Personal details

Edwin Cameron was born in Pretoria on 15 February 1953.


He completed his schooling at Pretoria Boys’ High School and attended Stellenbosch University on the Anglo-American Open Scholarship, where he obtained a BA Law and an Honours degree in Latin, both cum laude. He lectured in Latin and Classical Studies before studying at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship. There he obtained a BA in Jurisprudence and the BCL, with honours and prizes. Cameron received his LLB from the University of South Africa, and received the medal for the best law graduate.

Professional history

Cameron practised at the Johannesburg Bar from 1983 to 1994. From 1986 he was a human rights lawyer based at the University of the Witwatersrand’s Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS), where he was awarded a personal professorship in law. His practice included labour and employment law; defence of ANC fighters charged with treason; conscientious and religious objection; land tenure and forced removals; and gay and lesbian equality. From 1988 he advised the National Union of Mineworkers on AIDS/HIV, and helped draft and negotiate the industry’s first comprehensive AIDS agreement with the Chamber of Mines. While at CALS, he drafted the Charter of Rights on AIDS and HIV, co-founded the AIDS Consortium (a national affiliation of non-governmental organizations working in AIDS), which he chaired for its first three years, and founded and was the first director of the AIDS Law Project. He oversaw the gay and lesbian movement’s submissions to the Kempton Park negotiating process. This, with other work, helped secure the express inclusion of sexual orientation in the South African Constitution. In September 1994, he was awarded silk (senior counsel status). President Mandela appointed him an acting judge and later a judge of the High Court. In 1999/2000 he served for a year as an Acting Justice at the Constitutional Court. In 2000 he was appointed a Judge of Appeal in the Supreme Court of Appeal. He was appointed a Justice of the Constitutional Court in 2008.


Other activities


  • Chair of the governing Council of the University of the Witwatersrand from 1998 to 2008
  • Patron of Guild Cottage Children’s Home, Soweto HIV/AIDS Counsellors’ Association (SOHACA), Ladybrand Hospice, Vuyani Dance Theatre
  • Co-founder and first chair of Wits Law School Endowment Appeal (1998-2005)
  • General Secretary, Rhodes Trust in Southern Africa from 2003 to 2014


  • Keynote address at the XII International Conference on HIV/AIDS in Durban, 2000
  • Edward A Smith Annual Lecture, Harvard University Law School, 2002
  • President of Bentham Club and Bentham Lecture, University College, London, 2003
  • Inaugural lecture in law, British Academy, 2004
  • Lord Chief Justice Taylor Memorial Lecture, Inner Temple, 2008
  • Visiting Judge, Birkbeck College, London
  • Honorary Professor, City University, London
  • Fourth Leslie Scarman Memorial Lecture, January 2012
  • Keynote address at Columbia University Bio-Ethics Centre, October 2012
  • Keynote address, Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health & Human Rights and Center for AIDS Research, April 2014
  • Robert P Anderson Memorial Lecture, Yale Law School, October 2014
  • High Court of Australia Annual Lecture, Canberra, Australia 2017
  • O'Byrne Lecture, Calgary, March 2018
  • Owen Lecture, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, March 2018
  • Alberico Gentili Lectures, University of Macerata, April 2018
  • Association American of Law Schools, Keynote Adress, New Orleans, 2019



Honours and awards
  • Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights, 2000
  • Transnet’s HIV/AIDS Champions Award, 2000
  • University of Stellenbosch - Alumnus Award, 2000
  • Special award by the Bar of England and Wales for ‘contribution to international jurisprudence and protection of human rights’, 2002
  • San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s Excellence in Leadership Award, 2003
  • Honorary Fellow of the Society for Advanced Legal Studies, 2001
  • Visiting Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford, 2003
  • Honorary Fellow, Keble College, Oxford, 2004
  • Witness to AIDS’ awarded Sunday Times/Alan Paton Prize (South Africa’s premier literary award for non-fiction), 2006
  • Prize for Civil Courage of German gay and lesbian movement, 2007
  • Honorary Bencher of Middle Temple, 2009
  • Winner of Brudner Prize, Yale University, for gay and lesbian scholarship, 2009
  • Grand Prix du Conseil Québécois des Gais et Lesbiennes, Montreal, 2011
  • Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary International
  • Honorary doctorates in law from King’s College, London (2009), Wits University (2009), Oxford (2011), St Andrews (2012), Stellenbosch (2015) and Sussex (2016)
  • Justice – A Personal Account (2014) winner of South African Literary Award (SALA) for creative non-fiction, 2015
  • Honorary Member, American Academy of Arts and SCiences, 2016


Cameron has written scholarly articles on the judiciary, conscription, labour and employment law, the law of trusts, AIDS and HIV, the legal rights of gays and lesbians and the legal computation of time. Apart from his memoir, Witness to AIDS (2005), he has also written books on the law of trusts, labour law and gay and lesbian lives in South Africa.


