oa De Jure - Madiba would have agreed : "The law is for protection of the people"

Volume 46, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 2225-7160



The oldest question in legal philosophy is the one most lawyers never think of: What is law and why is it there? In 1970 legendary singer Kris Kristofferson released his song "The Law is for Protection of the People". That year marked the end of a decade - the tumultuous sixties - during which the world changed. The Vietnam war started; student uprisings took place in France and Germany, as did the cultural revolution in China; the Berlin wall was built; President John F Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King were assassinated; hippies and flower children promoted peace and free love; the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan burst onto the music scene. Conventional notions of law and morality were questioned as they had not been since Nietzsche and Marx challenged and changed Western philosophy. During the fifties and sixties many African countries were liberated from their colonial oppressors and became independent, with mixed success. British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan famously said in the South African Parliament, that "the winds of change (were) blowing in Africa." Last and least, in 1970 I did my compulsory military service in the South African Air Force, before starting my studies at the University of Pretoria the next year.

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