I would like to voice my opinion about the convictions that the general public has about the law in South Africa, and the way the public perceives the law to be applied. Whether whom should act to make sure that the public is exposed to how the law should be applied that is not what this brief reflective piece aims to focus on.
I strongly believe that legal functionaries and other supporting institutions still have a lot to do. They have a vital role to play in discharging awareness among the public about the law and how it operates, through continuous interactions and engaging with the public on various channels of communications.
The law is not for a select few, it is for the entire general public at large since it was established to regulate how the public is expected to behave towards each other and towards the state. Our National TV Channels are not doing the best they can to bring about the awareness and curb the ignorance of our people.
Through our short TV inserts and Drama series, the topic of law could easily be incorporated as SABC 1 once did ages ago when it aired a show called Sokhulu and Partners and The Good Wife on SABC 3. From then on sadly there has never been any recognizable effort in my opinion.
The general public tends to infringe the rules of the law, at times you will find that the person who broke the law did not even know that he/she was conducting an illegal or unlawful act. That proves just how much we still have to do.
We have The Legal Aid Board which assists members of the public from destitute families and all those who simply cannot afford the services of the law functionaries. You will in most cases find a member of the general public addressing a Judge or Magistrate in court as “Your Majesty, Your Highness or the famous American title Your Honor” instead of Your Lordship or My Lady for a Judge of High Court and Your Worship for a Magistrate.
All this ignorance stems from the Legal Fraternity and many other supporting bodies not doing enough to curb such ignorance.
Justice must be served, and above that Justice must be seen to be served. Sadly, justice cannot be served if people are ignorant of the law. Let us educate the masses so that Justice may be served.
Makhosonke Donda Ngobese Edited By Mafika Dlamini