09 October 2008

The Constitutional Court

This court has been deciding such important human rights issues as the right of gay people to marry and adopt children; the duty of the government to provide pregnant mothers with retroviral drugs to prevent infection of their babies at birth; abolition of the death penalty... South Africa has the most modern constitution in the World, forbidding discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and disability, for example.

constitutional court

All the justices of the first court inscribed their names into the concrete of the new building.

constitutional court

Nelson Mandela said this about a democratic and free society at the Rivonia treason trial:

"It is an ideal which I hope to live for and achieve. But if need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."


He then proceeded to spend 27 years in prison. The days of his and other political prisoners' incarceration are marked on these slabs.


Each of the articles of the constitution is carved into the front door of the court, in all the official languages of South Africa, as well as Braille and sign language.

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