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Zuma speaks about the late former Chief Justice

JOBURG - The former Chief Justice, Justice Pius Langa, died after battling a long illness at the Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg on 24 July, his brother Mandla said in a statement.

UPDATE: July 24, 11.00

President Jacob Zuma has conveyed condolences on the passing of fromer Chief Justice Pius Langa.

“The country has lost one of its best legal minds, a dedicated Human Rights jurist and a veteran struggle activist. On behalf of government and the people of South Africa, we wish to convey our deepest condolences. May his soul rest in peace,” said President Zuma.

24 July, 10.36

Langa (74) was born in Bushbuckridge and started work in a shirt factory from 1957 to 1960, where he later became an interpreter and messenger for the Department of Justice.
He obtained his B Juris from the University of South Africa in 1973 and his LLB in 1976. He worked his way up to serving as a prosecutor and a magistrate.

He was admitted as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa in June 1977, practised at the Natal Bar, and attained the rank of Senior Counsel in 1994.

He was a founding member of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers and a member of the African National Congress Constitutional Committee, where he worked on its draft Bill of Rights.

When the Constitutional Court of South Africa was established in 1994, Justice Langa was appointed, together with ten others, as the first judges of the new Court.

He became its deputy president in 1997 and, in 2001, assumed the position of Deputy Chief Justice of South Africa.

He was the country’s Chief Justice and Head of the Constitutional Court from 2005 until his retirement in 2009.

He served as a Chairperson of the Press Freedom Commission which sought to advance excellence in the professional and ethical conduct of journalists and media houses.

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