"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others"
George Orwell - Animal Farm
During my High School years in the Goldfields, we were forced to read the brilliant book written by George Orwell titled Animal Farm.
At first glance the book seemed strange, but man was I surprised upon further perusal.
Now I must prevent myself from going into depth with all the important quotes and so forth but no other quote held more importance for me than "all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others".
I belief that this quote also, in hindsight, contributed to me becoming an attorney. The reason why I believe that is, if one takes a look at the Constitution of South Africa, one would quickly realize that, just as as the animals in animal farm, the Constitution was written to protect everyone against themselves and to regulate the interaction between the specific spheres of governance.
The very same Constitution which is used in South Africa was used as basis of various other countries in drafting their own Constitutions when becoming a democratic country and as such I consider the Constitution of South Africa a remarkable document.
Same as the 'animalist' commandments to prevent the reproduction of the oppressive behavior of humans, our constitution strived to eradicate discrimination, injustice and exploitation of the weak, which was the norm under the governance of the previous apartheid regime.
The problem however, arises when this ideological set of rights are varied to favor a specific group of individuals, instead of expanding or amending the rights to even further protect the people who live under those set of rights.
Like in Animal Farm when the ideological rights are changed, these rights are changed systematically in order not to alarm the masses, the varied set of rights are also changed in such a manner that only an educated person can reasonably be expected to know the difference.
I am reminded that the irony is that the ideological commandment of “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”, initially read “all animals are equal.”
In the end of the book, all the animals that worked and died to over throw the previous regime, being the farmer, look through a window into the farmhouse, while the pigs were hosting a dinner party with the neighboring human farmers, all dressed up in human clothes. It was at that moment that the animals could not see any difference between the pigs and the humans.
I wonder if the stalwarts of the past like, Chris Hani, Bram Fischer, Andrew Mlangeni and Oliver Tambo, were alive today, would they also be looking through the window of the farmhouse at the pigs, unable to see any differences between the then apartheid regime and the now South African Government.