UP launches Dikgang Moseneke Excellence Bursary and announces honorary professorship for former Chief Justice

Posted on March 23, 2022

The University of Pretoria’s (UP) Faculty of Law has launched the Dikgang Moseneke Excellence Bursary and officialised Dr Moseneke’s honorary professorship at an event held at UP’s Javett Art Centre on 23 March 2022.

The aim of the bursary is to continue the legacy of the retired Deputy Chief Justice Moseneke by supporting the studies of a new generation of African law students to advance the vision of a liberated, non-racist and non-sexist South Africa and Africa.

“My association with the Faculty of Law at UP honours and privileges me hugely,” said Dr Moseneke, who was awarded an honorary doctorate (LLD honoris causa) by UP in 2018. “It presents an excellent opportunity to engage in and contribute towards a useful range of law, justice and societal issues with both the academy and students. The Excellence Bursary is a small and humble way to re-centre the importance of hard work, achievement and excellence ahead of mere financial help to study. Our country needs to refill its brain trust.”

“Words cannot express our gratitude for this opportunity created and spearheaded by the former Deputy Chief Justice Moseneke,” said Professor Elsabe Schoeman, Dean of UP’s Faculty of Law (UP Law). “While focusing on academic excellence, this bursary also addresses financial need and the demand for mentoring in order to realise our students’ academic potential to the full. The bursary, which also takes into account extracurricular activities, will assist greatly in producing excellent, well-rounded graduates with the ability and capacity to contribute to the promotion of social justice and equality for all. They will go out into the world, knowing that they were enabled and inspired by the best.”

UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe; Dean of UP’s Faculty of Law Professor Elsabe Schoeman and retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke.

UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe, retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke and Dean of UP’s Faculty of Law Professor Elsabe Schoeman celebrate the launch of the Dikgang Moseneke Excellence Bursary and announcement of the honorary professorship for the former Chief Justice.

The bursary includes financial and non-financial support. It covers registration and tuition expenses, and the cost of study material (including a laptop where needed), accommodation, meals and living expenses. Non-financial support includes regular mentorship sessions for bursary recipients organised by the UP Law and an annual dinner for recipients hosted by the Faculty and former Deputy Chief Justice Moseneke.

According to Professor Charles Maimela, Deputy Dean of UP Law, this is the first bursary of its kind in the country that honours former Deputy Chief Justice Moseneke, and the flagship bursary for undergraduate students in the Faculty. “This bursary will target deserving budding law students from across the country and the world,” he said. “We hope it will become sustainable for future generations. We also aim to partner with various stakeholders, such as members of the judiciary and law firms, who can contribute towards funding this bursary.”

The bursary is administered jointly by the Steering Committee of the Moseneke Legacy Project, led by the Dean’s Office and UP’s Department of Jurisprudence. Deputy Dean Prof Maimela and Head of the Department of Jurisprudence Professor Joel Modiri will jointly chair and convene the Bursary Committee (which consists of UP Law academic staff) on an annual basis to consider applicants and select candidates.

“Justice Moseneke’s generous donation will go towards providing financial support to talented students from disadvantaged backgrounds, which will go a long way in advancing the Faculty’s vision of excellence and transformation,” Prof Modiri said. “The financial and non-financial support that the bursary programme will provide to students aligns with the Faculty’s strategic intent of delivering technically well-skilled lawyers who care about humanity and social justice. Justice Moseneke is one of Tshwane’s most illustrious sons, which makes his donation to UP fitting.”

The Faculty will also announce the appointment Dr Moseneke as an honorary professor in the Department of Jurisprudence. “We look forward to welcoming him formally,” Prof Modiri added.

- Author Xolani Mathibela
Published by Hlengiwe Mnguni

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