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If I wanted to be rich, I would’ve become Jacob Zuma’s advocate - Pierre de Vos

28 April 2021 11:37 AM

Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos opens up about his attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.).

Every week The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews a famous person about her or his attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.) as part of his “Other People’s Money” feature.

This week Whitfield interviewed Constitutional Law expert Pierre de Vos.

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Recently published "Other People's Money" articles:


De Vos was born in Messina and matriculated from Pietersburg High School.

He obtained a BCom (Law), an LLB, and an LLM (cum laude) from Stellenbosch University, an LLM from Columbia University, and an LLD from the University of the Western Cape.

De Vos is a well-known commentator in South Africa and regularly features in publications such as Daily Maverick.

  • What is it that De Vos believes about money?

  • Does it keep him up at night?

  • Does he spend like crazy or save compulsively?

Academia is not the worst paying job… I didn’t choose it for the money. If I wanted to really make lots of money, I would’ve become an advocate representing Jacob Zuma! Then I would’ve really coined it!

Pierre de Vos, constitutional law expert

On a university professor’s salary, you never stay at a five-star hotel… Travel is the only thing I’ll go into an overdraft for…

Pierre de Vos, constitutional law expert

I own an apartment. I bought it when I was 37… It was a hugely good investment. It’s paid off because I don’t like to have debt…

Pierre de Vos, constitutional law expert

Listen to the interview in the audio below (and scroll down for more quotes from it).

The Constitution is the closest we’ll get to… a shared vision for the country. It’s one of the most progressive Constitutions in the world… The promise in the Constitution is not always delivered, because for that we need economic growth and a competent state…

Pierre de Vos, constitutional law expert

What happened during the Zuma-era… through the courts, there was some accountability… The Constitution more or less works…

Pierre de Vos, constitutional law expert

I think I’m more or less going to survive [in retirement] without having to eat Bully Beef… In academia, you’re forced to retire at 65… It will be nice to have more time to travel; one of the things I waste my money on…

Pierre de Vos, constitutional law expert

I don’t look at my bank statements every month… I’m not good at penny-pinching…

Pierre de Vos, constitutional law expert

If money was really not an issue, I would love to mentor people doing their LLB… and create a cohort of people invested in this project.

Pierre de Vos, constitutional law expert



28 April 2021 11:37 AM

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