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« Tony Leon Warns against South Africa Hosting UN Racism Conference | Main | Iran: Cancerous Israel to Vanish Soon »

February 19, 2008



I dont think 2rd and 3rd generation rights are always a bad thing. In fact we got aids drug roll outs in SA only because the constitutional court decided that not the government was violating peoples right to health care.


After reading the "Bill of Responsibility", I have no doubt that within 5 min, in any typical classroom, it will have become a paper airplane flown out the window, polluted our country and added to our carbon footprint.


Mike makes an excellent point. Maybe the balance is in the presentation or wording of the rights.

The right should be a negative and not a positive right. I.e. the state should not impinge on our right to healthcare rather than the positive form. (I think that is how the American Bill of Rights is worded, I seem to remember that there was once a post at commentary that pointed this out...)

Witness the protests occuring at the universities at the moment. Students are running riot and preventing any classes from taking place because they can't afford the new fees. To them, their right to education trumps any responsibilities they have to others. Its a shambles.

After listening to a radio phone-in about the Bill of responsibilities, it seems like most people are complaining about the pledge. I think they should rework the pledge. It spoils the bulk of the content which is in the Bill of Responsibilities.


That article in the Economist sounds interesting, do you have a link to it or a copy of it?

I personally think that the point about rights vs responsibilities is very valid. One should not be given rights without being expected to take on the responsibilities that come with those rights.

If someone tries to kill me, I find is strange that the government is so concerned about their rights when they have no respect for the rights of others.


Perhaps it should be noted that Prof. Metcalfe is a former Gauteng MEC for Education. Under her “Leadership” Gauteng schools introduced "Outcomes-based Education", A system that directly discourages students from taking initiative or assuming any kind of responsibility for themselves. Obviously she would disagree with a Bill that encourages SA youth to take initiative on personal values.


Benjamin (Poster: February 19, 2008 at 15:25), you are a retard. But happily for you, you join a list of retards including but not limited to Jonathan Jansen and Mary Metcalfe.

Benjamin, if teachers merely hand this Bill out and do nothing further regarding the Bill, then they are failures as teachers and should not be in their positions as moulders of tomorrow's generation.

The idea of responsibilities of individuals within a society is something that is not at all present in the current education system. What this bill does is formally introduce this idea in a uniform manner to the youth of South Africa.

Metcalfe whines about learners needing to "grapple" with values and not "recite" them.
The average South African MP (and now it seems Wits Education Professor) wouldn't know a value if it sat on his foot. The compilation of a list of values that should be intrinsic in every human being is a great idea, and this would form a foundation from which the country could start to understand what can and can not be done in a democratic society.



Dear JS

Have you read the Bill? I'll assume you have. I was not commenting on how these rules are implemented, I was thinking more on the tone of the document, example:

"be kind, compassionate and sensitive to every human being, including greeting them warmly and speaking to them courteously."

Its so high handed and moralistically superior. Who could ever live up to all of this? You called me a retard, which is hardly "respecting the beliefs and opinions of others". Personally I think moron would have been better (I know some really nice retards) but none the less. You had every right to do so, you don't have any responsibility to respect my beliefs if you think they are imbecilic.

Do you think that if the taxi drivers mentioned above had been forced to repeat this mantra every morning (till it was as meaningful as the netball score) they would have acted differently?

Kind regards and warm greetings,


Stephen, Francis & Rico get it, 22 Feb.

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