport, putting up patiently with delay after delay – and it all got a bit much when she was recently handed the document – in the name of a Mr. Chauke. When she returned to Home Affairs, the assistant at the desk at the Centurion office here asked: “But isn’t that you on the photo?””

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