The question before us though is how we can build the caring and inclusive society that our Constitution requires us to do. Let’s reflect on its construct.
First, it sets out its purpose in the preamble where it requires of society among other things to:
- Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights;
- Lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law; and
- Improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person.
Second, it sets out the Founding Provisions, which include a commitment to human dignity, non-racialism and non-sexism, universal adult suffrage, supremacy of the constitution, citizenship, the anthem, the flag, and our languages.
Third, it sets out the Bill of Rights, which it describes as the “cornerstone of democracy”. A few of these may appear contentious even now.