Conference in Honour of Justice Moseneke of the South African Constitutional Court

by | Dec 9, 2016

On December 7th leading academics, practitioners and members of the judiciary joined together in Cape Town, South Africa to reflect on Justice Moseneke’s contributions to South African jurisprudence.

Dikgang Moseneke was born in Pretoria in December 1947. He attended primary and secondary school there. But at the age of 15, when in standard eight, Moseneke was arrested, detained and convicted of participating in anti-apartheid activity. He was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, all of which he served on Robben Island. Moseneke studied for his matric as well as two degrees while in jail. While Moseneke was jailed on Robben Island he obtained a BA in English and political science, as well as a B Iuris degree. He later completed an LLB.

Moseneke started his professional career as an attorney’s clerk at Klagbruns Inc in Pretoria in 1976. In 1978 he was admitted and practised for five years as an attorney and partner at the law firm Maluleke, Seriti and Moseneke. In 1983 he was called to the Bar and practised as an advocate in Johannesburg and Pretoria. Ten years later, in 1993, he was elevated to the status of senior counsel. In 1993 Moseneke served on the technical committee that drafted the interim constitution of 1993. In 1994 he was appointed Deputy Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission, which conducted the first democratic elections in South Africa.

In September 1994, while practising as a silk, Moseneke accepted an acting appointment to the Transvaal Provincial Division of the Supreme Court. Before his appointment as Justice of the Constitutional Court, in November 2001 Moseneke was appointed a Judge of the High Court in Pretoria. On 29 November 2002 he was appointed as judge in the Constitutional Court Court and in June 2005 up until his retirement in 2016, Moseneke was Deputy Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa.

The conference looked at Justice Moseneke contributions to judicial engagement, the separation of powers, to transformative equality law, economic justice, his political activism and community leadership and concluded with a conversation between Justice Mosekene and Justice Dennis Davis.


8.30 – 8.45 a.m.    Welcoming Comments

Professor Max Price, Vice-Chancellor, University of Cape Town

Professor Penelope Andrews, Dean, University of Cape Town Law Faculty.

8.45 a.m. – 10.15 a.m.   Justice Moseneke, Judicial Engagement and the Separation of Powers

Moderator:   Professor Hugh Corder, University of Cape Town Faculty of Law


Mr. Michael Bishop, Legal Resources Center

Associate Professor Mtendeweka Mhango, Deputy-Head, School of Law University of the Witwatersrand

Professor Heinz Klug, University of Wisconsin School of Law

Professor Peter Danchin, University of Maryland School of Law

10.15 – 10.30 a.m.  Morning Tea      

10.30 a.m. – 12.15 p.m.    Justice Moseneke, Transformation, Equality and Indigeneity

Moderator:   Ms. Tabeth Masengu, University of Cape Town Faculty of Law


Professor Chuma Himonga, NRF Chair in Customary Law, Indigenous Values and Human Rights, University of Cape Town Faculty of Law

Professor E. Tendayi Achiume, University of California, Los Angeles School of Law

Professor Sandra Fredman, Oxford Human Rights Hub

Dr Zozo Dyani-Mhango, University of the Witwatersrand School of Law

Professor Waheeda Amien, University of Cape Town Faculty of Law


12.15 p.m  –  1.45 p.m.    Justice Moseneke and Economic Justice

Moderator:   Professor Jonathan Klaaren, University of the Witwatersrand, WISER and Law School


Advocate Loyiso Makapela, Stellenbosch University Faculty of Law

Ms. Nolundi Luwaya, Deputy Director, Land and Accountability Research Centre, University of Cape Town Faculty of Law

Judge Fayeeza Kathree-Setiloane, South Gauteng High Court

Professor Erika George, University of Utah School of Law

1.45 – 2.15 p.m. Lunch Time Keynote Address

Chair:  Professor Pierre De Vos, University of Cape Town Faculty of Law

Speaker:  Justice Kate O’Regan,   Constitutional Court (Retired)

2.15 – 3.45 p.m.  Justice Moseneke: Political Activist and Community Leader

Moderator:   Ms. Jameelah Omar, University of Cape Town Faculty of Law


Judge Mohamed Navsa, Supreme Court of Appeal

Associate Professor Tshepo Mongalo, University of the Witwatersrand School of Law

Ms. Carmel Rickard, Independent Journalist

Professor Penelope Andrews, Dean, University of Cape Town, Faculty of Law

3.45 p.m.  –  4.00  p.m.  Afternoon Tea

4.00 p.m. – 5.00 p.m.  Personal Reflections

Moderator:   Professor Cathi Albertyn, University of Witwatersrand School of Law,


Ms. Nicole Isaac, former Moseneke Clerk, LinkedIn, Head of US Public Policy

Professor Sindiso Mnisi, former Moseneke Clerk, University of Massachusetts

Judge Albie Sachs, Constitutional Court (retired)

5.15p.m. – 6.30 p.m.  Ben Beinart Memorial Lecture

Chair:  A/Professor Tracy Gutuza

Interviewer:  Judge Dennis Davis, Cape High Court

Speaker:  Justice Dikgang Moseneke

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