Retired Deputy Chief Justice Moseneke donates his private collection of books to the University of Pretoria

September 16th, 2021
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By Kgomotso Ramotsho

Retired Deputy Chief Justice, Dikgang Moseneke, showing off one of his awards during the collection of the books and rare artefacts by the University of Pretoria.

Former Deputy Chief Justice, Dikgang Moseneke, has donated his private collection of books and rare artefacts to the University of Pretoria (the University). In a statement released by the University, it noted that Justice Moseneke holds an honorary law doctorate for the University and stated that the donation to the Oliver R Tambo Law Library will greatly benefit the University’s law students.

Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Charles Maimela, said the faculty is proud and humbled by Justice Moseneke’s generous gesture. ‘Our law students will benefit greatly from these private collections from the Deputy Chief Justice because these materials will only be stationed in our University, which will attract students nationally and across the globe to come and see and read what Dr Moseneke used while practising as a scholar and a judge,’ Prof Maimela said. He added that the collections will also enhance the research productivity of the University’s Faculty of Law and the University as a whole, and this will inspire the institutions students.

The institution said that the Faculty of Law will be undertaking a project, under the direction of Prof Maimela and the Head of the Department of Jurisprudence, Professor Joel Modiri, to honour and celebrate Deputy Chief Justice Moseneke’s legacy through other strategic and community initiatives, which will be announced at a later stage. Justice Moseneke pointed out that all the books and journals he donated to the University are from his private collections from the time he practised as an advocate, a junior and senior judge and as the Deputy Chief Justice. ‘It is kind of [the University] to want to have these collections to become a part of a cultural precinct within the library, to share with our country’s young people and the [University’s] community at large,’ Justice Moseneke added.

Justice Moseneke added: ‘In your retirement you can hardly find an honour greater than the people seeking to remember your contributions in your lifetime. This normally happens when you have passed on, but while I am still alive [the University] has given me the tremendous privilege of creating a heritage space containing a number of memorable items connected with my career, that will be able to talk to the youth about our long struggle for freedom and change in our country.’

Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Charles Maimela, with the Head of the Department of Jurisprudence of the University of Pretoria, Professor Joel Modiri, and retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke during the handing over of the books and rare artefacts.

Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Elsabe Schoeman, added that it is a huge privilege and an honour for the Faculty of Law and University, that Justice Moseneke chose to donate his private collections to the institution. ‘It comes with a huge responsibility for us to be entrusted with his legacy, and it is important for us to not only look after these books, but also to share the information with the [University’s] community. We hope to have gatherings soon with the retired Deputy Chief Justice after the COVID-19 regulations have been relaxed; this will be a huge motivation for our students,’ Professor Schoeman said.

The donation includes, Justice Moseneke’s Robben Island security file, private annotated law reports, rare photographs, and artworks of his personal, political, and judicial career, as well as major awards, scrolls and trophies. The collection is set to be housed in the ‘Dikgang Moseneke Research Commons’ to be constructed in the Law Library.

Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Charles Maimela, with the Head of the Department of Jurisprudence of the University of Pretoria, Professor Joel Modiri, and retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke during the handing over of the books and rare artefacts.

Retired Deputy Chief Justice, Dikgang Moseneke, showing off one of his awards during the collection of the books and rare artefacts by the University of Pretoria.

Kgomotso Ramotsho Cert Journ (Boston) Cert Photography (Vega) is the news reporter at De Rebus.

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