As seductive as certain perspectives of international law may appear to those who disagree with the outcome of the interpretative exercise conducted by this Court in the contempt judgment, sight must not be lost of the proper place of international law, especially in respect of an application for rescission. The approach that my Brother adopts may be apposite in the context of an appeal, where a court is enjoined to consider whether the court a quo erred in its interpretation of the law. Although it should be clear by now, I shall repeat it once more: this is not an appeal, for this Court’s orders are not appealable. I am deeply concerned that seeking to rely on articles of the ICCPR as a basis for rescission constitutes nothing more than sophistry.
In its founding affidavit Afriforum repeatedly refers to the Municipality’s attempts at correcting “so-called ‘historical injustices of the past’”. It supplies evidence that the old street names were of: “…prominent figures in history (most have made their contributions long before the so-called apartheid), city fathers and legal practitioners (including attorneys, advocates, magistrates and even a judge). It is clear that these people played a direct and positive role in the city as it exists today. It would therefore be grossly inaccurate to suggest that these persons have a direct connection with the so-called historical injustices.” So-called! This embodies the kind of insensitivity that poisons our society. There were historical injustices. Apartheid was all too real. And it was profoundly pernicious. These facts are not “so-called” figments of black people’s imagination. Pretoria was created as the capital of an Afrikaner Republic that expressly subordinated black people.BACK TO TOP