56-year-old graduate Lethusang Matladi inspires others to reach for their dreams

Mr Lethusang Matladi graduated with a Diploma in Paralegal Studies from the University of Johannesburg.

The 56-year-old, an avid knowledge seeker, completed his Matric back in 1999 and went on to become a soldier with the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). On Wednesday April 13, Mr Matladi was one of 3454 students graduating with a Diploma or Certificate for this graduation season.

“I have always wanted to help people. A lot of people are suffering because they don’t have access to justice, and it is my aim to assist those people.”

Mr Matladi has been a soldier for the last 35 years and spent the last three years studying, part time, towards the diploma while still making sure he protects South African citizens.

He has also done a course in private investigation and plans to use that to help more people understand the law.

“I enjoy the law but unfortunately when I was younger I did not have the chance to enrol for an LLB. I come from a small town in the Free State called Hobhouse and lived in poverty on a farm. My mom did the most she could for us but we had to find different ways to survive and make ends meet. I have always been a bookworm and wanted to study but conditions were not in our favour.”

He plans to pursue another course in Forensic Sciences but for now he will use the diploma to help educate people about their rights. “I am also an educator, so I plan to have forums and meet with people to help educate them.”

Mr Matladi’s three children are extremely proud of the effort he has made to enhance himself.

“Books are important in life. Having knowledge is essential and I will be using that knowledge to help my people in the community I come from.”

This Autumn graduation season will see just over 11 000 students graduate at 37 ceremonies over 5 weeks.

The Soweto Campus Imbizo arena will host the ceremonies in order to accommodate more graduates while still adhering to Covid-19 regulations around social distancing.

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