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
25 December 2008

Newsflash: Edwin Cameron appointed to the Constitutional Court

I just received the following message from the Treatment Action Campaign:

The Treatment Action Campaign congratulates Justice Edwin Cameron on his appointment to the Constitutional Court.

Justice Edwin Cameron has been appointed to the Constitutional Court of South Africa by President Kgalema Mothlanthe. Edwin Cameron has been described as the best legal mind of his generation. His career as an anti-apartheid lawyer opposed forced removals, military conscription, unfair labour practices and censorship. Cameron was one of the first judges appointed by President Nelson Mandela and has built a substantive jurisprudence on equality, rights to social security, freedom of expression and the rights of rape survivors.

Justice Edwin Cameron is a gay man who lives openly with HIV/AIDS. His appointment to the highest court in our country is an affirmation of the Bill of Rights, the rule of law and non-racialism.

Justice Cameron replaces Justice Tholekile Madala whose term ended this year and has retired.

A good appointment. Four appointments to go. Thabo Mbeki must not be happy because Justice Cameron has been one of the first to speak out forcefully and bravely against his views on HIV/AIDS. And our first opennly gay man on the highest court. What a nice Christmas present.

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