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School of Law celebrates Justice Cameron

- Adanma Yisa

The Wits School of Law honoured Justice Edwin Cameron with a Symposium on Wednesday 4 September.

The Symposium in Honour of Justice Edwin Cameron included three panels that interrogated aspects of Justice Cameron’s legacy. Holding to Account: activism, LGBTQIA+ and AIDS saw presentations on the plight of LGBTQI+ African refugees and the current state of South African AIDS activism. Mark Heywood, co-editor of Maverick Citizen and Yvette Raphael, AIDS advocate, examined Justice Cameron’s legacy whilst making calls for a review of the current AIDS landscape.

The second panel of the day, Social justice for whom? A critical look at civil society organisations saw Palesa Madi of the Centre of Applied Legal Studies (CALS), Sinazo Didiza of Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and Lindokuhle Mdabe of the Legal Advisory and Information Centre (LAIC) debate issues of harassment, burnout and working with partners within the community as public law organisations.

The final panel of the day was chaired by Advocate Ngwako Hamilton Maentje SC and focused on the critical jurisprudence of Justice Cameron. Panel members gave thoughtful analysis of Edwin’s judgements and their impact on constitutionalism within South Africa. Tembeka Ngcukaitobi began his presentation by gifting Justice Cameron with a signed copy of a 1994 voting ballot.

Justice Cameron closed the symposium by highlighting the work put into putting the right laws in place post 1994, whilst highlighting the present day gap between laws and reality. He highlighted presentations given by LLB students Ruth Kruger and Sibusiso Mafanya as highlights, explaining that he was encouraged by the diversity of thought throughout the Symposium.

The Symposium was followed by alumni cocktail function hosted by Redi Tlhabi and Head of the School of Law, Professor Wesahl Domingo. Redi commented on the achievements of Justice Cameron despite his difficult upbringing and his lasting legacy on both activism and the law.