The University of Pretoria has confirmed that the degree Legum Doctor (LL.D.) will be awarded to Ernst Roets, Head of Policy and Action at AfriForum, during this university’s graduation ceremony in September. Roets completed his doctorate in legal philosophy, under the guidance of prof. Koos Malan at the Department of Public Law.
In his thesis, Roets deals with the meaning of freedom. He does this with reference to the works of leading thinkers who lived in ancient times, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment and the 19th century. Historical events that influenced the way the world thinks about freedom is also discussed in the thesis.
Roets argues that the world today mainly thinks about freedom as a kind of dissoluteness, which means that people can do what they want. However, he concludes that this view of freedom is not sustainable, because it is not in the nature of man to detach himself from his community, culture and tradition. In contrast to dissoluteness, freedom precisely requires that people fulfill their responsibilities towards each other and their community.
Roets said that writing the thesis was an enriching intellectual journey for him and that he looks forward to applying the knowledge he gained in the process in his work at AfriForum.
Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, congratulated Roets on behalf of AfriForum on his doctorate. “Dr. Roets makes a huge contribution to AfriForum’s success and his study provides a solid foundation on which AfriForum can build on in order to establish a community-bound society in which we and our descendants can live permanently free, safe and prosperous here at the southern tip of Africa.”
The title of Roets’ thesis is: ’n Regsfilosofiese ontleding van die selfgesentreerde, teenoor die vervullende beskouing van vryheid. (English: A legal-philosophical analysis of the self-centred, versus the fulfilling view of freedom.)