Making the road by walking: The evolution of the South African Constitution

New book announcement

Making the road by walking: The evolution of the South African Constitution by the HSRC's Prof Narnia Bohler-Muller, Dr Michael Cosser and Gary Pienaar is now available from Pretoria University Law Press (PULP), an open-access publisher based at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria.

This timeous publication asks some difficult questions and hopefully provides some answers too. As Prof N Barney Pityana says in the foreword, "We make the Constitution by living and experiencing it. The courts have said ad nauseam that the Constitution is a living document. We, the people, must own it and shape it. The stories in this book are sufficient evidence that the Constitution and its values are being shaped by the hammer and the anvil. A book like this achieves that critical task of restoring confidence in the people. It should help citizens claim back their power. That is what the French Revolution did."

About the publication

"This engaging, readable law book is timely for many reasons. In this period of political turmoil, amidst allegations of bare-faced large-scale grabbing by greedy politicians and their confederates, the principles and mechanisms of our Constitution become more acutely important than ever. Over the last quarter-century or so, through our courts' judgments, delivered without fear or favour, the Constitution has begun to breathe life. Much challenge and much peril and much work still lie ahead. But some of the vibrancy and influence the Constitution has already attained may be traced to the voices and personalities of those behind the judgments: the judges who write them. This book looks at the character and thinking of some of the judges who have helped to start the process of making our Constitution real. The text reminds us that behind the structures of state and the mechanisms of power stand human beings, in all their frailty, but also in all their courage and determination to make our country better for the poorest in it. In other words, judges who take seriously the promise of constitutional governance and of social justice under law." – Justice Edwin Cameron, Constitutional Court of South Africa