The EFF marks the Twentieth Anniversary of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa which was adopted by the first democratic parliament and signed by President Nelson Mandela in 1996. The constitution is a fundamental document through which South Africa as a country rewrote its rebirth to break with anti-black and murderous regimes of the past. Colonisation and apartheid based themselves on the racial exploitation, murder and dehumanisation of black people to the benefit of the white minority population. Under these regimes, the white minority ensured the normalisation of the violent and often murderous dehumanisation of black people through legal, economic and social institutions. The constitution is therefore the statement of values, principles, objectives that set out the new destination of our country to reorganise the legal, economic and social institutions to reverse, transform this past and set us out on new and more human future.

The fundamental constitutional aspiration as set out in the preamble statement which says we aim 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; Improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person;

and Build a united and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations.”

This aspiration is based in the honour of the sacrifices of many who died in the struggle to realise the moment of the adoption of a democratic constitution. As the EFF we celebrate the idea that our government is indeed based on the will of the people through the one man/woman one vote principle and the limitation of terms of office. We celebrate this right because through it, black people who have been victim to a brutal and long crime against their humanity managed to attain a democratic state to reverse the past and build a non-racial society.

It is a fact, however, that in the past five years of the ANC Zuma rule, the democratic ideal of the rule of law has been eroded. On two occasions, the ANC government violated the rule of law by ignoring rulings of the Constitutional court. First, was in relation to the Nkandla court judgement which ruled that Zuma has failed to uphold and protect the constitution. This should imply that he must step down from the high calling and office of President, yet he did not. Secondly, it was in relation to the matter of the Sudanese President Al Bashir. The court ruled that he should be arrested and handed over to the International Criminal Court and the ANC Zuma government ignored the court. On both occasions, even despite the merits of the Al Bashir matter, the ANC government set a precedent that the highest court in the land can be ignored, thus eroding the rule of law.

It is a fact that in the last twenty years we have witnessed a gradual corruption of state institutions and corporations which get used to fight political and personal battles, personal business interests as opposed to the collective interests of our people. This has taken historic and unbearable proportions under the ANC Zuma regime in particular considering the Public Protector State of Capture Report. It is a fact that Zuma has relegated the running of the country, from appointment of ministers to CEOs and board members of state institutions and corporations to a foreign family of the Guptas, who are also his personal business partners.

The ANC government’s failure to uphold the constitution must be seen as a marker of moral degeneration and degradation on their part. It is impossible to conceive of a more democratic constitutional future under their watch because they have normalised corruption and lawlessness in their ranks. This makes them the biggest threat to our constitutional order; in the whole twenty years since President Nelson Mandela signed our new constitution in Sharpeville in 1996, on 10 December, the biggest threat to this document is the ANC.

It is also a fact that when the ANC government massacred workers in Marikana, it violated the fundamental human right of black mineworkers to life and indadvertedly undermined the constitution. When this government killed 34 black mineworkers it failed to live up to the moral significance of why the constitution was signed in Sharpeville; in essence, the ANC repeated the 1960s Sharpeville massacre in defence of white business interests.

Above all, it is a fact that over the past twenty years of our democratic constitution the central question of colonial land dispossession of black people has remained unchanged. Without land, our people have no claim to this country as their home; failure to resolve the land question is the biggest failure of our democratic constitutional dispensation. Colonisation and apartheid were essentially crimes of land dispossession and because of that, land ought to be expropriated without compensation to address this historic injustice towards a more socially just society.

All these facts mean that the ANC no longer have the moral authority and legitimacy to celebrate the constitution because they have done everything to undermine and undo it. They no longer have the ethical standing to lead society in terms of principles, values and objectives of the constitution.

Therefore, in marking the twenty years of our Democratic Constitution, we call on the people of South Africa to embrace the true gain of the constitution which is the right to vote and unshackle the destiny of the country from the degenerate and corrupt ANC. We call on the people of South Africa to defend a constitutional future, marked with social and economic justice by ensuring that in 2019, they remove the ANC from government.

The next twenty years of the life of our democratic dispensation should be dedicated to attaining economic freedom and justice, in particular to uplift the conditions of black people. The next twenty years of our democratic practice must close, once and for all, the question of colonial land dispossession by expropriating land without compensation for equal redistribution.

MBUYISENI QUINTIN NDLOZI (National Spokesperson)