Is South Africa’s Constitution in Danger? – Speech by Arthur Chaskalson

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Speech by Arthur Chaskalson on Thursday 10 May 2012 at Iziko Museum’s Centre for Conflict Resolution.

We have been asked tonight to engage in a public dialogue on the subject, “Is  South Africa’s Constitution in Danger”. As formulated, it is an open question,  taking neither one side nor the other, but the fact that the question has been  asked is significant. It is not the sort of question that would have been asked  five or ten years ago, possibly even one or two years ago, so why now? What  has happened to give rise to such a question?

Well, a number of things have happened. There has been the Protection of State  Information Bill, which contemplates harsh penalties for the disclosure of  classified information, a proposal to establish a media tribunal to exercise some  form of control over the media, hostile and at times derogatory comments by  some members of the tripartite alliance about the judiciary, threats to undertake  an investigation to assess the performance of the Constitutional Court, and to  reconsider its powers, and assertions by some prominent members of the tripartite alliance that the Constitution is an obstacle to transformation of our  society, preventing effective redress of the legacy of apartheid. At the same time  there appears to be a growing influence of certain members of the security  establishment, and reports of the involvement of some of them in party political  disputes.

Read the full speech below:

2012 05 11 CCR Public Dialogue – Is SAs Constitution in Danger

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