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)
22 October 2007

Mbeki and the world cup victory

Was I being too sensitive and cynical for noticing how some of the members of the England Rugby team seemed to walk right past President Thabo Mbeki during the handing out of the medals?

I almost felt sorry for him: there he was, short and wooden – looking as comfortable as Al Gore during a Presidential debate – and, quite frankly, a bit disheveled in his Springbok outfit. I suppose he was sadly trying (unsuccessfully) to emulate Madiba at the 1995 World Cup, standing next to Nicholas Sarkozy and Gordon Brown and looking decidedly uncomfortable.

Then some of the England players just walked right past him, with him, grabbing on to their sleeves to get the chance to congratulate them on losing.

It seems to me like a textbook display of the subliminal racism that Mbeki himself talks about so often and get so upset and obsessed with. It is as if the England players, after shaking hands with the French President and their own Prime Minister, did not even see our President and for what reason? Surely not only because he was not dressed in a suit. Could it be that they thought this little man was not important because he was black?

In any case, I found it sad. Sadder still was the President’s body language throughout the celebrations. Even when he was lifted shoulder high and he hoisted the world cup he did not look very comfortable. Decidedly out of his element.

But surely the South African victory must boost the President’s chances of being re-elected President of the ANC. The Springbok victory has erased some of the doom and gloom that was hanging over South Africa and, for the time being at least, is making us all a little bit optimistic.

This could change the mood of some delegates going to Limpopo and who knows, might influence the election. How ironic it would be if the African Nationalist’s chances of re-election is boosted by the winning of the world cup by a team who is decidedly pale in complexion.

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