Dullah Omar remembered for his work in promoting human rights in South Africa

Adv Dullah Omar is one of the less-referred-to stalwarts of the liberation movement. Yet his influence on our history and still emerging democracy continues to be felt long after his passing. These were words from Higher Education Minister, Naledi Pandor, when delivering the the lecture at the 12th Dullah Omar Memorial Lecture on 9th of October, at the University of the Western Cape.

43588750_2271053419590409_6100296153935380480_o.jpgAccording to Minister Pandor, during his service as Minister of Justice, Comrade Dullah fought for accessible courts and a truly transformed judiciary. I now know that this desire was not for change in race makeup. “He sought much more - gender equality, inclusion of those living with disability, and even more than these, the practice of law that is infused with a new post-apartheid ethics, values and attitudes.”

She pointed out that Dullah Omar  would be horrified to hear that judges breach the judicial code, fail to be transformative in their judgements and sometimes falter at being pacesetters in the battles for equality and social justice.

“Comrade Dullah and the rest had faith that we could be far more adept at human rights than our record thus far. He expected that we would respect and protect women in a manner that has never been attempted before. He did not expect that the levels of abuse of women and violence against them would be at the critical stage of a national emergency as we see today.”