Following the adoption of a democratic Constitution in 1996, South Africa embarked on a campaign to educate its citizens about their rights, an approach driven by the notion that citizens have rights of all kinds, which should be supported by the state. However, the state has found it difficult to ensure that basic human rights are exercised and honoured. Citing citizens' lack of knowledge as the reason for the failures of the Constitution ignores the limitations of the kind of subject the Constitution itself assumes in the first place. If the stigmatisation of the subject can be attributed to shame, it is clear that the law can mark its Others as shameful in the context of post-apartheid South Africa). The 2008 novel Shameless by Futhi Ntshingila suggests that the law plays an important role in the subjectification of those at the periphery. The quasi-subjects that this book has considered in the course of exploring the engendering of human rights in South Africa are discussed using the vocabulary of the margins.
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