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In My Own Liberator, Dikgang Moseneke pays homage to the many people and places that have helped to define and shape him. In tracing his ancestry, the influence on both his maternal and paternal sides is evident in the values they imbued in their children - the importance of family, the value of hard work and education, an uncompromising moral code, compassion for those less fortunate and unflinching refusal to accept an unjust political regime or acknowledge its oppressive laws. As a young activist in the Pan-Africanist Congress, at the tender age of fifteen, Moseneke was arrested, detained and, in 1963, sentenced to ten years on Robben Island for participating in anti-apartheid activities. Physical incarceration, harsh conditions and inhumane treatment could not imprison the political prisoners' minds, however, and for many the Island became a school not only in politics but an opportunity for dedicated study, formal and informal. It set the young Moseneke on a path towards a law degree that would provide the bedrock for a long and fruitful legal career and see him serve his country in the highest court. My Own Liberator charts Moseneke's rise as one of the country's top legal minds, who not only helped to draft the interim constitution, but for fifteen years acted as a guardian of that constitution for all South Africans, helping to make it a living document for the country and its people.
In this memoir, the first of two, Dikgang Moseneke pays homage to the many people and places that have helped to define and shape him. These influences include his ancestry; his parents; his immediate and extended family; and his education both in school and on Robben Island as a 15-year-old prisoner. These people and places played a significant role in forming his principled stance in life and his proud defiance of all forms of injustice.
Robben Island became a school not only in politics but an opportunity for dedicated studies towards a law degree that would provide the bedrock for a long and fruitful career. The book charts Moseneke’s rise as one of the country’s top legal minds, who not only helped to draft the Constitution, but for 15 years acted as a guardian of it for all South Africans.
Not only did Moseneke assist in shaping our new Constitution, he has helped to make it a living document for many South Africans over the past 15 years.
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