JSC Interviews
JSC interview on the 3 October 1994

Speeches and Lectures

Wits Centre for Ethics, August 2009

Seminar in Honour of Professor Tony Honore, March 2010

The Fourth Scarman Lecture, January 2012

Understanding Human Dignity:Dignity and Disgrace – Moral Citizenship and Constitutional Protection, June 2012

World Bar Conference, London : Advocacy in the highest court: do’s and dont’s in London, Canberra and Johannesburg, June 2012


Columbia Bio-Ethics Keynote 18 October 2012

Tribute to Arthur Chaskalson – Sunday Independent 09 December 2012

Tribute to Arthur Chaskalson – Extraordinary Lives – podcast with Judge Lee Bozalek

State House Malawi speech against homophobia and AIDS stigma, Friday 28 June 2013 (transcript) (taken from Ground up)

State House Malawi speech against homophobia and AIDS stigma, Friday 28 June 2013 (YouTube)

Sunday Times Literary Award Address 29 June 2013.

Public Interest Lawyers Group conference speech 24 July 2014

SAOU ~ Discipline and Violence in Schools - Claiming Back the School 26 July 2014.

Bar Dinner Johannesburg Saturday : Acceptance of Honorary Life Membership 1 November 2014

Bram Fischer Memorial Lecture, Oxford, Tuesday 16 June 2015

Address to UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Access to Medicines, Johannesburg, Wednesday 16 March 2016

Eudy Simelane Memorial Lecture , Thursday 07 April 2016

Tribute at farewell dinner to Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, Thursday 19 May 2016

Durban International AIDS Conference, July 2016 - short film and interview (12 minutes)

UWC Dean's Distiguished Lecture 19 October 2017

Memorial Tribute to Joel Joffe, Saturday 11 November 2017

O'Byrne Lecture Calgary - Stigma and the Role of Courts Tuesday 20 March 2018

·         Alberico Gentili Lectures, University of Macerata, April 2018

Personal details

Sisi Khampepe was born on 8 January 1957 in Soweto, Gauteng Province, South Africa. She is married with two children.


She obtained her B Proc from the University of Zululand in 1980. She obtained her LLM degree at Harvard Law School, Massachusetts, USA in 1982.

Professional history

She began her legal career as a legal advisor in the Industrial Aid Society, where she did vacation employment from 1979 - 1980. Here she was exposed to the dishonourable employment conditions of Black workers. Between the years 1981 and 1983, she served as a fellow in the Legal Resources Centre.

In 1983 she joined Bowman Gilfillan Attorneys as a Candidate Attorney. After being admitted as an attorney in 1985, she established her own law firm, practicing under the name SV Khampepe Attorneys. Her law firm was especially renowned for defending the rights of workers against unjust laws and unfair employment practices. She also represented other human rights bodies such as hawkers, civic and black consumer union.

Her law firm was one of the few Black labour law firms in the country. She represented unions affiliated to both Nactu and Cosatu. She was the national legal advisor of SACAWU. She was the administrator of union funds in FIET and ICFTU.

In 1995 she was appointed by former President Mandela as a TRC Commissioner and in the following year she was a member of the TRC’s Amnesty Committee. She was then employed by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development as Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions, a post she held from September 1998 to December 1999.

In December 2000, she was appointed as a Judge in the High Court (TPD). In the Labour Appeals Court in November 2007.

In the period April 2005 – February 2006, she was appointed by former President Mbeki to chair the Commission of Enquiry into the mandate and location of the Directorate of Special Operation (the Khampepe Commission).

In 2004, was appointed by former President Mbeki to oversee the elections in Zimbabwe.

In February 2006, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Hert Hon Donald C McKinnon, seconded her as a member of the Commonwealth Observer Group to the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in Uganda.

She was Vice Chairperson of the National Council of Correctional Services since 2005 to April 2010.

In October 2009 she was appointed as a Judge to the Constitutional Court.

Other activities

Justice Khampepe has been involved in various legal and community organizations.

