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.
It is a pity that The New Age, the planned newspaper which has positioned itself as “broadly supportive of the government”, did not appear today as planned because of the resignation of 5 senior editors (including the editor-in-chief and the deputy editor) yesterday, just a few hours before the first edition had to go to print. South Africa needs a more diverse print media and judging from its website, the new product would have provided a lively but credible new voice to the media landscape.
I was rather startled though when I went to The New Age website and a window popped up with the following advertisement.
That was quick.
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