Struggle stalwart Dr Franklin Sonn yesterday warned that President Jacob Zuma had too much power and could push the country to the brink. 

Sonn, with former Constitutional Court judge Albie Sachs, were keynote speakers at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s inaugural vice-chancellor’s public lecture. 

The public lecture, which was held at the CPUT Bellville in partnership with the Cape Times, was to discuss the Constitutional Court in South Africa and its relevance within the current political environment. 

Vice-chancellor Dr Prins Nevhutalu said the topic for yesterday’s conversation was sparked by last month’s Concourt ruling on the Nkandla saga, where Zuma was found to be in violation of the constitution. 

“With the recent Concourt ruling made against the president; this conversation could not be more timeous as the country grapples with the crisis.”

Sachs said he had been amazed by the Concourt ruling. “I had a wow moment when Chief Justice (Mogoeng Mogoeng) made the announcement; I felt a surge of exhilaration.” 

Opening the discussion, the two stalwarts touched on the creation of the constitution. 

Sachs said the constitution was designed with Struggle hero and ANC leader Oliver Tambo’s philosophy. 

“The Bill of Rights is the cornerstone of the constitution. We needed a constitution as protection, not only for transformation, but from ourselves.” 

“We spent six years creating it and there were breakdowns, but we never lost sight of our goal.” 

“We wanted to create the idea of equal citizenship in our country.” Sachs said. 

Sonn said there were certain imperfections in the constitution. 

One of them was that the constitution seemed to have been written in the times of Tambo and Nelson Mandela; it was never written in the times of “lesser people”, he said, adding the president had too much power, appointing at his pleasure without any forms of redress. 


Zodidi Dano – Staff Reporter (Cape Argues)