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We, the People take our Seat- The 12th Chair

The Constitutional Court has 11 chairs for its 11 judges.

We called on you to submit creative designs for a 12th Chair – a chair for the people, custodians of the Constitution – and you delivered. Out of 90 submissions, our judges selected the top 6 designs. And now it’s up to you, the people, to help our judges choose the 12th Chair.

Some background information

The power of Kings, Queens, Judges, Speakers of the House, Archbishops and Presidents is reflected in the chairs that they occupy. Whether gilded in gold or bound in leather, seats of power throughout time have been extravagantly built-in order to overawe and intimidate. In South Africa’s apartheid history, seats of power were built to elevate the occupier of the seat above the heads of most of the nation.

With the advent of our constitutional democracy came the rethinking of the aesthetic of power. A pointed example is our Constitutional Court. This is where eleven judges take their seats to hear some of the most important matters in the life of the nation. They do so in a chamber that is inspired by the time-honoured African notion of justice under a tree.

Over the course of South African history, we have witnessed that a mobilized citizenry is the source of the most potent kind of power, the people’s power. Whereas the President has his seat in Pretoria and Parliament its seat in Cape Town, where is the seat of power for the people?

The Constitutional Court, the guardian of the Constitution, has eleven chairs for the eleven judges who exercise their voices and powers in the realization of our constitutional vision. We the people, too, have the right to exercise our voices to make our Constitution real. That is why we are introducing the 12th Chair as the people’s seat of power alongside the Constitutional Court, on Constitution Hill.

We invite you to submit designs for the 12th Chair. We encourage designs that re-imagine and re-invent the aesthetics of power and envision a chair in which all people will feel comfortable and empowered. The chosen chair will find its permanent place in an appropriate setting on Constitution Hill.


Voting Terms & Conditions:

  1. You can only select one chair.
  2. You can only vote once.
  3. Voting closes 31 May 2022.
  4. The chair with the most votes wins.

To vote, visit https://wethepeople.constitutionhill.org.za/12th-chair.

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