Legal organizations:
1981 – 1983: International Law Society, Harvard Law School
1985 – 2000: The Law Society of the TVL (Northern Province)
1985 – Date: Member of the Black Lawyers Association
1987 : Association of Law Societies Community Organizations:
1978 – 1988: Facilitator of the Street Committee, Soweto
1983 – 1986: Selection Committee Member of South African Legal Education Programme
1985 – 1986: Legal Advisor of National Black Consumer Union
1985 – 1986: Legal Advisor of Sechaba Sizwe Agricultural Cooperative
1988 – 1989: Legal Advisor of African Council of Hawkers and Informal Business
1988 – 1999: Vice Chairperson of Women’s Desk on Children and Woman Abuse
1988: Legal Advisor of the Orlando Pirates Football Club
1990 – 1995: Trade Unions’ Fund Administrator of Federation International Des Employes
1993 – 1996: Vice Chairperson of the Mediation and Conciliation Centre
1993 – 1999: Executive Committee Member of Lesego women’s club
1993: Trustee of SACCAWU Investment Trust 1994: Employment Advisory Centre
1994: J G Strydom (Helen Joseph) Hospital Board of Governors
1994: Selection Committee Member of Public Service Commission
2006: Donor to the Sparrow Rainbow Village (AIDS Hospice)

Community Organizations:
1978 – 1988: Facilitator of the Street Committee, Soweto
1988 – 1999: Vice Chairperson of Women’s Desk on Children and Woman Abuse
1990 – 1995: Trade Unions’ Fund Administrator of Federation International Des Employes
1993 – 1999: Executive Committee Member of Lesego women’s club
1993: Trustee of SACCAWU Investment Trust
1994: Employment Advisory Centre
1994: J G Strydom (Helen Joseph) Hospital Board of Governors
1994: Selection Committee Member of Public Service Commission
2006: Donor to the Sparrow Rainbow Village (AIDS Hospice


Personal details

Bess Nkabinde (born Motsatsi) was born in Silwerkrans/Tlokweng (North West Province) on 15 May 1959.  She is blessed with four children.


She matriculated at Mariasdal High School, Tweespruit, Free State Province in 1979. She obtained a BProc degree at the University of Zululand in 1983.  In 1986, she obtained an LLB from North West University.  She was awarded a Diploma in Industrial Relations with Distinction in 1987.


Professional History

  • 1984 – 1988:  State Law Advisor - Legislative Drafting (Bophuthatswana). 
  • 1988:  Admission as Advocate (Bophuthatswana). 
  • 1989:  Pupillage (Johannesburg Bar). 
  • 1989:  Admission as Advocate (Republic of South Africa). 
  • 1990 – 1999:  Practising as an Advocate, North West Bar. Areas of law: civil, commercial, matrimonial as well as criminal matters. 
  • 1993:  Attended a Judicial Training Programme in Canada. 
  • 1994 – 1995:  Mpshe Commission of Inquiry into the Mutiny of Warders at Mogwase Prison (Role of investigation and leading of evidence). 
  • February – October 1999: Acting Judge of the High Court (Bophuthatswana Provincial Division). 
  • November 1999:  Permanently appointed as Judge of the High Court (Bophuthatswana Provincial Division). 
  • 2000:  Acting Judge of the Labour Court – one term (Johannesburg). 
  • 2003:  Acting Judge of the Labour Court - one term (Johannesburg). 
  • 2003:  Appointed to serve on the Special Tribunal on civil matters likely to emanate from Investigations by the Special Investigative Units established in terms of Act No. 74 of 1996. 
  • October 2004 - May 2005:  Acting Judge of the Labour Appeal Court. 
  • 2004:  Member of the Sub- Committee of the Coordinating Committee of the Justice System: on Racism and Sexism within the Judiciary Member. 
  • 2004 - 2013:  Chairperson of the Rules Board for Courts of Law. 
  • June - November 2005:  Acting Judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal. 
  • January 2006 – December 2017:  Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of South Africa. 
  • May 2016 – June 2017:  Acting Deputy Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa.
  • November 2016: Acting Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa.



Affiliations/Directorships and other positions held

  • Member:  North West Bar Association (1990 -1999); Secretary of the Bar (1998 – 1999). 
  • Member:  Aids Committee, Bophuthatswana (1988). 
  • Member:  Black Lawyers Association (BLA). 
  • Member:  North West Parks Board (1995 - 1999). 
  • Director:  Dirapeng (Pty) Ltd and Golden Leopard Resorts (Pty) Ltd (1997 - 1999); Invest North West (Pty) Ltd (1997 - 2000). 
  • Governor:  International School of South Africa (1995 - 1999). 
  • Member:  Small Claims Court, Mafikeng (1998 - 1999). 
  • Member:  Defunct Sub-Committee of the Judicial Education Training Committee. 
  • Member:  International Association of Women Judges: SA Chapter. 
  • Director:  School Aid of South Africa (NGO −in partnership with School Aid –UK, the Department of Basic Education; Liberty and Standard Bank − for construction/ Renovation of libraries and supply of books for disadvantaged young learners to promote literacy in schools) (2015 to date).

Other Involvements

  • Attended and facilitated a discussion on “The Rights of Minorities within the context of Access to Justice” at the First South Asian Regional Judicial Colloquium on “Access to Justice” which was convened by the Chief Justice BN Kirpal and facilitated by Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), International Center for the Legal Protection of Human Rights (Interights) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) (November 2002 – NEW DELHI, INDIA).  
  • Paper and Presentation on “Appeals and Reviews” and on “Sentencing” to the Aspirant Judges (Judicial Education Training Programme (JOHANNESBURG).  
  • Paper and Presentation addressing newly appointed Magistrates at the Magistrates’ conference (Justice College) on “Judicial ethics, independence and accountability” (PRETORIA).  
  • Paper: Addressing attendants at the Family Court Seminar (Justice Regional Office/ Office of the Family Advocate) (MMABATHO, MAFIKENG).
  • Paper and presentation: “Socio-economic justice” during the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) road-show in bringing Parliament to the People (MMMABATHO, MAFIKENG).  
  • Panel Member: The final round of the 16th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition organised jointly by the Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria. 


(August 2007-DAKAR, SENEGAL) 


The moot Court is one of the most useful mediums for contact and exchange between law students, academics and Judges from all over Africa on issues concerning human rights.  The Centre for Human Rights was awarded the UNESCO 2006 Prize for Human Rights Education on recognition of its contribution to human rights education on the continent through the Moot Court Competition and the LLM in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa.  

Teaching/Conducting seminars for post-graduate students at the University of Maryland, School of Law faculty on the topic of: “Introduction to South African Constitutional Jurisprudence”. 



JSC interview
Bess Nkabinde-Mmono was born in Silwerkrans/Tlokweng (North West Province) in 1959.  She is married and has four children
Personal details

Chris Jafta was born in 1959 in Matatiele where he did both his primary and secondary schooling. He is married to Nomviwo and they have two children; a daughter, Kgomotso and a son, Tshepiso.


Jafta obtained his B Juris and LLB degree from the University of Transkei (now Walter Sisulu University) in 1983 and 1987.

Professional history

Jafta started his career as a court interpreter in 1983. He was appointed a prosecutor of District Court at the beginning of 1984 until December 1985 when his authority to prosecute was withdrawn by the Attorney-General at the instance of the Security Police. He was demoted to the position of an Administrative Clerk. This occurred after he had rejected instructions from the security police on how he should conduct prosecutions in some cases and had declined to prosecute people who were arrested for walking in the streets at night in contravention of emergency regulations which were in operation then. He was briefly detained and subjected to an intense interrogation by the Security Police.

In July 1986 he was appointed a Magistrate. In February 1988 he resigned and joined Mbuqe and Mbuqe, a firm of attorneys, as a candidate attorney. But in August 1988 he resigned to join the University of Transkei as a lecturer. There he taught Commercial Law and Constitutional Law. In 1992 he did pupilage at the Johannesburg Bar.

Jafta commenced practice in Mthatha in January 1993. His practice focused mainly on Labour and Constitutional matters.

In 1997 Jafta was appointed Acting Judge of the High Court (Transkei Division) for four months. In January 1999 be became Acting Judge of the same division until November when he was appointed on a permanent basis. In June 2001 Jafta became the Acting Judge President of the Transkei Division until June 2003. In 2003 he was appointed Acting Judge of Appeal at the Labour Appeal Court until June 2004. From June to October 2004 he was Acting Judge of Appeal at the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein. In November 2004 he was appointed Judge of Appeal at the same court.

In December 2007 Jafta was appointed Acting Justice at the Constitutional Court until May 2008.

Personal details

Dikgang Moseneke was born in Pretoria in December 1947. He attended primary and secondary school there. But at the age of 15, when in standard eight, Moseneke was arrested, detained and convicted of participating in anti-apartheid activity.

He was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment, all of which he served on Robben Island. Moseneke studied for his matric as well as two degrees while in jail.

