WE are encouraged byPresident Jacob Zuma's reassuring talk about the country's judiciary, as made in his speech to the judicial conference of South African judges.
The fact is reckless talk by some within the ruling alliance before and after the elections, as well as by Zuma himself, had caused concern.
So talk that has the effect of restoring the hallowed status of the judiciary, coming from the number one citizen, is not only welcome but essential.
Our judiciary, imperfect as it might be, is a bulwark against turning us back to an era when life was short and brutal and the toughest survived.
The challenges facing the judiciary are numerous and well-recorded.
They range from access for the poor to the judiciary not sufficiently reflecting the demographics of our society.
There is no getting away from the fact that whatever shortcomings there might be, we, and nobody else, must correct them.
The duty to find solutions falls on all who love theircountry.
This is so because, as in Zuma's own words at the conference, "all South Africans accept that the judiciary is the final arbiter of all disputes".
As the president says, judges should not be beyond criticism. But, as he also told the conference, such criticism should be fair and informed.
We hope that the next step will be for Zuma to castigate those in our society - in and outside the ruling alliance - who think our judicial system and judges are fair game for their infantile ideological games.