Professor Charles Maimela and Professor Joel Modiri receive the donation of books and rare artefacts from retired Deputy Chief Justice Dr Dikgang Moseneke.
Professor Charles Maimela and Professor Joel Modiri receive the donation of books and rare artefacts from retired Deputy Chief Justice Dr Dikgang Moseneke.

Justice Moseneke donates his private book collection to University of Pretoria

By Zelda Venter Time of article published Aug 7, 2021

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THE youth of the country now has the chance to have more insight into the incredible life and struggles of retired Justice Dikgang Moseneke.

The former deputy chief justice and holder of a law honorary doctorate from the University of Pretoria donated his private collection of books, artefacts and journals to the university’s Oliver R Tambo Law Library.

According to the university, the donation includes other items such as Justice Moseneke’s Robben Island security file, private annotated law reports, rare photographs and artworks from his personal, political and judicial career, as well as major awards, scrolls and trophies.

This collection will be housed in the “Dikgang Moseneke Research Commons” to be constructed in the Law Library.

“All these books and journals are my private collections from my time as a practising advocate, a junior and senior judge and as deputy chief justice of South Africa.

“It is kind of the university to want to have these collections become part of a cultural precinct within the library, to share with our country’s young people and the UP community at large,” Justice Moseneke told the university during the handing over of the collection.

“In your retirement you can hardly find an honour greater than 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 of Pretoria 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 struggles for freedom and change in our country.”

The icon worked towards social justice, African liberation and the eradication of inequality in the country during his practising years as a lawyer and as a judge.

“I fought most of my struggles against the apartheid government in Pretoria, and now that there is a university that is undergoing transformation in this city, I am proud to be a part of the process.

“This university has become a place of values that we have fought for, and those values are being lived,” he said.

Professor Charles Maimela, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Law at the university, said they were humbled by this generous gesture and looked forward to working with Moseneke.

“Our law students will benefit greatly from these private collections from the former 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 Moseneke used while practising as a scholar and a judge,” said Maimela.

He said these collections would also enhance the research productivity of the faculty and UP and inspire students.

“We plan to solidify our collaborations with Dr Moseneke and look forward to formulating this relationship with him, to make sure his legacy lives on for the next generation. We are going to have a number of initiatives with him in future in order to learn from this great giant.”

The university said its Faculty of Law would be undertaking a project to honour and celebrate Moseneke’s legacy through other strategic and community engagement initiatives to be announced in due course.

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Pretoria News

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