Legal Aid Speech by Thandi Maqungu


Many a time I have read and listened to some eminaries grappling with the meaning and definition of the concept of ubuntu. Basically those who are born and bred in a cultural environment where this concept is practised will tell you that ubuntu imposes on those who feel it an obligation to respond to all situations in a sense of compassion. This sense of compassion is informed first by the understanding of self. This is the understanding of your own response to the needs of others in times of distress , of hunger , of pain , of dispossession and all the worldly calamities.
If we scrutinise the word ubuntu , we then realise that it is actually two words in one: “ubu” which means “a state of being” or “a sense of being” and “ntu” which stands for humanity. As I have indicated earlier the humanity we are talking about here is a special kind of humanity that is underpinned by a great sense of compassion.
The practice of ubuntu has over the years been eroded by certain tendencies which , at face-value seemed beneficial to society. It is these tendencies that have spawned greed , corruption and selfishness in the world. “In time we shall be in a position to bestow on South Africa the greatest gift possible , a more human face”.
We are gathered here today to pay tribute to all these special but ordinary men and women , who having seen their own frailties , shortcomings and strengths reflected in others , chose to restore the dignity and ubuntu of their fellow man.

Keep up with leaving our values, passion for Justice, Ubuntu, integrity, accountability, service excellence: try and find your zeal in one of the values I have just mentioned mine is : “to go out of my way to help or assist someone, who is in need of something.” When that person is happy then I am happy and fulfilled. What is your Zeal?