Justice Dikgang Moseneke donated R400 000 of the fees he earned as chairperson of the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearings to the law school of UWC.

Johannesburg - South Africa's retired Justice Dikgang Moseneke donated R400 000 of the fees he earned as chairperson of the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearings to the law school of the University of the Western Cape.

The former deputy chief justice announced in February after concluding the arbitration process for families of the 144 psychiatric patients who died in the Life Esidimeni saga that he would donate his legal fees to law schools ''that will help nurture young women and men committed to defending the vulnerable against the abuse of the high and mighty”. 

The university said it would top up Moseneke's donation to the law school. 

''On Monday, at a ceremony attended by UWC rector Prof Tyrone Pretorius, Judge Moseneke committed around R400 000 to law students who excelled in their final LLB year of their LLB and the LLM degree,'' the UWC said in a statement.

''In turn, the university pledged to match Moseneke’s donation to assist in promoting excellence within the law faculty. Moseneke said the university’s law faculty was his first choice of institutions to whom he wanted to donate his fees.''

Moseneke said UWC was one of the three universities he has chosen to donate to.

''I hope to encourage young people from the Western Cape in particular to assume their role in continuing to be socially conscious lawyers, who will continue to uphold the rule of law and social justice,'' he said.

“The target of this is excellence, it is not a bursary. This is an attempt to identify and encourage excellence, hard work and commitment to achieve outstanding results.''

In February, Moseneke ordered that each of the Life Esidimeni victims' families receive R1 million in compensation from government. More than 140 psychiatric patients died after being transferred from Life Esidimeni to unlicensed NGOs across the Gauteng province, drawing widespread outcry from the public and opposition parties. The botched transfers to NGOs between 2015 and 2016 resulted in patients dying of hunger, cold, dehydration and general lack of care.

African News Agency/ANA