As part of planned series of events in celebrating the University of Venda (UNIVEN)’s 40 years of existence, the School of Law under the Faculty of Management, Commerce and Law, together with the Department of Marketing, Branding and Communication organised a Public Lecture by Dr Tsietsi Ramatsekisa. This hybrid Public Lecture was held at the Research Conference Centre on Tuesday, 26 April 2022 under the theme: Human Rights in the Era of National Disasters and Pandemics.
In his address as the Guest Speaker, Dr Tsietsi Ramatsekisa (Pictured) who is a Special Advisor to the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, urged South African citizens to reflect on the 26 years of the country’s freedom on the 27th of April because the Constitution of this country is admired by many, and some countries have adapted some of its provisions. He indicated that the theme of the public lecture was influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent floods in some parts of KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern Cape provinces. Many people were displaced during the recent floods in KZN and in the Eastern Cape. Dr Ramatsekisa educated attendees on issues around human rights, natural disasters and pandemics where he indicated that in terms of the history of South Africa, citizens of this country fought for human rights that we are talking about today.
Dr Ramatsekisa touched on issues relating to the impact left by COVID-19 and the recent floods in some parts of Kwa-Zulu Natal and Eastern Cape Provinces. He further indicated that during COVID-19 Pandemic lockdown, most people across the world felt that they were deprived of their rights and freedom to live their normal lives, but COVID-19 lockdowns were meant to curb the spread of COVID-19 and to reduce high mortality rate.
He indicated that the South African government did its level best to protect the lives of its citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, corruption in this country during that period was the worst pandemic in this country. Dr Ramatsekisa continued to highlight that, if people continue to steal public funds that are meant to deal with pandemics and natural disasters, this country should forget about the goal of becoming one of the best places to live in globally. He further advised that, in order to overcome this situation, the government needs to have the proper way of dealing with those found to be on the wrong side of the law.
As he concluded, he said the most human violation during COVID-19 pandemic, is the wolves of corruption. He said this is upon every citizen of this country to assist the government to protect human rights in the era of pandemics. He reiterated that the constitution of this country is a good document.
Dr Ramatsekisa holds LLB and LLM degrees from the University of Venda, Certificate in Sports Law from the University of Pretoria and LLD from the University of Fort Hare. He was a visiting researcher for completion of his LLD at the Maastricht University, Netherlands. His LLD thesis was titled “Separation of Powers and Constitutionalism in South Africa since the Promulgation of the 1996 Constitution: A comparative Study.” He is an Advocate of the High Court in South Africa and a member of the Pretoria Bar of Advocates.
Furthermore, Dr Ramatsekisa is a legal analyst in various radio stations and TV channels. In 2013 he was appointed by Minister of Higher Education to serve on the Council of Letaba TVET College. In June 2021, he was appointed as the Special Advisor to Minister of Justice and Correctional Services a position that he still holds. His role is to advise the Minister on various departmental issues, speech writing, parliamentary matters and advising the Presidency on issues of national importance including the JSC and appointment of Judges, Commissions of enquiry, international agreements between South Africa and other countries.
In his Opening and Welcome Address, Prof Lonias Ndlovu who is the Interim Director of the School of Law in the Faculty of Management, Commerce and Law said the University of Venda aims to create more employers than employees. It aims to create leaders such as Dr Ramatsekisa who is making a lot of positive contributions towards the sustainability and bettering of the state of this country. He expressed the view that UNIVEN is fortunate to have an alumnus who advises the Minister on Legal matters of this country. “This is one of the things that the University should reflect on with pride looking back at its existential journey since 1982.”
In her vote of thanks, Ms Zama Mopai, a lecturer in the Department of Public Law, indicated that the event is one that showcase that indeed UNIVEN produces products that are locally relevant and globally competitive. She said the 40 years of existence are packed with good stories of successes that are worth celebrating. Ms Mopai encouraged students to always pay attention to issues raised during public lectures in order to identify areas where they could be of relevance in providing solutions locally and globally.
The Director Marketing, Branding and Communication, Dr Takalani Dzaga who was the programme Director for this Public Lecture was proud to host a Public Lecture of this calibre delivered by one of our own. “Indeed, UNIVEN is creating future leaders who are making immense impact out there.”
Department of Marketing, Branding and Communication
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525 / 8710
Date: 01 May 2022