Judge Mahomed S Navsa delivers Annual Human Rights Lecture

On Tuesday 5th of September 2017 the H.F. Oppenheimer Chair in Human Rights Law and Stellenbosch Law Faculty hosted its 12th Annual Human Rights Lecture. We were honoured to have Judge Mahomed S Navsa of the Supreme Court of Appeal as the guest speaker with a powerful address titled: “Human Rights and the Rule of Law: A Bulwark against Corruption and Maladministration in South Africa?” The lecture was well attended by members of the judiciary, the legal profession, civil society organisations, academics and students.

Judge Navsa is a distinguished legal personality in South Africa with an impressive record of activism for social justice and access to legal services for the poor. As a judge he has authored a number of important judgments in a wide range of legal fields.

In his address Judge Navsa illustrated how both public and private corruption divert much-needed resources from the poor and have a corrosive impact on democracy, human rights and the rule of law. The scourge of corruption and maladministration are challenges facing both developed and developing countries worldwide.

He went on to describe the rights and institutions which the Constitution provides for holding those in power accountable, arguing that it provides the architecture for fighting corruption and maladministration. Judge Navsa called upon all sectors of society, particularly the youth, to be vigilant in the struggle against corruption and to make full use of the tools which the Constitution provides.

In concluding his address Judge Navsa warned:

 “We ignore the poor and the vulnerable at our peril. The Constitution holds out a vision of a better society for all. If, after centuries of colonialism and apartheid oppression, they continue to be isolated and denied a fair share of the wealth of the country and the benefits of state resources because of corruption and maladministration our democratic experiment will have failed spectacularly. History will never forgive us.”

The Stellenbosch Faculty of Law thanks Judge Navsa for his inspiring address. A special word of thanks is also due to Webber Wentzel, in alliance with Linklaters for their sponsorship of this event and the annual human rights lecture series.

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