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Profile of Justice Dikgang Moseneke


The former Deputy Chief Justice Moseneke was born in Pretoria on 20 December 1947 and attended school in Pretoria.

He joined the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) at the age of 14 and the following year he was arrested, detained and convicted of participating in anti-apartheid activity.

He spent ten years as a prisoner on Robben Island where he met and befriended the African National Congress’ Nelson Mandela and other leading activists.

During his time in prison, he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English and political science and a Baccalaureus Luris degree all from the University of South Africa. He would later completed a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree.

Justice Moseneke started his professional career as an attorney’s clerk in Pretoria in 1976. He was admitted as an attorney in 1978 and practised for five years at the Maluleke, Seriti and Moseneke law firm. In 1983 he was called to the Pretoria Bar.

Justice Moseneke practised as an advocate in Johannesburg and Pretoria where he was eventually awarded senior counsel status in the early 1990s.

Justice Moseneke worked underground for the PAC during the 1980s and became its Deputy President when it was unbanned in 1990 by the then Apartheid government that was led by Frederik Willem de Klerk.

Justice Moseneke also served on the technical committee that drafted the interim constitution of South Africa of 1993. In 1994 he was appointed Deputy Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission which conducted the first democratic elections in South Africa.

In September 1994, while practising as a silk, Moseneke accepted an acting appointment to the Transvaal Provincial Division. Between 1995 and 2001, however, Moseneke left the Bar to pursue a full-time corporate career, most famously as the chair of Telkom.

In November 2001 Moseneke was appointed to the High Court in Pretoria, his hometown, by then President Thabo Mbeki. A year later he was appointed a judge in the Constitutional Court and in June 2005, became Deputy Chief Justice.

He retired from the Constitutional Court and as Deputy Chief Justice of South Africa in May 2016 after more than 10 years of service.

Most recently, he headed the inquiry into the Life Esidimeni crisis of 2016.

At least 144 mentally ill patients died after the Gauteng Health Department moved about 1700 patients from Life Esidimeni facilities to unsuitable non-governmental and state facilities in 2016.


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