FWDK 2017 2 FEB

Twenty-two years ago elected representatives of all the people of South Africa, gathered in Parliament, sitting as a Constituent Assembly, adopted a new Constitution as the supreme law of South Africa.

It is important for us to remind ourselves of their objectives in so-doing.  They were:

The drafters were fully aware of the need for safeguards to ensure that future governments would abide by the provisions of the Constitution and respect the rights and freedoms that it would enshrine.

The Constitution required public administration to maintain and promote a high standard of professionalism and to provide services fairly, equitably and without bias – on the basis of the efficient, economic and effective use of resources.

Aye, there’s the rub.

The Constitution and all the rights and freedoms that it ensures depend to great extent on the integrity of the President and his willingness to abide by his oath of office.

The viability of the entire constitutional scheme rests on the integrity and ability of the people that the President appoints to the cabinet and to the many other key posts in the state sector that he is empowered by the Constitution to fill. In particular, it rests on their willingness and determination to carry out their functions with integrity, in accordance with the law; and in a manner that is without fear, favour or prejudice.

Speech by former President FW de Klerk
2 February 2018