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)
9 March 2007

Taking political accountability too far?

US newspapers revealed this week that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, failed to pay parking tickets worth $375 while he was a student at Harvard law school. He paid the tickets two weeks before he officially launched his presidential campaign.

Now its front page news in every newspaper in America. Is it only me, or is this taking accountability a bit too far. Imagine South African newspapers had to publish such detailed allegations about politicians. There will be no space for stories on crime.

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