Justice Mokgoro praised for her tenacity and unwavering commitment

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Deputy Chief Justice Mandisa Maya has praised the late retired Justice Yvonne Mokgoro for her strength and tenacity.

Maya says it was because of this strength that she would not easily let go of life despite being in hospital for a year.

Mokgoro died earlier this month after a lengthy stay in hospital following a car accident in April last year.

Maya spent time with Mokgoro in the US during their studies for their Master of Laws.

Deputy Chief Justice told mourners that Mokgoro played the role of bigger sister to her and other students despite leaving her own children and family back in South Africa.

“She was first and foremost a humanist and this precious quality found its way into the most unlikeliest of places. Her court judgements which in the best traditions of the African culture honoured life and shared human experience amongst people. Ubuntu. It has been heart-wrenching to see her lying silently in hospital beds, disconnected from the world she so loved during the past year. But I think this was just another testament to her character. Her innate strength and tenacity to live. I am exceedingly fortunate and immensely proud to have lived in a space and time,” Justice Maya.


Constitutional Court Justice Steven Majiedt has described the late Mokgoro as a giant of the legal profession. Mokgoro was also the chairperson of the inaugural council of the Sol Plaatjie University from 2014 until 2021.

“As she did in all tasks allocated to her, Justice Mokgoro served SPU with irrepressible verve and vigor, unwavering commitment and passion. On behalf of the entire SPU community, permit me to salute a great educationalist, lawyer, and patriot who leaves an enormous and enduring legacy of selfless, solicitous service. She was one of South Africa’s very best. On a personal note fellow mourners, permit me to say goodbye to this giant of South African Law and life,” says Majiedt.

She was a quintessential judge: Justice Moseneke