Is the South African Constitution a Paper Tiger?

The Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR), Cape Town, in collaboration with the Foundation for Human Rights (FHR), Johannesburg, is holding a public dialogue on “Is the South African Constitution a Paper Tiger?” The meeting will be held on Monday, 7 September 2015 at the Centre for the Book, 62 Queen Victoria Street, Gardens, Cape Town, South Africa, from 17h30 to 19h00.

Justice Kate O'Regan, Former Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, and Professor Pierre de Vos, Claude Leon Foundation Chair in Constitutional Governance, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, will address the meeting.

In January 2014, President Jacob Zuma was reported to have told a rally of his party’s supporters that the African National Congress (ANC) needed a super-majority in the forthcoming elections so that the Constitution could be changed. These fears were exacerbated in December 2014 when the executive asserted the right of the minister of police, Nkosinathi Nhleko, to remove the head of the “Hawks” anticorruption investigative unit. This was perceived by some as a move to place some members of the government above the law, and a violation of its constitutional duty to protect the Bill of Rights. Some observers worry that even calls to amend the Constitution within the law may undermine respect for it as a fundamental social contract and set of basic rights. Other critics have described the constitution as a “paper tiger” that is unable to deliver socio-economic transformation. This public dialogue will seek to foster open discussion on constitutional values, what they are and why they matter; the constitutional structure and its separation of powers; the independence of the judiciary; and why government needs a functioning judiciary.

SPEAKER: Justice Kate O'Regan, Former Justice of the Constitutional Court of South AfricaSPEAKER: Professor Pierre de Vos, Claude Leon Foundation Chair in Constitutional Governance, University of Cape Town, Cape Town
TIME/DATE: 17h30 to 19h00, Monday, 7 September 2015
VENUE: Centre for the Book, 62 Queen Victoria Street, Gardens, Cape Town

For further information, please contact: Kate Finlay at CCR: kfinlay@ccr.org.za.