Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development John Jeffery was given a grilling at the Daily Maverick’s 2015 edition of The Gathering. Facing a panel of activists, he had to defend the state’s role and found himself under attack, and almost swamped by the sheer scale of the problems listed by his fellow panelists. By GREG NICOLSON.
Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development John Jeffrey knew it was going to be a difficult session. He was the only government representative on a panel with Section27’s executive director Mark Heywood, Socio-Economic Rights Institute (Seri) attorney Nomzamo Zondo, and Equal Education Gauteng c0-director, Tshepo Motsepe, discussing issues of social justice.
Jeffery’s key points were that civil society and government should engage more on issues of concern and that NGOs should not rush to court. “There’s a lot of programmes from government. There’s also a lot of fora that have been created for members of communities to engage with government,” said Jeffery, noting state successes such as no-fee schools and the provision of anti-retroviral medication.
“None of us is blind to the implementation gap,” he acknowledged. “But if NGOs spend their whole time bringing court cases against government, their money is wasted.”…
Source : Daily Maverick