Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng says the nation needs to inculcate a Madiba-type constitutional value system in order to deal with societal sicknesses of corruption, racism and gender-based violence.

In the prelude to the 17th edition of the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng had a discussion with the chairperson of the Nelson Mandela Foundation Prof Njabulo Ndebele.

This is ahead of the much-anticipated Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture that will take place in Soweto on Saturday.

Prof Ndebele spoke of the need to treat the Constitution as an activist document, which has the capacity to galvanize South Africans’ collective energies. He gave an example of the country’s Rugby World Cup wins dating back to 1995.

“I think that you can agree our perspective to the World Cup victory is very different. I think we have gone beyond let’s give it a go. We are one country, we are one people, it may be emotional, it may be sentimental but it is something to work with. So what I am trying to say is that anything that can contribute to a collective sense of purpose will help us and the constitution is at the centre of it all because it is clear what each of us has to do,” says Ndebele.

Chief Justice Mogoeng, who will be the keynote speaker at the Lecture, has called on South Africans to be more vocal against the wrong-doings of their leaders and officials. Mogoeng has spoken about the need to confront what he describes as the ailments of corruption, racism, tribalism and gender-based violence that afflict society.

“Each and every one of us has a responsibility to contribute towards the realisation of our shared aspirations because when you do you are killing the disease you killing that sickness a failure to do what we are supposed to do in line with the constitution and Madiba’s vision gave birth to the challenges that we have today. We have to confront them so this mind your business approach explains where we are,” says Mogoeng.

Mogoeng says the social ills that have plagued society are a result of men and women of goodwill turning a blind eye. Mogoeng has also defended the right of judges to speak about matters of social justice, which he does regularly. He argued that it is not only in the judgments of courts where the battle for economic and social rights must be fought.

“Our struggle, our constitution, our challenges are all about the need to secure justice for the people of South Africa and you can’t talk justice and not talk about racism, you can’t talk justice and not about the land, you can’t talk justice and not talk about what Madiba referred to as either trade justice or economic justice and you can’t be shallow. You have to dwell deep and identify the dynamics below that which you are articulating,” says Mogoeng.

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