Moseneke is married to Kabo and they have a daughter and two sons.


While Moseneke was jailed on Robben Island he obtained a BA in English and political science, as well as a B Iuris degree. He later completed an LLB. All three degrees were conferred by the University of South Africa.

Professional history

Moseneke started his professional career as an attorney’s clerk at Klagbruns Inc in Pretoria in 1976. In 1978 he was admitted and practised for five years as an attorney and partner at the law firm Maluleke, Seriti and Moseneke.

In 1983 he was called to the Bar and practised as an advocate in Johannesburg and Pretoria. Ten years later, in 1993, he was elevated to the status of senior counsel.

In 1993 Moseneke served on the technical committee that drafted the interim constitution of 1993. In 1994 he was appointed Deputy Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission, which conducted the first democratic elections in South Africa.

In September 1994, while practising as a silk, Moseneke accepted an acting appointment to the Transvaal Provincial Division of the Supreme Court.

Before his appointment as Justice of the Constitutional Court, in November 2001 Moseneke was appointed a Judge of the High Court in Pretoria. On 29 November 2002 he was appointed as judge in the Constitutional Court Court and in June 2005, Moseneke was appointed Deputy Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa.

Other activities

Between 1995 and 2001 Moseneke left the Bar to pursue a full-time corporate career in the following capacities. He has since resigned all these positions:

  • Chairperson: Telkom South Africa Limited (Since October 1994)
  • Chairperson: African Merchant Bank
  • Chairperson: Metropolitan Life Ltd
  • Chairperson: African Bank Investments Ltd
  • Chief Executive: New Africa Investments Ltd
  • Director: New Africa Publications (Pty) Ltd
  • Director: Phaphama Holdings (Pty) Ltd
  • Director: Urban Brew (Pty) Ltd
  • Chairperson: Alisa Car Rental (Pty) Ltd (Hertz)
  • Director: Life Officers’ Association

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.

He has served in several community and non-governmental organisations, including as:

  • chairperson of Project Literacy for more than 10 years;
  • trustee of Sowetan Nation Building; and
  • deputy chairperson of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.

Moseneke is the first chancellor of Pretoria Technikon and currently serves as chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand.

Moseneke holds several honorary doctorates and is a recipient of numerous awards of honour, performance and excellence. These include:

  • the KWV Award of Excellence;
  • the Black Lawyers Association Excellence Award (1993);
  • Unisa School of Business Leadership Excellence Award (1997);
  • Black Management Forum Empowerment Award (1998);
  • Sunday Times Businessman of the Year Nominee (1998);
  • International Trial Lawyer of the Year Award (from the International Academy of Trial Lawyers) (2000);
  • Soweto Achiever Award (2002);
  • honorary professorship in Banking Law, Unisa (2002);
  • honorary professor in the Department of Mercantile Law, Unisa (2004-2006);
  • Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) from the University of the North;
  • Doctor of Commerce (honoris causa) from the University of Natal; and
  • Doctor of Technology (honoris causa) from Tshwane University of Technology.
  • Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) from the University of South Africa.
  • Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) from the City University of New York.

In the past 20 years, Moseneke has read numerous papers at law and business conferences, published several academic papers in law journals at home and abroad.

Speeches and Lectures

Final Court Sitting - Moseneke DCJ 20 May 2016

A Jurisprudential Journey from Apartheid to Democratic Constitutionalism

Courage of Principle: An address by Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke to mark the 30th anniversary of the assassination of Ruth First

The Hart Memorial Lecture 2012 - Georgetown University Law School

Striking a Balance between the will of the people and the Supremacy of the Constitution

Openning Statements at Special Meting of JSC

VIIth World Congress of the International Association of Constitutional Law

Tribute to former Chief Justice Langa D.M

Separation of Powers, Democratic Ethos and Judicial Function

NICRO’s contribution to the criminal justice system during the past 97 years

For more Speeches by the Judge Click Here

Speeches and lectures Published on Law Journal

Transformative constitutionalism: its implication for the law of contract’ (2009) 20 Stell LR

Oliver Schreiner memorial lecture: Separation of Power, democratic ethos and judicial function

Retirement of CC Justices-Tribute on behalf of the Constitutional Court of SA

The Fourth Bram Fischer memorial-lecture: transformative adjudication

Attack on the judiciary

For more Published Speeches of the Judge Click Here

JSC Interviews Curriculum Vitae of Justice narrated version.
JSC interview
JSC interview for the DCJ position