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This is why ignorance of the constitution’s true role puts SA in ...

Ideas

This is why ignorance of the constitution’s true role puts SA in peril

Many are unaware of what it protects, playing into the hands of the corrupt and those who think they’re above the law

Columnist

Persistent attacks on the constitution by populists, the incompetent and the corrupt have undermined public legitimacy of the supreme law, unleashing a general breakdown thereof. This allows competing, despotic governance regimes such as customary, strongman and gangster “law” to gain traction as alternatives.

Constitutions trump ordinary laws and cannot and should not be changed willy-nilly. Attacks on the constitution have undermined it to such an extent that they have created a perception that it is like any ordinary law, one that can be changed at the behest of governing parties and leaders. This in a country where large numbers of citizens are illiterate, ill-informed and lack knowledge of the workings of a political system.

A constitution ensures governing parties manage a state under certain democratic rules. This is to ensure leaders govern for the good of all citizens, not just the ruling party or allied elites and constituencies...

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