In conversation with Professor Joel Modiri
Freedom Day is the commemoration of the first democratic elections held in South Africa on 27 April 1994. These were the first post-apartheid national elections to be held in South Africa, where anyone could vote regardless of race. This day reminds South Africans of the incalculable sacrifices made by individuals and nations in order to liberate them from the chains of discriminatory segregation imposed by the pre-1994 apartheid government. It also reminds South Africans of their national icons, the values they represent and the need to continue to fight for actual freedom and equality in South Africa.
We spoke to Prof Joel Modiri, on this episode of Africa Rights Talk, who reiterates these reflections. Prof Modiri discusses the importance of understanding what freedom means, the importance of history as an ongoing accumulation of the human experience, the need for South Africa to reconcile herself with her past and be in good relations with her history to be able to determine the future of her freedom. He describes Freedom Day as a day for honouring the liberation struggle as well as its failures and understanding the possibilities for freedom today.
Professor Modiri is an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Jurisprudence at the University of Pretoria. He holds degrees LLB cum laude (Pret) and PhD (Pret). His PhD thesis was entitled “The Jurisprudence of Steve Biko: A Study in Race, Law and Power in the ‘Afterlife' of Colonial-apartheid”. He mainly teaches in the field of Jurisprudence and Legal Philosophy. He has convened and taught a number of law subjects such as Social Justice and Human Rights, African Human Rights, Research Methodology, Legal Problems of HIV & AIDS, and Law and Transformation. He has also taught portions of courses in Political Science, Sociology and Public Policy presented by the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Pretoria. He currently convenes the LLM/MPhil in Post-apartheid jurisprudence. He has over 20 publications in academic journals under his name and has edited books and delivered lectures internationally and nationally. Prof Modiri has previously been on an episode of Africa Rights Talk titled “Institutional racism and how it manifests in the African context”. To listen to his previous conversation on Africa Rights Talk, follow the ink: https://www.up.ac.za/faculty-of-law/news/post_2916503-africa-rights-talk-season-2-episode-9-joel-modiri
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The conversation was recorded on 19 April 2023.
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