Willie Hofmeyr's insights into 1980s ANC debate for individual rights

Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions Willie Hofmeyr talks to Karima Brown (standing in for Redi Tlhabi) on the Afternoon Drive to talk about the path South Africa has travelled to the constitutional democracy we now have.

A lawyer by training, Hofmeyr has been a long time activist involved in the struggle to end apartheid and was intimately involved in crafting the Constitution.

He explained the important focus during the negotiations and the discussions for the creation of the Constitution.

I think the Bill of Rights was really one of the key issues in the Constitution.

Willie Hofmeyr, activist and now Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions

It became very important for the ANC, in the context where the national party really wanted group rights entrenched in the Constitution, and the importance of the bill of rights debate was to persuade National Party and pressure them in the negotiations to see that all rights would be protected.

Willie Hofmeyr, activist and now Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions

He says it was important to have them see that there was no need to entrench group rights with the entrenchment of all sorts of privilege and other things that would go with it.

But, he says, it was also a debate within the ANC itself where individual rights were not always historically seen as a priority.

Hofmeyr says it was OR Tambo who asked that the ANC begin drafting a Bill of Rights for the organisation.

In fact, a charter of rights goes back well over a century, says Hofmeyr, so it had been a long debate over the importance of protecting the rights of the individual.

I think there was some skepticism still in the 70s and 80s about whether individual rights would entrench racial privilege, even group rights in a sense.

Willie Hofmeyr, activist and now Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions

He explains that at the time it was far more accepted within the country as progressive academics such as Halton Cheadle and Dennis Davis were writing about the strong case for a bill of rights.

He also explains the important focus on socio-economic rights and this distinguished the South African Constitution as a groundbreaking document.

Take a listen:

Read More
Zuma lashes out at 101 ANC stalwarts in policy conference opening salvo

Zuma lashes out at 101 ANC stalwarts in policy conference opening salvo

President Zuma went 'off script' on Friday when he castigated his detractors saying many denied being on the 101 stalwarts list.

"Whackhead" Simpson's song about Carl Niehaus was one of Redi's faves

"Whackhead" Simpson's song about Carl Niehaus was one of Redi's faves

In 2009 Carl Niehaus was forced to step down as ANC national spokesperson after fraud allegations surfaced.

"Our interpretation of sleeping around is sleeping around"

"Our interpretation of sleeping around is sleeping around"

A throwback to Floyd Shivambu talking about Helen Zille during his ANCYL days, interrogated by Redi Tlhabi in 2009. #FarewellRedi

[LISTEN] In January 'SABC 8' Suna Venter spoke on 702 about how she was shot

[LISTEN] In January 'SABC 8' Suna Venter spoke on 702 about how she was shot

The 32-year old has died in what her family says is a heart condition brought on by prolonged trauma and stress.

New app for rape survivors will aid victims with support and care packages

New app for rape survivors will aid victims with support and care packages

Are you a survivor of sexual violence? SMS “endrape” to 38006

Mr. Tlhabi bids Mrs Tlhabi farewell on her last radio show #FarewellRedi

Mr. Tlhabi bids Mrs Tlhabi farewell on her last radio show #FarewellRedi

Brian Tlhabi says his wife, Redi Tlhabi makes him super happy and continues to wish her the best with her future endeavours.

Popular articles
An expert guide on 'hotwifing' and 'cuckolding' in the bedroom

An expert guide on 'hotwifing' and 'cuckolding' in the bedroom

Clinical sexologist Dr Eve shares insights into sexual fetishes and how partners negotiate them in their bedroom and relationship.

[Watch] John Maytham shuts down victim shamer on air

[Watch] John Maytham shuts down victim shamer on air

A caller wanted to know what the alleged victim had done in order for Grace Mugabe to assault her.

Cape officials to harvest 500 million litres of new water a day

Cape officials to harvest 500 million litres of new water a day

Mayor of Cape Town speaks to CapeTalk's Kieno Kammies about plans to provide more water amidst the ongoing drought.

LISTEN:  Reformed car hijacker sheds light on hijacking underworld

LISTEN: Reformed car hijacker sheds light on hijacking underworld

This reformed car hijacker was convicted for hijacking, robbery and murder and served almost 16 years jail time. Hear his story.

Journos walk out of Bathabile Dlamini's briefing after 2 hour wait

Journos walk out of Bathabile Dlamini's briefing after 2 hour wait

EWN's Gia Nicolaides says journalists walked out of the media briefing on social grants after waiting for hours for her to arrive.

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

These are the emergency numbers you should have on your cellphone and this is what you must understand about how they work.