DURBAN - KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala attributed the lack of transformation to the Constitutional Court during a Human Rights Day commemoration in Ixopo on Monday.
“It is incorrect that when we want to transform our province and country we are stopped by another arm of the state. When we want to implement B-BBEE, preferential procurement and radical socio-economic transformation we are stopped by the courts,” said Zikalala, who had delivered the keynote address.
“I sincerely believe that it is time we consider if this apparent inequality is in the interests of the ideals we fought for when we the millions of our masses entered the liberation Struggle and adopted the Freedom Charter which says, like the Constitution, that South Africa belongs to all who live in it.
“On this Human Rights Day we must remember that the Constitution itself is subject to a review and we should not allow the document to slow or reverse the process of transformation which we now know cannot be postponed forever,” said Zikalala.
He said it was time considerations were put in place to have a democracy different to that which is based on the supremacy of the Constitutional Court. The current system, he said, placed power in one organ of the state, which was possibly making a mockery of the idea of democracy in its rejection of transformation.
“We want to issue the call for us whether it is not time to move away from absolute rule by the Constitutional Court to a situation where we have parliamentary democracy in which the voice of the people who elected it is supreme to all other voices.
“In many ways, our Constitution provides a historic bridge between the past of a deeply divided society characterised by strife, conflict, untold suffering and injustice, and a future founded on the recognition of human rights, democracy and peaceful co-existence and development opportunities for all in South Africa.
“We therefore need to pay serious attention to the recent reversal of transformation policies by courts. While we all have to respect and uphold the independence of the judiciary, we need to review the dilemma imposed by the system of constitutional democracy,” said Zikalala.
He also addressed the issue of violence against women, adding that Human Rights Day should remind us all about the sanctity of life and the need to protect it.
“Let us use Human Rights Day to remember that women’s rights are also human rights. We are deeply disturbed by the high levels of violence perpetrated against women and its gruesome nature.
“The rights of women and their dignity was grossly violated at a time (the pandemic) when we needed the greatest effort towards Ubuntu and human solidarity.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa called on more South Africans to join the fight against corruption in their areas, and to report it to the relevant authorities.
He had been speaking in the North West where he said corruption and incompetence have had a devastating effect on the delivery of services.
“Corruption has eroded human rights. Thieves are taking us back, they want to eat alone,” he said.