UKZN Academic Youngest Author in Lawsa’s History

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PhD candidate and doctoral fellow, Mr Bonginkosi Shozi (25) is the youngest author in the 40-year history of the Law of South Africa (Lawsa) publication.

While studying for his LLB which he completed at UKZN in 2017, he worked as a research assistant for the University’s Professor Yousuf A Vawda, contributing to a number of significant projects, including the development of the African Union Model Law on Medical Products Regulation, and providing research support for the establishment of the African Medicines Agency.

In 2018, he completed an LLM in Constitutional Law, Theory and Human Rights Litigation, receiving a distinction for his dissertation and achieving the highest dissertation mark for the 2018-19 academic year when he also served as a law clerk for Judge Malcolm Wallis.

Since 2019, Shozi has been a doctoral research fellow at UKZN – funded by the National Research Foundation and the UKZN African Health Research Flagship – doing investigations into legal, ethical and human rights issues related to germline genome editing. During his time as a doctoral fellow, he has amassed an impressive number of publications in top academic journals, both in South Africa and internationally.

Said Shozi: ‘Lawsa is an invaluable resource in the South African legal field. It is often the first point of reference when you want to know about the law on a specific subject. I have often made use of it during my time as a student. Being an author for Lawsa is widely regarded as a privilege reserved for the leading experts in their fields, and I am honoured to have been offered this opportunity so early in my career as a researcher.’

The achievement is an indication of Shozi’s status as a promising young researcher, whose work has generated significant interest both in South Africa and internationally. He has been on national radio station SAfm several times discussing his research on the legal and ethical aspects of gene editing technology.

His research interests extend to the legal aspects of access to healthcare, a topic which has become increasingly important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, a paper he co-authored with Vawda was referenced in the December 2020 discussions at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in support of the much needed Indian/South African proposal for a WTO waiver on intellectual property (IP) for COVID-19-related health products. Shozi wrote on the issue as the first ever guest contributor to the University of Cape Town IP Unit’s blog Multilateral Matters.

Shozi says he hopes to continue doing research that focuses on healthcare policy in Africa and aims to represent African voices at a global level. 

The Law of South Africa (Lawsa) is billed as the only complete ‘comprehensive encyclopaedia’ of SA law from all its sources, including statutory, case and common law. It has been published for more than 40 years and is widely considered a prestigious authority and first point of reference for research. It is available online and in a hard cover bound format.

Words: Lungile Ngubelanga

Photograph: Supplied