Through apathy and fear, South African businessmen and women have allowed local law making to become hopelessly inconsistent with the doctrine of the rule of law, a principle that underpins our entire Constitution. The rule of law requires a government that is predictable, consistent, operates according to strict and known criteria and, most important, is not able to act arbitrarily or at the personal whim of one or more officials. The rule of law is not the "good" or "effective" enforcement of the law — it is a separate legal doctrine that informs our entire body of law, a principle fully endorsed once again by the Constitutional Court in the Van der Walt case. When we operate from the firm understanding that South Africa must be governed by predictable, known, and nonarbitrary decisions, then it follows that those who are affected by government decisions should feel comfortable when speaking out against a government that does not live up to this standard. All citizens, as well as ...

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