Praise for SA’s progressive Constitution
THE South African Constitution is hailed by many as one of the most liberal and progressive in the world today.
Compared to other constitutions, it is much more inclusive – with clauses that are controversial in some circles, particularly among those who still uphold conservative moral values.
Even though the ACDP was the only political party to vote against the Constitution in 1996, we fully support our constitutional democracy and wish to give credit to those men and women who helped to stabilise a nation that was plagued by fear and uncertainty about its future.
Two of the main reasons why the ACDP voted against the Constitution was because of its failure to balance human rights with responsibilities, and its protection of criminals while failing to protect innocent unborn babies.
As we celebrate 20 years of our democratic Constitution, it gives me a great sense of pleasure and fulfilment to remember that I was part of the historic process that produced a Constitution that afforded me and my fellow South Africans the many rights that we all enjoy today.
On this note, I would like to acknowledge and give credit to my former colleague, Louis Green, who was a great and passionate team member who represented the ACDP well in various sub committees dealing with the Constitution, including Theme Committee 4, which dealt with the Bill of Rights.
Lastly, I am grateful to God that the ACDP succeeded in persuading the ANC, in particular, not to include the words “secular state” in our Constitution.
Because of the ACDP’s contribution, we managed to include in our Constitution, Section 15(2) that says, and I quote: “religious observances may be conducted at state or stateaided institutions”.
The result of this Section 15(2) has enabled thousands of churches across the country to conduct their services and other meetings in stateowned buildings.
South Africa is indeed a developmental constitutional state and not a secular state that some incorrectly think it is; and we are arguing against that.
There is no known secular state in the world that has any references to God in their Constitution.
The Preamble of our Constitution concludes with the words, and I quote: May God protect our people, Nkosi Sekelel’ iAfrika. Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso. God seën Suid-Afrika. God bless South Africa. Mudzimu fhatutshedza Afurika. Hosi katekisa Afrika. Indeed, the ACDP prays that God will bless all South Africans and prosper all its beautiful, wonderful people.”
Meshoe is president of the ACDP
NATIONAL PRIDE: South Africa has a Constitution worth celebrating, says the writer.