Our constitutional design is emphatically transformative. It is meant to migrate us from a murky and brutish past to an inclusive future animated by values of human decency and solidarity. It contains a binding consensus on, or a blueprint of, what a fully transformed society should look like.
Deputy chief justice, Dikgang Moseneke, 2014
All mass formations have faced fundamental political questions of how to relate to both the opportunities and challenges of the 1994 democratic breakthrough, especially the implications of direct access to, and participation in, the democratic state and all its institutions.
Axed Cosatu general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, 2014
ANTI-IDEOLOGY AND THE POLITICS OF RIGHTS
In April 2014, in an editorial in the Daily Maverick titled ‘Building Unity to Restore Democratic Rule’, Raymond Suttner, former African National Congress (ANC) and South African Communist Party (SACP) leader, appealed:
Those who cherish South African democracy need to draw in people from a range of sectors and organisations that may never have acted together in the past. While retaining their autonomous identities, such groups should develop a unifying vision, which binds them. That does not exclude members of the ANC or any other organisation who identify with these goals. It includes trade unions, social movements and NGOs (non-governmental organisations), a range of community organisations, based in urban and rural areas, as well as business, big and small because there can be no wishing away of capital for the foreseeable future.
In the context of South Africa's deepening social crisis, growing levels of inequality, private and public violence, there can be no doubting the importance of Suttner's appeal. Suttner's article was written before the May 2014 election in which the ANC was able to claim a sixty-two per cent majority, albeit less than forty per cent of the total number of people eligible to vote. But predictably the ANC's overwhelming victory did nothing to staunch the political impasse that pervades our society, with the ongoing controversy over the financing of the president's private homestead at Nkandla, and strikes and service-delivery protests commencing again barely before the ink was dry on the election results. Judging by the levels of protest, South Africa is a country in revolt against the status quo.