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Short report on participation in Students for Law and Social Justice Conference, Habonim Campsite, Onrus, Western Cape

The annual national seminar of Students for Law and Social Justice took place over the Heritage Day long weekend and focused on Cross Examining our Constitutional Democracy: Does Your Vote Really Count?

Khulumani's National Director, Dr. Marjorie Jobson, was invited to speak on the possibilities of interaction between Chapter 9 institutions and civil society movements serving to strengthen South Africa. She highlighted the possibiltiies of Chapter 9 institutions providing alternative mechanisms for citizens to litigation for placing issues on the national agenda and of the possibilities of citizens working with Chapter 9 institutions for deepening the participatory and direct aspects of democratic practice.

She explained how Chapter 9s can become vehicles for citizens to articulate their needs and to find remedies outside of party politics for the promotion of social justice, where social justice can be defined as refusing to be "normalized into an unjust world that excludes those who are different or disadvantaged, (but) rather (contributes) to building a kinder, more socially just world: a world that celebrates diversity and upholds equal rights and full inclusion for all.” 

She suggested that the biggest challenge presently is the current view of the state of majoritarian rule in which the people become a problem to be solved, rather than a majority to be represented. Khulumani welcomes opporutnities to engage with students on issues of organised citizens using the law and institutions to support democracy and to deal with the threats to building an inclusive society in South Africa.

See the presentation attached: Chapter 9 institutions and Civil Society Movements - Marjorie Jobson - September 2012.

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