The constitution contains a number of rights, balanced by the same number of obligations to the individual that wants to claim a specific right.
The Constitution contains a number of rights, balanced by the same number of obligations to the individual that wants to claim a specific right, for example: You and I have the right to clean drinking water.
The obligation on both you and me is to keep ground water unpolluted and work sparingly with sanitised water before we can claim the right to clean drinking water.
Another obligation resting on our shoulders is to report water pollution and wastage to the authorities that maintain our constitutional rights so that they can do their bit to ensure that you and I have the right to clean drinking water.
Almost all the rights contained in the Constitution works like that except the Right to Life.
There is no obligation on either me or you before we can claim the right to life….the authorities that we can report “abusers” to, can’t do much to maintain our Right to Life.
And this right can be taken away from an individual at the speed of a bullet, or the stab of a knife.
I am of opinion that the Right to Life should be balanced against the Right NOT to Live, so that every individual can make that decision for him or herself.
The choice in this matter should be contained in the very same Constitution that gives us the Right to Life, and should be subject to our behaviour towards our fellow brothers and sisters.
To claim the Right to Life you and I should live a morally decent life, BUT……if we should
1. Rape a Child,
2. Plan and execute an armed action,
3. Manufacture or smuggle drugs, or
4. End someone’s life…..it should be a clear indication to our Constitutional Court that we choose the Right NOT to Live, and we should be given 5 more choices (as should be the case under true democracy), namely:
2. Gas Chamber,
3. Electric Chair,
4. Lethal Injection, and
5. Firing Squad.
Every individual in this country can then choose between the Right to Life, and the Right NOT to Live through his or her actions towards fellow South Africans.
If the Constitutional Right to Life was balanced in this way, every individual in this country was in charge of his own future subject to his or her behaviour towards his or her fellow human beings.
If the Constitution contained the Right NOT to Live, chosen by one’s behaviour that has to conform to any of the 4 mentioned criteria, it would change this country completely.
We won’t have thousands of “Life Imprisonment” inmates costing the economy Billions of Rands. We won’t have endless arguments regarding the “death penalty” because the Constitutional Right NOT to Live answers ALL society’s objections regarding the death penalty.
For instance….No judge or judicial system “punishes” you to death, you CHOOSE which constitutional right you want to claim.
If you want the Right to Life, don’t do any of the 4 actions needed to prove that you choose the Right NOT to Live!
And everyone should know what those are….because it is in the Constitution. If anyone chooses the Right NOT to Live through his or her actions, it immediately becomes a Constitutional Court Case.
If there are ANY doubts that your actions conformed to any one of the 4 actions needed to demonstrate your choice, then imprisonment will be the only outcome……thus nullifying the argument that “innocent people” have been executed before.
Let’s look at another objection in this regard: If the kin of a murdered person feels that the killer deserves a second chance and can be rehabilitated, they should get the chance to approach the Constitutional Court and request that the outcome of the actions of the killer of their loved-one be changed to imprisonment instead of one of the 5 choices related to the Right NOT to Live….but with one condition:
The people making this request should then also take responsibility for the financial implication of keeping their loved-one’s killer incarcerated since it’s unfair to have their decision have an impact on the rest of the taxpayers of this country?
This will also demonstrate their sincerity in this regard.
To conclude, if our constitutional Right to Life was balanced against the Right NOT to Live, and every individual in this country had the freedom to choose between the two by their behaviour towards each other, this country would make great strides towards becoming a true democracy.