South Africa’s Pius Langa passes away

24 July 2013

President Jacob Zuma has conveyed his condolences to the family of South Africa’s former Chief Justice, Pius Langa, who passed away at a Johannesburg hospital on Wednesday morning.

Langa, 74, had been in hospital for about a month following a long illness.

Zuma said that South Africa had 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,” Zuma said.

Langa was appointed as one of 11 judges to the newly established Constitutional Court of South Africa at the advent of the country’s democracy in 1994.

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 the head of the Constitutional Court in June 2005 and held these positions until his retirement in October 2009.

On retirement, Langa became chairperson of the Press Freedom Commission, which seeks to advance excellence in the professional and ethical conduct of journalists and media houses.