The Spear and the Assault on the Constitution
Dene Smuts, Shadow Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development
30 May 2012
The ANC is rewriting the Constitution with its feet. The party’s foremost anti-Constitutionalists, Secretary General Gwede Mantashe, Ngoako Ramatlhodi and Blade Nzimande, have emerged as prime movers in the intimidation campaign which saw the Goodman Gallery and City Press back down in the face of bullying.
Gwede Mantashe said at Tuesday’s march on the gallery that “what the ANC could not win in the courts it would win in the streets.”
That means plain and simple that it is trampling Constitutional rights and, in effect, rewriting the Constitution.
Mr Mantashe is also the man who called the judiciary “counter-revolutionaries” shortly before the 2009 election.
Deputy Minister of Correctional Services, Ngoako Ramathlodi, who shocked SA last year by writing that the Constitution, including the separation of powers, represented a fatal compromise - has said that Tuesday’s march is the beginning of the second transition for which he has been calling.
Communist boss and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, who has called the judiciary “dictators”, has called for the physical destruction of the now defaced painting. We are much closer to Nazi-style book burning than we think.
The Constitution is a dead letter when the ANC abandons its court application because it has achieved its ends by other means. However difficult the last fortnight has been, it is time that commentators and analysts started asking themselves whether the protestations of pain we have been hearing were all sincere. How much of the chorus was calculated and conducted by a previously invisible hand?