n Stellenbosch Law Review = Stellenbosch Regstydskrif - Pornography as sex discrimination? A critical reflection on the constitutional court's interpretation of gender politics, differentiation and (unfair) discrimination

Volume 21, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1016-4359
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2193



The advent of a constitutional democracy in South Africa after the first non-racial democratic elections in 1994 and the subsequent adoption of a final constitution in 1996 introduced a legal order based on "democratic values, social justice and fundamental rights". The first paragraph of the Preamble to the Interim Constitution expressed the "need to create a new order ... in a sovereign and democratic constitutional state in which there is that all citizens shall be able to exercise their fundamental rights and freedoms". The basic features of, and constitutional ideals expressed in, both these constitutions signal a radical and fundamental departure from, , a racially-qualified, sexist constitutional order and an oppressive system of censorship intended to impose the Calvinist Puritanism and political ideology of the ruling (white) minority on an entire society. Few would contest that the former constitutional order and its system of statutory censorship8 was hardly conceived in a spirit of liberty and democracy, or argue that it was premised upon a desire topromote equality between men and women.

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