The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) mourns the death of one of the most committed human rights activists our country has had within the struggle for a democratic country and beyond.

Judge Essa Moosa served as the Director of the Planning Unit in the Department of Justice from 1 February 1996 to 31 December 1997, with its tasks being to produce a strategic plan for the transformation of the administrative justice in terms of the New Democratic Constitution of South Africa, which produced the Strategic Plan known as “Justice Vision 2000”.

As a practising lawyer spanning over a period of more than 30 years, he specialised in human rights issues. During the apartheid era, he challenged in court human right violations such as detention without trial, freedom of association, expression and movement. He acted for a number of prominent anti-apartheid non-governmental and community-based organisations. He also represented leading anti-apartheid political and community activists who were detained without trial in terms of the security legislation and emergency regulations and those who were charged with various political offences.

As the first lawyer of POPCRU, we will remember him for the role he played during the developing of our Constitution, where he offered founding members expert advice and support so that our constitution could embrace what POPCRU was to stand for; being consistent with the international human rights culture and protocols.

He will forever be missed as a visionary whose interest was to live in a world where normal people’s human rights are secured.

Issued by POPCRU on 27/02/2017

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