Justice Edwin Cameron has delivered his last ruling at the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg. On Tuesday, he steps down from the apex court, 25 years after his appointment. Cameron began serving the Constitutional Court in January 2009.
For decades, he has been championing the rights of gay and lesbian people as well as fighting denialism and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS.
Tuesday morning’s ruling involves a land claim in Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal.
“If this requires temporary supervised oversight of administration where the bureaucracy has shown itself unable to perform then there is little choice it has to be done. In this case the fact that the department’s tardiness and inefficiency in making land reform real has triggered what can rightly be called a constitutional near emergency,” Cameron said.
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has celebrated Cameron for the important role he played in making AIDS drugs freely available. Cameron took the extraordinary step of quitting anti-retroviral treatment, putting his own life in jeopardy, until it was freely available for all who needed them.
It worked and the medication is helping millions of people living with HIV/AIDS. Chief Justice Mogoeng thanked Cameron for his immense contribution.
“Now people can boldly say I have this condition, have yourself checked you can be as athletic as Justice Cameron for many years to come. You can live a complete life. But I think Edwin deserves to be recognised by this country for the critical role, the catalystic role, which he played in making anti-retrovirals available,” Mogoeng said.
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