Exploring the inception of the Bill of Rights as a universal declaration, Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi questions whether the very ideas contained in it, are of South African origin and may, in fact, emanate from a group of black intellectuals, at the beginning of the 20th century.
Nqcukaitobi spoke to Eusebius McKaiser about his debut book, the Land is Ours and the inspiration behind it, as well as the years of research involved.
The premise is historically flawed. And it is also flawed in terms of the current Constitutions.— Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, advocate
At the time they didn't call it the constitution, they called it human rights, equality, justice. But those very ideas were themselves reactions and responses to settler violence.— Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, advocate
The point of the book is to show that constitutionalism emanates... originated in South Africa and it originated from black legal thinkers. So in a sense when we defend constitutional values, we are defending our own history.— Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, advocate
He explains how African legal thinkers influenced the legal principle of equality for all.
Law in a sense is paradoxical thing because it was always a justification of white settler hegemony.— Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, advocate
What the characters in the book discovered, especially someone like Alfred Mangena and Samual, when they went to Europe, they realised that law is not always a justification or an instrument of the imposition of white hegemony. It could also have a liberating potential.— Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, advocate
So they began assimilating the language of Europe in a sense, and applying it to the conditions of Africa.— Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, advocate
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