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.
The premise of this satirical piece from Jon Stewart’s Daily Show is of course not entirely correct – as anyone who reads the letters pages of South African newspapers (or the comments section of this Blog!) would attest, but the way in which it mocks that arch-racist Dan Roodt is brilliant. By mocking Roodt (seemingly without him realizing), the interviewer is not giving him the power to make his racist views potent and hurtful. Roodt merely becomes a buffoon and a laughing stock – and hence powerless.
A lesson for South Africans, perhaps?
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Oliver – World Cup 2010: Into Africa – The Amazing Racists|