A great men honors those who have paved a way for him, and so before I introduce myself, let me begin here. I am inspired by remarkable leaders who came before me, who through their hard work and revelations have played an impressive and critical role to the change of South Africa. These agents of transformation who rose soared from the minority group, contributed to the law society immensely. From the likes of Tholakele Hope Madala who was born in Kokstad on 13 July 1937. In his legal practice, Justice Madala handled many human rights cases and he was interested in the protection of the rights of the underprivileged, established the Umtata Law Clinic, under the auspices of the Umtata and Districts Lawyers' Association.

From 1987 to 1990 he served as vice-chairperson of the Society of Advocates of Transkei and from 1991 to 1993 as chairperson, representing the society on the General Council of the Bar. Justice Madala took silk in 1993 and was elevated to the Bench in 1994, becoming the first black judge in the Eastern Cape and the fourth black judge in South Africa. In October of the same year he was appointed as a founding judge of the Constitutional Court.

Her excellence Justice Yvonne Mokgoro contributed in the field of law and administration of justice in a democratic South Africa. She was a judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa from its inception in 1994 until the end of her 15 year term in 2009. She has written and presented papers, and participated in a myriad of national and international conferences, seminars and workshops in South Africa and internationally, mainly in sociological jurisprudence and particularly on human rights, customary law, focusing on the impact of law on society generally, and on women and children specifically.

The late Ismail Mohamed was appointed as the first Black judge of South Africa. And we enjoyed these famous words from him, "More difficult to articulate but arguably even more crucial to that temper, is that quality called wisdom, enriched as it must be by a substantial measure of humility, and by an instinctive moral ability to distinguish right from wrong and sometimes the more agonizing ability to weigh two rights or two wrongs against each other, which comes from the consciousness of our own imperfection." In our culture we have a saying, "Umntu ungumntu ngabantu." And these are the hands that gave birthed, stirred a passion in this field for me.