The JSC is shaking the foundations it was built on

Ideas

The JSC is shaking the foundations it was built on

Politics in a body established to bolster the independence and quality of aspiring justices guards nobody

Columnist

A millennium or so ago, sometime between the first and second centuries, the Roman poet Juvenal asked a question which resonates now in troubled SA.

“Quis custodiet Ipsos custodes?” or “Who will guard the guards themselves?” remains key, especially for a country which, on the one hand, celebrates its constitution and, on the other, finds so many of its guardrails broken and essentially useless.

According to an Afrobarometer survey released last week, most South Africans share the view that the constitutional instruments designed to empower citizens and curb the abuse of power are unfit for purpose. So much so that two thirds of those surveyed would, apparently, junk the constitution and elections for parliament if “a non-elected government could provide jobs, improved services and security”. Little wonder then that the same survey records “the lowest levels in history” (or since the survey was first conducted in 2006) of trust in institutions such as the presidency, parliament, the public protector and the electoral commission of SA...

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