Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng was sharing profound reflections and a clarion call to action at the 17th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture on the theme "Constitutionalism as an Instrument for Transformation" at the University of Johannesburg's Campus in Soweto, an event supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation as well. Before his speech, the audience had also been shown informative short videos on the large screens in the huge hall. Amongst them was a special film marking the 20th Anniversary of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, directed pro bono by globally renowned film maker Anant Singh ... and a Hanns Seidel Foundation video created for the occasion. You can watch the video here:
The Chief Justice was a voice of sober, sharp analysis, of speaking truth to power, and of hope. He exuded deep wisdom and incredible resolve. He called on us all to be the change we want to see, “to get South Africa to this place where it has the potential to be!“ Not shying away from asking troubling questions, calling out corruption, inefficiency and the disturbing lack of civic education, while reminding of the pervasive legacy of the colonial and Apartheid past as well, Mogoeng Mogoeng had declared: "So, the purpose of this lecture ought to be what is wrong with our society? How did it come about that 25 years down the line we still have people without homes, so many people, everywhere you go, we still have racial discrimination, ethnicity, gender discrimination, even tribalism?"
He called for active citizenship and urged South Africans to stand united and to be courageous in building the moral, just, thriving, caring society Madiba and countless other South African activists have fought for, all their lives. The audience had greeted the revered Chief Justice at the beginning of the event with standing ovations already - after his speech, thousand were on their feet to give him lengthy applause and to thank him for a riveting, enlightening, inspiring lecture. The full transcript of the Chief Justice's wide ranging speech can be found on the Nelson Mandela Foundation's website:
Participants truly also appreciated the moving, insightful contributions by the other speakers, amongst them Nelson Mandela Foundation trustees Professor Njabulo Ndebele and Dr Mamphela Ramphele, UJ Vice Chancellor Tshilidzi Marwala and Nelson Mandela Foundation CEO Sello Hatang - with his poignant remarks, he touched the hearts of all present, and gave them serious food for thought as well. After the event, the Foundation published selected Photographs here:
In closing the truly memorable event which had been skillfully hosted by Phemelo Motene, the keen, grateful audience was treated to beautiful performances by South African musicians, among them Amanda Black, Samthing Soweto and the Soweto Gospel Choir.
Here is a link to the media statement of the Nelson Mandela Foundation issued after the event:
The lecture was shown live on TV by South African Public Broadcaster SABC - and a recording is now available online: