Ntate Dikgang Moseneke, our deputy chief justice, our freedom fighter, our arbitrator, our law teacher, our father, and our esteemed jurist. Ntate Moseneke is so many things to so many people in the continent of Africa.
He, however, carries the above-mentioned titles to so many South Africans, black and white, female and male, rich and poor, urban and rural, old and young, the marginalized and the powerful.
Ntate Moseneke is ‘ours’ because he has dedicated his entire life and career (even in his ‘retirement’) to serve us, the people of this country.
We owe our gratitude to you Ntate Moseneke for nurturing and guiding the growth of our democratic project in your service as a judicial officer for all these years.
Ntate Moseneke has once again given us a tool to help us become better citizens and social justice activists in our own communities in the form of his second book simply titled, All Rise- A Judicial Memoir.
This is a judicial memoir in the truest sense of the word.
In the book, Ntate Moseneke reflects largely on his sterling role, first as an advocate, judge, justice and deputy chief justice. He also touches on the genesis of the constitutional court, victories and challenges at the court, and working with and under the three chief justices as the second-in-command at the highest court in the land.
Now, I need to state that All Rise is not only refreshing because the narration comes from someone who has been at the constitutional court for many years, but it is very educational in a sense that Ntate Moseneke showcases how justice in South Africa is administered from the lowest court to the highest court in the republic.
Perusing throughout the pages, I was nervous that I might be met by big legal terms and Jargon. However, Ntate Moseneke, like a good servant he is, used colloquial language that everyone can simply comprehend without needing a law dictionary.
This is a memoir that shows the sacrifices and hard work which Ntate Moseneke and the generation before and after him made in building the constitutional court, literally and figuratively from the ground up.
One thing that becomes clear in the book is that Ntate Moseneke has no love for Jacob Zuma. And it is not because Zuma overlooked him on three occasions for the chief justice post, but it is Zuma’s poor leadership character that I suspect it is the reason why our former deputy chief justice does not like the former president.
This is indeed an important book for all South Africans and Africans across the continent to delve into, as Ntate Moseneke calls on everyone to be good citizens and forever use their constitutional right to hold those in power to account and most importantly, to fight for a just and democratic society using all the judiciary redress available.
All Rise gives power to the powerless and hope where there seems to be none.
This is a must-read for everyone and I hope this will not be the last book from Ntate Moseneke as he continues to enjoy his ‘retirement’ and reflecting on a stellar career as a judicial officer of our esteemed court.