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Justice Dikgang Moseneke joins Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics

- Wits University

The former Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court has been appointed as Honorary Professor of Bioethics.

Former Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, Dikgang Moseneke, has been appointed Honorary Professor of Bioethics in the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics, Faculty of Health Science at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. 

Moseneke is one of South Africa’s leading jurists and retired from the Constitutional Court in May this year after 14 years of dedicated service. He is also the Chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand, a position he has held since 2006. 

Professor Ames Dhai, Director of the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics, says Moseneke has had a deep impact on the judiciary and beyond the courts, and it is this legal authority as well as his intellectual and ethical integrity that will be invaluable to the Centre in its efforts to further the discipline of bioethics. 

“For a jurist of the calibre of Justice Moseneke – honourable, principled and righteous – and because of his commitment to justice and social change, a Professorship at the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics is without question. 

“His combination of qualities as a jurist and a scholar of the highest acclaim would support further growth and development of the Centre and its many activities. We look forward to working closely with him and benefitting from the valuable guidance and advice he will impart to us when grappling with the many ethical dilemmas which form part of our day-to-day work,” says Dhai. 

Professor Moseneke joined the Centre from 1 June 2016. 

“I am humbled to be associated with the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics and the Faculty of Health Sciences. I am not unmindful of what honour the Honorary Professorship bestows on me and hope to add value to the deliberations of the Centre in some modest way,” says Moseneke.

2016 Steve Biko Bioethics Lecture

Moseneke will also deliver the Faculty of Health Sciences’ prestigious annual lecture, the 2016 Steve Biko Bioethics Lecture, titled: Is ethics pivotal to transformation?

  • Date: 9 September 2016
  • Time: 13:00
  • Venue: Resource Centre, School of Public Health Building, Parktown Education Campus

About Justice Dikgang Moseneke

Moseneke obtained his BA in English and Political Science degree, as well as his B Iuris, while jailed on Robben Island after being convicted and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for participating in anti-apartheid activity in the 60s. He later completed his LLB and started practising as an attorney in 1978. He was admitted to the Bar in 1983 and practised as an advocate. He is a founder member of the Black Lawyers' Association and of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers of South Africa. In 1986 Moseneke was appointed visiting fellow and lecturer at Columbia Law School, University of Columbia, New York. 

In 1993 he was elevated to the status of Senior Counsel and later served as a Judge of the High Court before being appointed Justice of the Constitutional Court in November 2001. 

He has served in several community and non-governmental organisations and holds several honorary doctorates and is a recipient of numerous awards of honour, performance and excellence. 

About the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics

Situated in the School of Clinical Medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Wits University, the Centre is committed to the values of justice, dignity, respect and freedom - both intellectual and academic. It boasts with staff who has a wide range of expertise in ethics and who are deeply committed to furthering the discipline of bioethics in South Africa and internationally. 

At national policy level, staff at the Centre provides advice and consultation in bioethics, human rights and health law for health sciences curricula, regulation, development and ethics in research for the country. At an international level, they contribute to programmes in UNESCO, the World Health Organisation and the World Medical Association to name but a few; and to the development of bioethics and research ethics capacity on the different African regions.

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