Quote of the week

Over the last 150 days we have learned much about the power of the habitual in post-millennial, post-apartheid South Africa. We have heard it in the grumbling, cavilling, quarrelling and grousing about the logic (or lack of) of government decrees. We have also seen it in the defiance of logic among the many bourgeois folks who mistook their entitlement for rights, whether to go running, do yoga on the beach, surf, get takeaway coffees, or to purchase items subjected to restricted trade… We saw it in the contradictory messages relayed by official government channels, in the conflict between some experts advising government, between government officials and such experts, and in the ways in which opposition parties contradicted themselves as they opposed government proclamations.

Angelo Fick
Johannesburg Review of Books
19 June 2009

Surprise! Paul Ngobeni is a liar

I took part in a debate with Paul Ngobeni this morning on SAFM about whether Judge President John Hlophe should be appointed to the Constitutional Court. My dear friend Paul said in his opening remarks that I had written on this Blog that I “hate” Hlophe. I was rather taken aback by this as I have never written on this Blog (or anywhere else, for that matter) that I hate anyone. Ngobeni was, in fact, telling a scurrilous lie. What I actually said was EXACTLY the opposite, and I quote:

Really, it deeply angers me that those who are charged by the Constitution to uphold the Constitution and the law could steep so low. They should be ashamed of themselves. This does not make me a person who hates the Judge President (or his lawyers). It does make me a person who is very, very angry with the Judge President. It makes me a person who is beginning to wonder whether the Judge President has the requisite moral compass required to continue serving as a judge in our beautiful democracy – regardless any finding of the JSC in the CC case against him.

Mr Ngobeni has shown a propsensity to distort both facts and the law to suit his purpose and this morning was no exception. If I was Hlophe I would feel ashamed to be associated with such blatant dishonesty. As Judge Hlophe himself has been caught telling lies, I suppose it is par for the course though.

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