Mogoeng pays tribute as Bam laid to rest

2011-12-27 19:49

Johannesburg - Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng paid tribute to judge Fikile Bam's role in transforming the judiciary, as he was laid to rest in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday.

"We will then continue that mission, strive for transformation within the judiciary and have a judiciary that speaks to African needs and problems," said Moegoeng at the funeral of the former chief justice of the Land Claims Court.

Bam who served the court for 15 years, died earlier this month from cancer at the age of 79.

Among those in attendance at the funeral were former president Thabo Mbeki; wife of former President Nelson Mandela, Graca Machel; Public Protector Thuli Madonsela; Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu; former minister of safety and security Charles Nqakula; Eastern Cape Premier Noxolo Kiviet; United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa; Judge Cheryl Loots of the Land Claims Court and former Cape Town archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane.

Earlier, Xhosa historian Mda Mda told the mourners that Bam did not compromise on his ideals.

"Fikile had leadership qualities that many need in South Africa today, including government. He was not about himself, but he was an achiever on merit."

Bam shared the same birthday with former president Nelson Mandela.

While imprisoned on Robben Island he taught anthropology and English to fellow political prisoners in quarry site where they used to do labour.

He also offered legal advice to them, and sometimes even to warders.

On Tuesday, the gravel road leading to Goqwana village near Tsolo in the Eastern Cape was graced by convoys of luxury vehicles as the high-ranking South Africans made their way to the funeral venue.

Other mourners travelled on foot and by horse to pay their respects.

Bam's local agricultural co-ordinator George Marere was also in attendance.

He said that Bam had been hoping to become more involved in agricultural projects in the area in the near future. "He told us he was to retire from work and come and lead these [agricultural] projects," said Marere.

"He even requested us to make sure that the Tsolo Agricultural School was well functioning and equipped with necessary equipment, so that he could fund young people to enrol at the school."

Meanwhile, IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said in a statement that the country had lost a great legal mind.

  • Shoe - 2011-12-27 20:46

    Moegoe-Moegoe!!!....HOOF HOOF. Who let the dog out?

  • Spyker - 2011-12-27 21:02

    The ANC continues with its brazen attack on the SAcan judicial system. What does "...a judiciary that speaks to African needs..." mean..? What are "...African needs..." - to steal from white people..? From day one it was evident that this Mogoeng character was appointed for a specific purpose. The purpose is to create the means to circumvent the current constitution.

  • Geoff - 2011-12-27 21:23

    Why do you wish to "transform" a judiciary? Does this mean every country in the world must have it's own interpretation of right and wrong? Why does a judiciary have to comply with "African needs" Surely right is right and wrong is wrong in anyone's book? Can some judge or member of parliament please explain.

  • Monala - 2011-12-27 22:00

    Why can't people get on with each other, regardless of the shade of their skin? This also goes for the "have and havenot". You dont have to be Einstein to know that hate generates hate. Only idiots think they are better than others. All of you out there have a hatefree 2012 !!

  • Comrade - 2011-12-27 22:01

    WHO >>> WHO ...... BAM WHO!!! and how much did it cost us ??????????

  • Gwen - 2011-12-28 08:45

    Hush... Everytime I hear those words in private talks, people Hush immediately. Did you hear them too? Rumors say that just the rich people know all about it. Just do a G00GLE search for "BlueGoldHunt" all one word and click the first site that comes up.

  • Mboneli - 2011-12-28 11:31

    Mogoeng mogoeng chief justice paid his last tribute to judge Fikile Bam but we still expecting a lot in as far as transformation in the house of judicial.

      Spyker - 2011-12-28 17:59

      Please translate your comment into English...

  • Geronimo - 2011-12-28 12:58

    Can someone please explain what the Moegoe means when he says we need a judiciary which "speaks to African needs and problems"? I thought we are ALL Africans, or is he suggesting there is a different law for "black Africans" and "other Africans"? The law is the law, simple. Contracts today aren't different to contracts of the past. Crimes today aren't different to crimes of the past. Why do some South Africans feel the need to "Africanise" an already very workable and precise system? Is the rest of Africa not a big enough reason not to?

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