South African Minister For Justice to Speak At UB

By Mary Beth Spina

Release Date: March 31, 1997 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Abdullah Mohamed Omar, the South African minister for justice and a key figure in his nation's transition from apartheid, will speak on "Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa: Accounting for the Past" at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, April 11, in the Moot Court Room in O'Brian Hall on the University at Buffalo North (Amherst) Campus.

The presentation will be sponsored by the UB School of Law and the university's Human Rights Center. The program will be free and open to the public.

Omar, a lawyer and close friend of South African President Nelson Mandela, is one of the most influential black leaders in South Africa.

Former director of the University of Western Cape's Community Law Centre, he conceptualized and wrote the law for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission headed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

The commission is charged with investigating crimes of the apartheid past.

Omar earned a bachelor of arts degree and a bachelor of law degree from the University of Capetown and a doctoral degree in law from the University of Durban, Westville.

Admitted as an attorney in 1960 and as an advocate of the Supreme Court in 1982, he practiced criminal and civil law involving cases on human-rights issues, housing, pass laws, labor and work-related cases.

His clients ranged from political prisoners serving time to trade unions and civic and religious groups.

Omar also is involved in research and policy formulation in the areas of human and constitutional rights, democratization of the legal system, and the judiciary and legal profession.