Out of the Frying Pan? South Africa's Constitutional Inadequacies

The South African Constitution of 1997 was developed in the aftermath of decades of oppression and gross violations of human rights norms. It was an instrument which was globally commended for its structural integrity and its ability to unite a deeply torn and damaged society. After 22 years, the previously oppressed community of South Africans have awoken from the enchantment of a dream built on with the words of their oppressors at the cost of their dignity and lives. As Rawls has described, there can only be harmony once the society has a unified conception of justice where the people are guided by similar values. And yet, there is no tribute paid to the values of black South Africans, nor has the constitution been able to satisfactorily compensate them for the sufferings which they have endured. This paper will assess the constitutional provisions which were meant to provide these reliefs and how (if at all), it was able to do so. And where it failed, why?