Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng urges those who have knowledge, to share it with others as this will help to expose and root out corruption.
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has called for intensified efforts in addressing land reform and inequality in SA.
Access to land was critical for economic transformation but those involved in addressing it must do so peacefully, he said during his 17th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in University of Johannesburg Soweto Campus on Saturday.
Mogoeng spoke passionately about the need to have a constitution that is easily understood by the public.
He urged those who have a better knowledge of it to share with others as this will help to expose and root out corruption.
“Having been challenged to show some reflection on the challenge of the constitution, I think here lies the challenge.
“What is wrong with our society? How did it come about that 25 years after democracy we still have people without homes, gender discrimination, ethnicity and tribalism? We, the people of South Africa, desire to have and examine our constitution,” Mogoeng said.
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela strongly agreed with the chief justice.
“He said one way of denying people is by hiding their rights. I know that most people don’t even know their rights, We have to take decisive action with everyone violating the constitution, particularly government.”
Warning about the purported capture of the judiciary, Mogoeng said it was his and other judges’ responsibility to ensure the judiciary was not compromised.
“We wield extensive power. There is almost nothing we cannot do through the instrumentality of the constitution.
“You have got to observe. You have got to watch how people are being interviewed, because there are times when you can tell certain people have been shielded from being asked critical questions.
“When these things happen, you must know that people are attempting to capture the judiciary.”
Founding member of the Nelson Mandela Foundation Tokyo Sexwale said the lecture spoke to the heart of people on major issues that affect them.
“It was more about South Africa and transformation in the constitution. I commend him for his courage to encourage us not to give up, because things go wrong when people don’t speak up.
“We have to accept that things are going wrong in this country and we can’t point fingers,” Sex-wale said.
Sexwale said South Africans were at risk of losing their country if they didn’t act against corruption and criminality.
“We need people who can put themselves on the line,” Sexwale said.
“South Africans, wake up. You will lose the country. It can just go like that unless we stand up and have the courage of speaking up when things go wrong, regardless of who is holding the position. We have to hold people accountable.”
Thandolwakhe Mokotedi, a student at the University of South Africa, said she had learned about the importance of unity and a strong and powerful constitution.
“When we are united as a nation we can do more and achieve better, when we give practical exposure to the injustices of the past and learning from them, we can find solutions in our pain, we really don’t understand that constitution is an instrument to build our country and when we don’t understand it, we really won’t un-derstand its function,” Mokotedi said.
For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.