Good to see us finally using the law
We can’t simply let the jackasses of yesteryear get away with what they did because we have new jackasses to deal with, says the author.
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Maybe I’m just mean but it’s wonderful to hear that those who buggered around with pricing to make a quick buck out of the state’s haemorrhaging teat are getting some hint of justice.
That “statute of limitations” thing some places do makes no sense and it’s pretty enlightening of us to not have that on our books.
Okay fine, we do have those 3-year limits when it comes to private civil matters but it’s so great that crimes against society can nail bad people decades down the line.
Better yet, that on being bust, your pension can be on the line.
It actually shows South Africa’s commitment to justice, albeit mostly still on paper.
Some may say that justice delayed is justice denied, and there is some truth to that, but as we progress into a more just society, we can’t simply let the jackasses of yesteryear get away with what they did because we have new jackasses to deal with.
From Willem Breytenbach to these okes who decompressed the price of straws at Transnet, it seems the chickens have come home to roost.
Ironically, were that not metaphorical and the price of straws was lower, there’d probably be more of them, increasing the likelihood that the chickens will eat them, choke and thus be unable to come home to roost.
Moral of the story; don’t be the one to make the world a worse place. It’s difficult to do that when you see so many people getting away with it and that is why it’s important that we knock any perpetrator with the might of the law.
The benefit we have is that the law is pretty mighty but those tasked with flexing it are both overwhelmed and generally underwhelming. We can celebrate the occasional successful prosecution or attachment but those are few and far between the number of opportunities presented.
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In fact, on paper, we’re even being taken more seriously; to the point that our academia has produced a judge of the International Court of Justice.
The time is now to take that paper and make it manifest in action. We’re forever told that we have the most progressive Constitution in the world. We even say that of ourselves yet I don’t think we actually know what that even means. Part of it is that we have the legal tools to make a solid society and while we’re doing some good in pushing towards it, there’s way more that needs to be done.
What happened to Shamila Batohi’s threats of nailing those implicated in corruption? Why is Ace Magashule still allowed to roam the political streets? There have been investigations and even Harvard studies on Life Esidimeni but it doesn’t seem like anything has come from any of it.
It seems we’ve become pretty adept at championing things on one side and neglecting them on the other. It doesn’t matter that we spend billions fixing the roads if we can still allow poor build quality and overburdened trucks to nail our highways without the support of a functioning train system.
It doesn’t matter that we have robust public protections but that hardly helps when you’re being beaten by a blue light brigade.
It is great that we have laws that we can use to catch bad people doing bad things but it’s hardly great when only a fraction of them feel the force of those laws.
The good news stories we hear are great and it would be even better if we could hear them far more frequently because we have all the paper we need to make that happen.
Now we need to find more people who know how to use that paper and put that paper in front of them.
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