South Africa’s apex court judges must be prepared for tough times where justice and democracy will be tested to the limit.
This was the warning sounded by Justice Edwin Cameron at a special sitting of the Constitutional Court to honour him ahead of his retirement.
He is stepping down from the Constitutional Court after 25 years as a judge.
“Tough times lie ahead for all those committed to democracy, governance under the law and to social justice for all people of our country and not the enrichment of the rich elite. The fight for our constitutional values is now more urgent than ever,” he said.
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng also praised Judge Edwin Cameron’s contribution to the fight against HIV and Aids.
“A brave and bold man. When HIV and Aids attracted stigma he declared openly that he is HIV positive. He knew the attitude of South Africans at the time. His love for multitudes of South Africans and many across Africa and beyond would not allow him to shut up.”
Cameron worked as a human rights lawyer during apartheid and defended ANC members.
In 1999, he revealed that he was HIV positive and fought for HIV/AIDS and gay-rights activism.
In his first book, Witness to AIDS, he talks about his struggle with the illness.
Cameron was appointed to the Constitutional Court in 2008 by then acting president Kgalema Motlanthe and served in the role for 10 years and eight months.
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