Snafu is an opportunity for ANC to reflect on the constitutionality of its longing for hegemony
Luthuli House’s decision to use the image of deputy chief justice Mandisa Maya as the ANC “transformation poster person” in a pre-election electronic communication has met with a sharp rebuke from the office of the chief justice and a swift retraction of the advertisement by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
While it is so that the constitution enjoins the Judicial Service Commission and president to consider “the need for the judiciary to reflect broadly the racial and gender composition of SA”, it is not the ANC that should claim credit for the meteoric rise of the deputy chief justice through the ranks of the judiciary, because it is not the appointing body and never has been.
The flighting of the advertisement betrays the ANC’s longing for hegemonic control of all levers of power in society. The judiciary is a major lever of power because it has the constitutional mandate to declare conduct or laws invalid for their lack of consistency with the constitution, and is called on to do so with great regularity.
To their credit, our courts cherish their independence and remain steadfastly true to the constitution and rule of law, which they apply impartially and without fear, favour or prejudice.
The “Maya ad” snafu is an opportunity for the ANC to reflect on the constitutionality of its longing for hegemony and to mend its wayward habits so as to reflect fealty to the supremacy of the constitution and rule of law, as enshrined in chapter one of the constitution.
This applies to its pre-election advertising material, its strategy and its tactics.
Paul Hoffman, SC
Director, Accountability Now