Professor Dire Tladi’s election as a judge of the International Court of Justice couldn’t have come at a more pertinent time for South Africa, especially when the Springboks have shown the world the kind of calibre Mzansi possesses.
The many issues confronting our nation make it almost impossible to acknowledge the good that comes out of it.
That is why today we want to use this space to reflect on Tladi’s historic election, which will go a long way in elevating the country’s profile on the global stage.
Perhaps before we do that, it’s worth pointing out that Tladi, according to his University of Pretoria profile, holds the BLC LLB cum laude (Pret), an LLM (UConn), and a PhD (EUR) degrees and was recently a Professor of International law in the Department of Public Law, and a Fellow at the Institute of Comparative and International Law in Africa before his election.
He now finds himself among the 15 judges of the International Court of Justice in the Hague, Netherlands, a chapter that all South Africans should be proud of.
His election by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council is a vote of confidence for the country at a time when everything appears to be going south.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s words are relevant in this regard: “Prof Tladi’s election as a judge of the International Court of Justice is an outstanding personal achievement in which the nation shares with great pride. We appreciate the confidence expressed by the United Nations in Prof Tladi’s capabilities.
He becomes the newest member of a fraternity of South Africans globally who are in positions of service to the international community and making important contributions to the better world we seek to build. We wish Prof Tladi well as he prepares to contribute to the Court and its jurisprudence from the Palace of Peace in The Hague, Netherlands.”
South Africa is known for its ability to be a beacon of hope even when there is little to no reason to be hopeful.
Tladi’s appointment not only inspires his peers in the legal fraternity, but gives law academics from previously disadvantaged backgrounds, like him, reasons to dream big.
To Tladi we say onwards and upwards. Fly the South African flag high with pride.