Justice Edwin Cameron
South Africa’s openly gay Constitutional Court Justice Edwin Cameron has defended controversial politician Julius Malema’s constitutionally protected right to say what he does.
Cameron was speaking at a meeting on “The Rights of Ordinary South Africans” hosted by the Dikeletsong Citizens’ Advice Bureau in Pretoria.
“When I see Mr Malema speak with the utter openness and lack of respect for authority as he does, my heart sing,” the Justice was quoted as saying by the Pretoria News.
He added: “But I am not looking at what or who he is talking about.”
“Our constitution is one of the most unique as it includes rights against the government. This makes us fortunate, unlike Zimbabwe and Swaziland’s despotism and autocracy,” explained Cameron.
“In our country the courts can issue orders to government to provide adequate housing, basic education and health care to complainants.”
He lauded the courts for having forced the Thabo Mbeki administration to provide HIV treatment to South Africa.
Cameron is possibly the only openly gay and openly HIV positive senior public official or judge on the African continent.
He has co-authored a number of books, including Defiant Desire – Gay and Lesbian Lives in South Africa and Witness to AIDS, in which he described coming to terms with living with HIV.