Monday, September 07, 2009

NILC support for JSC on Hlophe to be welcomed

I don’t know if many of you lot have noticed but there is a worrying trend that is starting to develop every time an issue crops up that grabs national attention — individuals or groups getting behind those who share their race rather than their ideas.

This South Africans is your non-starter for ten.

Though I accept that there is a definite partisanship that has emerged from apartheid as well as racism down the centuries this cannot be allowed to continue to destroy the fabric of South African society heading into the future. Indeed rather than proudly pronouncing on how each view or incident confirms that which divides races, people must try to see the views of all others as the aggregate of our country’s collective standpoint on issues.

In that way instead of creating anger as we seek to change others to our will, we create unity in a departure point that recognises a diversity of thought as one.

Instead of popularising misguided design through attaching race, creating a better country by promoting what’s right as opposed to what’s expedient.

Over the past few weeks we have seen a number of issues unfold, all of which have grabbed our attention.

In the case of Caster Semenya we have an IAAF complaint that has resulted in gender testing being considered racist by South Africans.


There are precedents whereby women of other races have been subjected to this testing. Yet we have sought to attack an international community and an IAAF, which played a vital role in ending apartheid, with all the grace of a lynch mob. In addition we have then been subjected to ANCYL president Julius Malema saying that whites couldn’t be bothered to go to the airport to welcome Caster home. Twice over racist nonsense where none exists. Why would you ever want to stir racial resentment based on a nothing claim?

Where were the more sensible heads?

In the case of Judge John Hlophe I have made my views very clear as anyone who regularly reads my articles will know. Suffice it to say that for the purpose of this exercise I am of the firm belief that the JSC bottled it just as the NPA did on President Zuma. Yet in both cases I like to think that I have accepted both decisions with good grace and tried to promote South Africa regardless of my views. I have certainly been behind the president since he took office.

The issue that has disturbed some of us in both the Zuma and Hlophe matters has been the need to follow the due process of law to its logical conclusion, which many of us consider has not been the case. But that must be a starting point not an end to it.

The fact that our system has not brought us the desired result means we must accept that this is the system and if we want different results then we need to change it. But until such time as we can get that right we must accept its results, in this case that Zuma is our president and that Hlophe is still a judge despite any misgivings. Accept that Judge Kriegler and those who stand behind him are using the law as a mechanism to protect the judicial system of our country.

It is not about black and white, it is about checks and balances, protecting our judiciary and — for those who support Hlophe — allowing those cleared by the system to live their lives.

In the case of the Kriegler challenge I was alarmed to see businessman Cyril Ramaphosa, Johannesburg High Court acting Judge Kgomotso Moroka and advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza withdraw from the Freedom Under Law organisation.

Notwithstanding the basis furnished by this prominent threesome, it once again appeared to be a case of lining up along racial lines rather than the real issue being played by all: Should the JSC have given Hlophe the walk?

Then in stepped the National Interfaith Leadership Council (NILC) and confirmed that they were relieved when the JSC reached its decision on Hlophe.

“For some time now, South Africans have had to endure a series of tensions and legal rows of one form or another within the judicial fraternity, which have without doubt left this honourable sector bruised,” McCauley said.

“In most instances, these clashes have been more about personalities and ideological difference than about defending the sacrosanct rule of law,” he said.

It was for this reason that the NILC had sighed with relief at the recent ruling by the JSC.

(Reverend Ray McCauley)

Though I happen to disagree with McCauley, the fact of the matter is that I’m delighted to see whites taking a stand behind the JSC. Not because I believe there is merit in the NILC argument but simply because I would like to see races forget about colour and take each other on — mixed in together — with only the issues to divide them.

In this instance the view that the NILC were relieved that the JSC called time on Hlophe because of the ongoing animosity is rather nice and befitting of our interfaith leaders.

It is, of course, also horribly misguided as it suggests allowing parties to trample on our law and then get away with it simply because they kick up a huge unpleasant stink.

I think the final word must go to Motlanthe who this week correctly pointed out to the ANC parliamentary group that the country is watching them and accordingly it is time to win the day by putting forward superior arguments. If I may be so bold as to just add — without any unnecessary regard to race.

By Michael Trapido

1 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

Trapido is an emasculated, sycophantic race traitor.