Our under-used legal system

Many times we look at things only as a whole, and then find the challenge to be too big to handle. Making abortion illegal in South Africa can be one of those challenges. The idea of overturning a high court judgement, or changing the constitution by two thirds majority vote in national parliament, is, admittedly, a big challenge.

The good news is, however, that the South African legislation system was developed in such a way that legislature may be passed at each level of government: National, Provincial and Municipal. Each of these legislature bodies may pass laws, as long as it does not contradict the law above it (bubbles up to the constitution). A province may even have it’s own constitution, the Western Cape actually does have a constitution of it’s own apart from the National constitution. With some fascinating points like this one:

81. The Western Cape government must adopt and implement policies to actively promote and maintain the welfare of the people of the Western Cape, including policies aimed at achieving the following – 
(i) an environment in which all children —
(i) are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity;
(ii) are protected against exploitation, neglect, abuse and abandonment; and…

– now there is some anti-abortion legislation right there, if you read it right.

You may be wondering where I am trying to go with this point, so I will jump right into it: The political party that you vote for can implement anti-abortion legislature on provincial or even municipal level. The question is, why are they not doing it? And why are we not holding those we voted for accountable?

Getting legislation done on national level may be a big problem, but is it really so big a problem to get legislature done on municipal level? I think not. If we implement the good old divide and conquer strategy we can start ending abortion from the ground up. If we can spark a ProLife trend and voice in municipal (and even provincial) legislature, then we can start saving lives.

Now the challenge that remains then, is the fact that the national legislature allows abortion, and the “lower” levels of legislature can’t override that, but you can implement some red-tape and extra constraints to the legislature. This is what they have been doing in America for a few years now, and it is really picking up the pace. Their national law allows abortion, but the states can add extra legislature to the abortion law. One example is sex-selective abortion, you can implement a law that prohibits mothers from aborting their children if they already know what gender the child is, because most families want boys and not girls. A law like this will champion women’s rights, and will even get liberal support, but in the end it will decrease the amount of abortions that actually happen.

It is possible in South Africa to have a ProLife town, or a ProLife province. So come on politicians, get your act together. Come on people, vote for ProLife candidates, apply pressure, divide and conquer.

Open letter to Stellenbosch Municipality

To whom it may concern
If tourists visit Stellenbosch, they might think that abortion is a public service offered at our local municipal offices. Their reason for thinking something like this, will simply be because nearly every lamp post in Bird Street has an illegal abortion poster on it. It is illegal to advertise your “business” on municipal lamp posts, but alas, the abortion posters prevail, illegal and unhindered.
It has now been 7 months since I first contacted Mr. Piet Smit at the municipal offices regarding the illegal abortion posters plastered all over Stellenbosch’s lamp posts. I sent him detailed descriptions of where the posters were, as well as a photo of one. Mr. Smit assured me that the matter was referred to the public safety department.
Three months later, I followed up again with Mr. Smit, bringing it to his attention that no posters have been removed yet. I once again noted in my mail where the posters were and also included four photos of posters with land-marks in the background.

A week later Mr. Smit replied by referring me to Mr. Neville Langenhoven, the manager responsible for law enforcement. I then sent the same detailed email to Mr Langenhoven.
Six days later I received a reply from Ms Christine Du Preez stating that the head of law enforcement was contacted and that officials were requested to take down the posters. This was more than three month ago, and the illegal posters have not been removed yet.
I am unsure as to where in the inner workings of the municipality the gear is not turning, but it is evident that there is some form of mismanagement. Pointing fingers at law enforcement will also be pointless. For if I ask three different people over seven months to do something which is the municipality’s responsibility, and it is still not done, then the municipality is not seeing through what should be done.
If, for some reason, the municipality is unable to deliver that which they were voted in for, then they should at least have a discussion with me so that we can look at other options. Maybe try to pull in the community to work together. But at every turn they assured me it was being sorted out, which it was not.
I remember the last municipal election. I remember how Stellenbosch rejoiced when the DA was voted in to manage Stellenbosch municipality in stead of the ANC. The DA won with an overwhelming majority. I also, however, remember when the ANC still managed Stellenbosch, and I can’t recall seeing nearly as many illegal posters on lamp posts as there are now. I am not at all lobbying for a certain party to govern, but I am wondering whether the vote of the majority of Stellenbosch has been misplaced?
These illegal abortion posters are an eyesore in our beautiful town of Stellenbosch. It makes our town look cheap and overrun by lawlessness.
I hereby once again make my plea known to the municipality of Stellenbosch. Please have the illegal abortion posters removed from the lamp posts. Should you be unable to do this, please organise an open discussion on the matter so that the community can come up with solutions.
Kind Regards