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Prof Mathole Motshekga, who was recently appointed by Nelson Mandela University as an Adjunct Professor in the university’s Public Law Department, was the distinguished speaker at a seminar on “The rule of law and human rights” hosted at the George Campus on 24 February. 


The Campus Principal, Prof Quinton Johnson, noting the significance of the special lecture in the context of Madiba’s release from prison during this time of the year, expressed his delight that Prof Motshekga, “one of our most astute legal minds” with a 40-year history as a lawyer, has joined the university.

After skilfully providing a comprehensive historical context of the human rights culture, Prof Motshekga touched on human rights and the land question and the programme to combat racism which was initiated by the World Council of Churches in the 1980’s. He concluded with an overview of morality and the law, indicating that legislation introduced since 1994 to combat racism has not achieved the desired results as it addresses the effects, not the root cause of racism.

“Racism is rooted in the materialistic World-View”, he said, pointing out that human rights, which forms the cornerstone of our Constitution, did not originate in the West, but in the Khemetic (or Hermetic) philosophy which states that “man emanated from and is a microcosmic image of … God and Nature”. This spiritual humanism “transcends race, class, gender and creed and provides a rational basis for socially cohesive communities in which the value of every individual is based on our common humanity”, he said.

Touching on the role of education as a tool to drive development and upliftment, Prof Motshekga said that Universities are “theatres for transformation” where real dialogue must take place on substantive issues.  Students are not only here to get qualifications and knowledge is not only about memory. It is also about applying it to “better society”. “Professionals should have a social conscience”, he said, indicating that the university, and George Campus specifically, has an important role to play in getting people together in the context of Ubuntu.

Prof Mathole Motshekga, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services and founder of the Kara Heritage Institute, delivered a scintillating special lecture at the George Campus on 24 February. It was attended by key community stakeholders, institution academics, staff, postgraduate and international students. Prof Motshekga (standing 5th from left in the middle row) is flanked by the George Campus Principal, Prof Quinton Johnson (left) and Nelson Mandela University Board Member, Mr Chris Neethling (right).


Prof Mathole Motshekga, who was recently appointed by Nelson Mandela University as an Adjunct Professor in the university’s Public Law Department, delivered a thought-provoking seminar on “The rule of law and human rights” at the George Campus.

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