Stellenbosch University
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Constitution has central place in FMHS
Author: Wilma Stassen
Published: 31/03/2017

Three plaques proudly displaying the preamble to the Constitution of South Africa were recently unveiled at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS), Stellenbosch University.

"The preamble provides the essence of what is contained in the constitution, which has a central place in our Faculty," said Prof Jimmy Volmink, Dean of the FMHS.

The plaques display the preamble in the three official languages of the Western Cape: isiXhosa, English and Afrikaans.

According to Volmink, there are several reasons why the preamble to the constitution is being displayed so prominently. "The Faculty doesn't exist in isolation, and is in fact a microcosm of the broader South African society with people from different races, religions, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientation, political persuasions and socioeconomic statuses. The values presented to us in the constitution have relevance about how we should be interacting with each other," explained Volmink.

"Secondly, the constitution is a reminder of where we have come from as a nation and represents the end of the dark era of Apartheid and ushers in the new [democracy]."

Volmink noted that the constitution also serves as a guide to remind South Africans where to go. "It sets us on a path that we should aspire to," he said.

"The constitution promotes the following values: respect for human dignity; the achievement of equality and the advancement of human rights and freedom; non-racialism and non-sexism; and the supremacy of the constitution and the rule of law, among other things.

"We need to live these values in our homes, in our places of work, places of worship, etc. if we want to see these values reflected into the broader society," Volmink said.

Caption: Dr Dimitri Erasmus, the CEO of Tygerberg Hospital; Mr Lee Baatjes, chairperson of the Tygerberg Student Council; Prof Mariana Kruger, Head of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at the FMHS; Mr Musi Bungane, finances at the FMHS; Dr Therese Fish, Vice Dean: Clinical Services and Social Impact at the FMHS; and Prof Jimmy Volmink, Dean: FMHS.