Quote of the week

Universal adult suffrage on a common voters roll is one of the foundational values of our entire constitutional order. The achievement of the franchise has historically been important both for the acquisition of the rights of full and effective citizenship by all South Africans regardless of race, and for the accomplishment of an all-embracing nationhood. The universality of the franchise is important not only for nationhood and democracy. The vote of each and every citizen is a badge of dignity and of personhood. Quite literally, it says that everybody counts. In a country of great disparities of wealth and power it declares that whoever we are, whether rich or poor, exalted or disgraced, we all belong to the same democratic South African nation; that our destinies are intertwined in a single interactive polity.

Justice Albie Sachs
August and Another v Electoral Commission and Others (CCT8/99) [1999] ZACC 3
26 July 2023

On international law and secession

While international law embraces the right to self-determination for all people, and while this right can effectively translate into remedial secession, international law positively allows for this outcome only in the case of decolonization and, perhaps, occupation. Other than these two relatively rare instances, international law does not affirmatively authorize groups to seek secession. Secession inherently undermines the territorial integrity of the mother state, and international law has for centuries espoused the principles of state sovereignty and territorial integrity. Embracing the right of secession would jeopardize the above-mentioned principles and could, as critics assert, potentially lead to global chaos caused by an incessant
redrawing of boundaries.

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