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Moseneke – a towering intellect

Moseneke – a towering intellect

Moseneke – a towering intellect

At 15 years old, Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke was detained and convicted of plotting to overthrow the apartheid government. He still bears the scars from his interrogation on his wrists. He spent 10 years on Robben Island, and in those 10 years, he obtained his Matric, a BA in English and Political Science and a BJuris degree through Unisa. Under house arrest, he obtained a law degree – and went on to complete his articles. After becoming an advocate, he went on to be chosen as one of South Africa’s first black judges.

He rose to the position of Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, and served his term as a judge on that court with distinction. Regarded as one of the towering intellects of the bench, he has handed down many of the most important judgements of the court in recent years. Some of these include the second Glenister decision, Glenister v President of the Republic of South Africa, which was co-written with Cameron J and the affirmative action decisions in Van Heerden and Barnard, and the pro-poor Abahlali decision.

His retirement now requires that a new deputy Chief Justice be appointed. There are two vacancies on the bench; the second left by van der Westhuizen J. In terms of the Constitution, the President, in consultation with the JSC, appoints the Deputy Chief Justice in consultation with leaders of the parties in the National Assembly. The candidate would usually be one already sitting on the bench of the Constitutional Court. The JSC will, in all liklihood, only be able to appoint the two new members of the court at the end of the year.

Read more about Moseneke and his departure from the position of Deputy Chief Justice here.

Comments (5)

  1. Avatar
    Pierre de Villiers
    May 24, 2016

    Instead of sitting around doing nothing, while being on Robben Island, the judge spent his time reaching out of his circumstances.
    You could only have the greatest respect for the judge. Enjoy your well deserved retirement.

  2. Avatar
    Ron Simphiwe Mncwabe
    Dec 20, 2016

    Deputy Chief Justice Moseneke inspired many of us. In our legal practice he left an indelible mark like no other. Enjoy your well deserved retirement Justice Moseneke.


  3. Avatar
    Dec 21, 2016

    He is a man of inspiration I am reading his book “my own liberator” it’s very interesting to know where he came from to be where he is and I hope at the end it will also tell me as to where he is going.

  4. Avatar
    Adv Sipho sibiya
    Dec 21, 2016

    Fair thee well judge Moseneke you are a living legend and an inspiration to those of us who are within the legal fratenity it is you who give us inspiration and hope in law. Your intellectual contribution to the justice system has not only transformed it but enhanced and made our courts to remain one of the trustworth and credible institution in our democracy

    Thank you for ur contribution

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