The Constitutional Court judgement on Nkandla (31 March 2016) has been widely hailed as a major victory for democracy itself, as a turning point in South African constitutionalism. But some have said that it is a sad reflection on the state of our democracy if we see this moment as worthy of celebration, when in fact it is simply the Constitutional Court doing its job. However, it is critical to bear in mind that democracy is not an event, but rather a process. Democratic freedoms, in spite of one of the most progressive constitutions in the world, have to be fought for in South Africa.
The first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States (and two others, one of which failed of ratification and the other which later became the 27th amendment) were proposed to the legislatures of the several States by the First Congress on September 25, 1789. The first ten amendments were ratified by the following States, and the notifications of ratification by the Governors thereof were successively communicated by the President to Congress: New Jersey, November 20, 1789; Maryland, December 19, 1789; North Carolina, December 22, 1789; South Carolina, January 19, 1790; New Hampshire, January 25, 1790; Delaware, January 28, 1790; New York, February 24, 1790; Pennsylvania, March 10, 1790; Rhode Island, June 7, 1790; Vermont, November 3, 1791; and Virginia, December 15, 1791.