MY OWN LIBERATOR – a memoir – DIKGANG MOSENEKE Reviewed by Dr Dawn Gould

Title:          MY OWN LIBERATOR a memoir             


Publsher:  Picador  Africa

ISBN :        978-1-77010-508-9

Reviewer: Dr Dawn Gould


This  is a clearly written and a detailed history of a private South African citizen from the age of fifteen until he, Dikgang Moseneke,  retired as a judge of South Africa’s Constitutional Court. When he was fifteen he was given a ten year politicised sentence to Robben Island.


In the early stage of this work readers learn of his ancestral background, of the values he was taught and how these determined his future regarding his life: as a grandson, son, husband and father, in his care of siblings and friends.  To how he reacted and grew to a mentally strong and decisive young man on Robben Island. While there he completed and passed two Batchelor degrees via UNISA (University of South Africa). To achieve what he believed in Moseneke, with other men, also took part, on Robben Island, in an 18 day hunger strike to help achieve a playing field for those confined.  When released but banned, he studied further to become a lawyer, later with others formed their own legal company.  Business was also, at times, part of his working life and further on he was accepted as an Advocate.


Meanwhile South Africa, slowly, very slowly, was moving towards becoming a democracy in which he would play a large role.   However, the heading of the Epilogue “Was it all in vain?”  is a disheartening query.  Moseneke‘s reply  is: “There is no single and simple answer.“ (p.351) “p.352 to …”the wrinkles of our democratic transition.”  He then goes on to suggest how thought, care and hard work could improve the difficulties facing the country.    A second memoir may offer further insights.