Justice Dikgang Moseneke

  • Justice Dikgang Moseneke

Justice Dikgang Moseneke

Former Deputy Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa

As a Rubenstein Fellow, Moseneke explored current challenges to constitutional democracy and rule of law. He co-taught a joint graduate and undergraduate course titled “Legal Analysis for Development Governance” with Catherine Admay, a lecturer in Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy.

While in residence at Duke, Moseneke also participated in events and roundtables, guest lectured in selected courses, and worked on his second memoir, reflecting on his time in judicial office.

Biography

Dikgang Moseneke is the former Deputy Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa and served as a Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa from 2002 to 2016. He was named the Deputy Chief Justice of the Court in 2005.  Before his appointment to the Constitutional Court, Moseneke was a judge of the High Court in Pretoria. Moseneke also served as the Chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand from 2006 to 2018.

In 2018, he was awarded South Africa’s highest national honors, the “Order of Luthuli in Gold,” in recognition of his “exceptional contribution to the field of law and the administration of justice.”

Moseneke was born in 1947 in Pretoria where he completed primary and secondary schooling. Shocked and outraged by the 1960 Sharpeville massacre, and inspired by his primary school headmaster, Moseneke was 14 when he joined the Pan Africanist Congress.  In 1963, at the age of 15, he was arrested for opposing apartheid, the state system of institutionalized racial segregation, and sentenced to 10 years in prison at Robben Island in Cape Town, South Africa, where he served his sentence alongside fellow political prisoners and future South African Presidents Nelson Mandela and Jacob Zuma. While in prison, Moseneke earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science and a B.Iuris (law) degree, both from the University of South Africa. He later completed a Bachelor of Laws, also from the University of South Africa.

After overcoming prison warden objections to political prisoners forming a football (soccer) league on the island, Moseneke co-founded the Makana Football Association, named after warrior Makana who drowned escaping British imprisonment on the island a century earlier.  The league’s self-governing constitution was drafted by Moseneke and he was elected to serve as chairperson of the Football Association and of its disciplinary committee.

After his release, Moseneke became a leading law practitioner, defending political prisoners and representing corporations.  From 1978 to 1983, Moseneke was an attorney in private practice.  In 1983, Moseneke was called to the Bar where he practiced as an advocate at the Johannesburg and Pretoria Bars. During his practice at the Pretoria Bar, he was elected to the Bar Council where he served until 1993.

When all political parties were unbanned in 1990, Moseneke served as the Deputy President for the Pan Africanist Congress from 1990 through 1992.

In 1993, as apartheid ended, Moseneke was appointed to help draft South Africa’s Interim Constitution. Within days of completing this work, Moseneke was tapped by President Mandela to serve as the deputy chair of the Independent Electoral Commission that oversaw the first democratic elections in South Africa in April 1994. In September 1994, Moseneke was appointed to the Supreme Court of the Transvaal Provincial Division, as it was then known, as an acting judge, after which he returned to his practice at the Bar.

From 1995 to 2001, Moseneke left the Bar to pursue a full time corporate career during which time he led several corporations including serving as Chair of Telkom, CEO of New Africa Investments Ltd, and Chair of the African Merchant Bank, Metropolitan Life (Insurance) and Alisa Car Rental (Hertz’s African operations).

Moseneke was named to the bench of the High Court Pretoria in 2001 and appointed to the Constitutional Court in 2002.  He took on the role of Deputy Chief Justice in 2005.

In his 15 year tenure on the Constitutional Court, Moseneke made a mark in the jurisprudence of rule of law, separation of powers, socio-economic rights, property, economic justice, affirmative action, administrative and anti-corruption law. Links to his authored judgements, including concurrences and dissents, are available below.  His extra-curial writings are widely published in journals both at home and abroad.

Moseneke was a founding member of the Black Lawyers Association (BLA) and its first national secretary. He was a founding member of the editorial board of the African Law Review published by the BLA to give a voice to disenfranchised legal practitioners. Together, with other progressive legal practitioners, he was a founding member of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers of South Africa (NADEL) and its first national treasurer.

As Chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand, Moseneke led the university through the #FeesMustFall protests.  Moseneke has also served in several non-governmental organizations whose activities are directed at ameliorating the harsh impact of apartheid inequality, including serving as chairman of Project Literacy for over 10 years, trustee of the Sowetan Nation Building, and Chairperson of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund for 15 years. Moseneke currently serves as the Chair of the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra. In his will, President Nelson Mandela appointed Moseneke as a co-executor in his deceased estate, a role Moseneke has carried out from 2013 until today.

In July 2018, Moseneke was appointed to lead the Southern African Development Community’s Facilitation Team to the Kingdom of Lesotho with the mandate to mediate an agreement for lasting peace and stability. A significant step towards stability, in fragile political conditions, was brokered in July 2019 when political parties and civil society in Lesotho signed a national reform agreement. In December 2019, under Moseneke’s facilitation, all stakeholders adopted comprehensive constitutional and other reforms effective January 2020.

