The wooden doors

A competition was held for the design of the Court’s doors. The winning submission took the 27 rights in the Bill of Rights and represented them in South Africa’s different languages, including sign language. The use of different languages on the doors was another reminder of the inclusiveness of the Constitution and of the Court as an institution.

The designer and carvers of the doors signed their name onto the panels to demonstrate the power of collaboration in the making of the Court. Andrew Verster (designer), Andries Botha, Lindelani Ndinisa, Musa Ngcobo, Smanga Madlala, Dumisani Mthethwa, Jabulani Mkhize, Ernest Mthethwa, Richard Maphumulo and Richard Shange (all carvers).

The signage on the door also states that President Mbeki inaugurated the building on 21 March 2004. The message is repeated in braille on the handle of the door, again emphasising the importance of inclusion.


Audio Visual

President Mandela gives his State of the Nation address in Parliament. Mandela ends his address with the words, “Let us all get down to work”.

“We must construct that people-centred society of freedom in such a manner that it guarantees the political and the human rights of all our citizens.”– President Mandela, extract from State of the Nation Address, 24 May 1994

President Nelson Mandela announces his cabinet. It includes members of the African National Congress, National Party and Inkatha Freedom Party.

“There was pride in serving in the first democratic government in South Africa, and then the additional pride of serving under the iconic leadership of Nelson Mandela … [He] represented the hopes of not just our country, but of oppressed, marginalised and the poor in the world.”– Jay Naidoo, then Minister of RDP housing
“We place our vision of a new constitutional order for South Africa on the table not as conquerors, prescribing to the conquered. We speak as fellow citizens to heal the wounds of the past with the intent of constructing a new order based on justice for all.”– President Nelson Mandela, 10 May 1994