Former chief justice Pius Langa passes on

Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma has conveyed his condolences to the family of former Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, Pius Langa, who passed away at a Johannesburg Hospital this morning.

Langa, 74, died today after being admitted to hospital for about a month due to illness.

Zuma said that 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 Zuma.

Together with 10 other judges, Justice Langa was appointed to the then newly-established Constitutional Court of South Africa at the advent of a post-apartheid constitutional and democratic order in 1994, as one of its first judges.

He became its Deputy President in August 1997 and in November 2001, assumed the position of Deputy Chief Justice of South Africa.

He was appointed as the country’s Chief Justice, the Chairperson of the Judicial Service Commission and Head of the Constitutional Court with effect from June 2005 until his retirement in October 2009.

Even on retirement, Justice Langa continued to serve his country and the people of South Africa, becoming Chairperson of the Press Freedom Commission, which sought to advance excellence in the professional and ethical conduct of journalists and media houses. –