Bereavement Notice: Justice Yvonne Mokgoro

It is with immense sadness that I convey the message that Justice Yvonne Mokgoro passed away yesterday, 9 May 2024.

Justice Mokgoro was the first woman to serve on the Constitutional Court of South Africa and did so with distinction for 15 years from 1994 to 2009. We are honoured that she was the inaugural Chair of the Sol Plaatje University Council, a position she held from 2014 to 2021.

It is a testament to her leadership that SPU has a strong tradition of good governance and fiscal discipline. She nurtured the University through its birthing pains and became the steady hand that guided its first steps.

Justice Mokgoro became the patron of the University’s Talent Pipeline Programme in 2021 and she was our Guest Speaker at the annual SPU Women’s Month Public Lecture in 2022.  In early 2023 she was about to embark on an ambitious project with Sol Plaatje University around the social welfare of the youth of Platfontein. We will continue that work in her honour.

Justice Yvonne Mokgoro was born in Galeshewe near Kimberley in the Northern Cape and matriculated from St Boniface High School in 1970. She obtained a Bachelor of Jurisprudence (B Juris) degree at the then University of Bophuthatswana (now North-West University) in 1982, a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) two years later, and a Master of Laws (LLM) degree in 1987. She also studied at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States of America, where she obtained a second LLM degree in 1990.

Justice Mokgoro served on many boards, University Councils, trusts, and law bodies. She taught Law at South African, British, American and Dutch universities, on subjects including Constitutional Law, Human Rights Law, Jurisprudence, History of Law, Comparative Law, Criminal Law, Private Law and Customary Law. She held five honorary Professorships and was a founding Trustee of The Mandela Rhodes Foundation.

We mourn the passing of a great woman and a true champion of Sol Plaatje University. 

We convey our heartfelt condolences to her family and friends and to the many people across the world who will be saddened by this immeasurable loss.

Judge Mmathebe Phatshoane

Chairperson of the Sol Plaatje University Council

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