In 2016, Moseneke published a memoir, My Own Liberator which was recognized with the South African Literary Award for the Best Creative Non-Fiction (2017) and the National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences Award for Best Non-Fiction Monograph (2018).

Moseneke has given many named Lectures around the world, and held visiting and distinguished scholar appointments at several American universities, including as a Visiting Law Professor at Columbia Law School (1986), Distinguished Scholar and Visiting Professor at the University of Maryland School of Law (2011), Visiting Scholar at the University of Georgetown School of Law (2012), and Distinguished Global Fellow at NYU Law School (2017). The Rockefeller Foundation hosted Moseneke as a Bellagio Resident Fellow in 2018 and again in 2019.

Moseneke holds several honorary doctorates and is a recipient of numerous awards of honour and excellence including the Black Lawyers Association Excellence Award (1993); Global Jurist of the Year Award from the Centre for International Human Rights at Northwestern University School of Law (2013); the Lifetime Achievement Award: African Legal Awards from the Commercial Lawyers Association of South Africa (2015); the Honorary Lifetime Achievement membership of the Society of Advocates – Johannesburg (2016); The Archbishop of the Anglican Church’s Highest Award of Merit for Peace and Justice (2016); Black Excellence Recognition Award (2018); George Bizos Human Rights Award of the Legal Resources Centre of South Africa (2019) and the Order of Luthuli in Gold, South Africa’s highest recognition for “exceptional contributions in the struggle for democracy, building democracy and human rights, nation building, justice and peace, and conflict resolution.” (2018).

Dikgang Moseneke is married to Kabonina Moseneke and they have a daughter and two sons.

 

Justice Moseneke’s Constitutional Court Authored Judgements, Concurrences and Dissents (2002-2016)

Fourie and Another v Minister of Home Affairs and Another, Constitutional Court of South Africa, (2003) (unanimous)

Thebus and Another v State, Constitutional Court of South Africa, (2003) (majority, unanimous on the issue of constitutionality of the common purpose doctrine)

Daniels v Campbell and Others, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2004) (minority dissent)

Minister of Finance and Other v Van Heerden, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2004) (majority)

City of Cape Town and Other v Robertson and Other, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2004) (unanimous)

Laugh It Off Promotions CC v South African Breweries International (Finance) BV t/a Sabmark International and Another, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2005) (majority)

Minister of Health and Another v New Clicks South Africa (Pty) Ltd and Others, Constitutional Court of South Africa, (2005) (separate judgment of minority reasons)

Van der Merwe v Road Accident Fund and Another, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2006) (majority)

Dikoko v Mokhatla, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2006) (majority on the issue of damages)

South African Broadcasting Corporation Limited v National Director of Public Prosecutions and Others, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2006) (minority dissent)

Steenkamp No v Provincial Tender Board of the Eastern Cape, Constitutional Court of South Africa,  (2006) (majority)

Mohunram and Another v National Director of Public Prosecutions and Another (Law Review Project as Amicus Curiae), Constitutional Court of South Africa (2007) (majority)

Barkhuizen v Napier, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2007) (minority dissent)

Department of Land Affairs and Others v Goedgelegen Tropical Fruit, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2007) (unanimous)

Van der Merwe and Another v Taylor NO and Others, Constitutional Court of South Africa, (2007) (majority)

Masetlha v President of the Republic of South Africa and Another, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2007) (majority)

Independent Newspapers (Pty) Ltd v Minister of Intelligence Services (Freedom of Expression Institute as Amicus Curiae) In re: Masetlha v President of the Republic of South Africa and Another, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2008) (majority)

Merafong Demarcation Forum and Others v President of the Republic of South Africa and Others, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2008) (minority dissent)

Gumede (born Shange) v President of the Republic of South Africa and Others, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2008) (unanimous)

Von Abo v President of the Republic of South Africa, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2009) (unanimous)

Residents of Joe Slovo Community, Western Cape v Thubelisha Homes and Others, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2009) (concurrence)

Head of Department: Mpumalanga Department of Education and Another v Hoerskool Ermelo and Another, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2009) (unanimous)

Abahlali Basemjondolo Movement SA and Another v Premier of the Province of KwaZulu Natal and Others, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2009) (majority)

International Trade Administration Commission v SCAW South Africa (Pty) Ltd, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2010) (unanimous)

Law Society of South Africa and Others v Minister for Transport and Another, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2010) (unanimous)

Glenister v President, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2011) (majority)

De Lacy and Another v South African Post Office, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2011) (unanimous)

Everfresh Market Virginia (Pty) Ltd v Shoprite Checkers (Pty) Ltd, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2011) (majority)

National Treasury and Others v Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance and Others, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2012) (majority)

