The FW de Klerk Foundation, in partnership with The Konrad Adenauer Foundation, presents The 2023 FW de Klerk Foundation Annual Conference: “Defending The Constitution”
Thirty years after the adoption of South Africa’s first nonracial and inclusive constitution in December 1993, South Africa remains a constitutional democracy. It continues to enjoy this status to a large extent because of the roles played in defending the Constitution by investigative journalists, Chapter Nine institutions (particularly the Office of the Public Protector under Adv Thuli Madonsela), Non-Governmental Organisations and, perhaps most importantly, South Africa’s independent courts.
As is evident from our daily national debate, the Constitution remains under pressure – arising particularly from
- the unsustainable conditions of poverty, inequality, unemployment, violent crime and declining social, educational and health services that constitute the lived daily experience of a majority of South Africans;
- the failure of the government to take credible steps to combat state capture and corruption;
- The breakdown in the delivery of basic services – most notably ESKOM; and
- the threats posed by current legislation to language rights, property rights, non-racialism and freedom of expression.
At its Annual Conference this year, the Foundation will focus attention on these threats and on the role that journalists, Chapter Nine Institutions, NGOs and the Courts have played in the past in defending the Constitution – and the role that they will continue to play in the future in ensuring that South Africa remains a constitutional democracy.
Speakers include Adriaan Basson, Editor-in-chief of South Africa’s largest website, News24; Paul Hoffman SC, retired advocate and founding director of Accountability Now; Lawson Naidoo, the Independent Director of Cricket South Africa and former Special Advisor to the Speaker of Parliament, Union Alliance Holdings and CASAC; Hugh Corder, Professor of Public Law at the University of Cape Town from 1987 to 2019 and Professor Emeritus; and Moeletsi Mbeki, a political analyst, author and entrepreneur.”
Watch the full video to learn more and join the conversation.