A Botswana High Court judge has urged the media to hold the government and judicial officers to account for their actions by exposing them whenever they betray their constitutional oaths of office.
By Phyllis Mbanje in Johannesburg
Speaking at a Sadc Parliamentary Forum workshop on promotion of sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) on Tuesday, Justice Key Dingake said judges and senior government officials should be closely scrutinised by the media, as the were no angels.
“We are not infallible, neither are we angels. The law is fraught with illusion. The Constitution is a promissory note, and should be honoured,” he said.
Dingake urged the media to be watchdogs to ensure that constitutional dictates are upheld and implemented.
Dingake, who is also an extraordinary law lecturer at the University of Cape Town, berated the lack of comprehensive laws in the area of HIV and Aids and SRHR.
“There is an epidemic of bad laws in these areas and it is the duty of the media to expose this,” he said.
The judge said courts must not treat constitutions as museum pieces, but as living documents intended to cover the interests of the general populace.
Meanwhile, concerns were raised over the low reportage of issues like SRHR.
Lack of capacity was said to hamper confident articulation of such issues.
“In the Sadc region it is generally agreed that the media coverage of reproductive health issues is not satisfactory,” Justice Dingake said.
Sadc PF is working on capacitating journalists to undertake evidence-based reporting of reproductive health issues.