Ramakatsa and Others v Magashule and Others, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2012) (majority)

Kwalindile Community vs King Sabata Dalinyebo Municipality and Others: Zimbane Community v King Sabata Dalinyebo Municipality and Others, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2013) (unanimous)

Mazibuko v Sisulu and Another, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2013) (majority)

Minister of Police and Others v Premier of the Western Cape and Others, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2013) (unanimous)

Ferris and Another v Firstrand Bank Limited and Another, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2013) (unanimous)

Director-General Department of Home Affairs and Another v Mukhamadiva, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2013) (unanimous)

Minister of Mineral Resources and Others v Sishen Iron Ore Company (Pty) Ltd and Another, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2013) (concurrence)

South African Informal Traders Forum and Others v City of Johannesburg and Others; South African National Traders Retail Association v City of Johannesburg and Others, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2014) (unanimous)

Zulu and Others v eThekwini Municipality and Others, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2014) (concurrence)

Florence v Government of the Republic of South Africa, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2014) (majority)

South African Police Service v Solidarity obo Mrs R N Barnard, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2014) (majority)

Arun Property Development (Pty) Ltd v City of Cape Town, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2014) (unanimous)

Paulsen and Another v Slip Knot Investments 777 (Pty) Limited, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2015) (concurrence)

South African Reserve Bank and Another v Shuttleworth and Another, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2015) (majority)

Shoprite Checkers (Pty) Limited v Member of the Executive Council for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Eastern Cape and Others, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2015) (concurrence)

De Lange v Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa for the time being and Another, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2015) (unanimous)

Baloyi v Member of the Executive Committee for Health and Social Development, Limpopo and Others, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2015) (majority)

Nkata v Firstrand Bank Limited and Others, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2016) (majority)

Federation of Governing Bodies for South African Schools (FEDSAS) v Member of the Executive Council for Education, Gauteng and Another, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2016) (unanimous)

Gbenga-Oluwatoye v Reckitt Benckiser South Africa (Pty) Limited and Another, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2016) (unanimous)

Areva NP Incorporated in France v Eskom Holdings Soc Limited and Others, Constitutional Court of South Africa (2016) (minority dissent)

As revised 31 Dec 2019

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Justice Dikgang Moseneke News & Events

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22Nov, 2019

Judgment Calls: A Conversation with Hon. Dikgang Moseneke

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

David F. Levi, director of the Bolch Judicial Institute, joins Hon. Dikgang Moseneke for a discussion of Moseneke’s recent memoir “My Own Liberator.” Recording available on YouTube. 

22Nov, 2019

Judgment Calls: A Conversation with Hon. Dikgang Moseneke

Law School 4047 - Wednesday, February 26, 2020

David F. Levi, director of the Bolch Judicial Institute, will be joined by Hon. Dikgang Moseneke, former deputy chief justice of the South Africa Constitutional Court and 2020 Bolch Prize recipient, for a discussion of his memoir My Own Liberator. In this memoir, Justice Moseneke traces his own liberation – from imprisonment on Robben Island…

22Nov, 2019

2020 William P. Murphy Distinguished Lecture

UNC School of Law, Rotunda - Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Dikgang Moseneke, the former deputy chief justice of South Africa who earned two degrees while imprisoned for protesting apartheid, will deliver the 2020 William P. Murphy Distinguished Lecture at UNC School of Law on Wed., February 18 at 4:00 p.m. Moseneke is a Rubenstein Fellow in residence at Duke University this semester, where he is co-teaching “Legal…

22Nov, 2019

Student Voices: Listening and Learning from Freedom Fighter Dikgang Moseneke

UNC School of Law, Rotunda - Friday, January 24, 2020

Sanford School of Public Policy | January 24, 2020By Tyler Strobl Sanford students are strongly encouraged to “Stand for Something.” Every day, we learn about the most pressing issues facing the planet and with each class we add new tools to our toolkit. Sanford alums can be found across the country and globe using the skills…

22Nov, 2019

Said @ Duke: Justice Moseneke on Freedom and the Internet

UNC School of Law, Rotunda - Thursday, January 23, 2020

By Duke Today Staff Dikgang Moseneke, former deputy chief justice of South Africa and a 2020 Rubenstein Fellow, spoke this week at the Robert R. Wilson Lecture sponsored by Duke’s Center for International Development and the Sanford School of Public Policy. He is also a recipient of the 2020 Bolch Prize for the Rule of…

22Nov, 2019

My Own Liberator: A Conversation with Dikgang Moseneke

Fleishman Commons, Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University - Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Faculty, staff, students and the public are invited to this event welcoming new Rubenstein Fellow, Justice Dikgang Moseneke. Moseneke will reflect on his life experiences through an oral history interview conducted by Admay and professor Karin Shapiro of Duke’s African and African American Studies Department. The discussion will be followed by a reception and book…