Justice Edwin Cameron's latest book, "Justice : A Personal Account", was published in February 2014. He made time to speak to Matshelane Mamabolo for StudyNotesWiki.com about his experience as a student at Unisa where he obtained his LLB (cum laude).
1. Tell us about yourself?
I am a judge in South Africa's highest court, the Constitutional Court. It is an interesting and challenging position, one that brings some stress and occasional headaches, but, more importantly, much fulfilment. I am also living with HIV, on successful ARV treatment, a campaigner for prevention and treatment, and against stigma and prejudice, a proudly and openly gay man, a godparent to many children, and a devoted cyclist.
2. Describe your most enjoyable moment as a Unisa student?
The best moments for me were the student groups. We met both formally and informally to discuss our study material, and to share the difficulties we, as part-time students, were experiencing in mastering our Unisa courses. I made friendships through my Unisa studies that endure to this day.
3. Describe your least enjoyable moment as a Unisa student?
Sometimes I found studying by correspondence isolating - which could be dismal and disheartening. Also, at that time the law faculty examined by requiring detailed rote-learning of the study guides. I hope that has changed.
4. How has your experience as a student at Unisa subsequently helped to set you apart?
I think I learnt determination and focus and the ability to sit long hours alone, concentrating and pushing towards a goal.
5. Your best advice for current students?
Our country craves skilled, critical-thinking, sceptical, committed, focused, well-educated people. Unisa is still one of the finest institutions in our country that is helping to provide broader access to tertiary education. So I say, work hard, take heart that others have made it before you, despite hardships, and across the same obstacles. So look forward to the time when you will be improving our country with your Unisa qualification.