1 December 2012

South Africa: Statement of Condolence By President Zuma On the Passing of Former President of the Constitutional Court and Former Chief Justice Arthur Chaskalson

press release

President Jacob Zuma has learned with great sadness of the passing of former President of the Constitutional Court and former Chief Justice, Arthur Chaskalson. Former Chief Justice Chaskalson passed away earlier today.

"Arthur Chaskalson's life embraced a courageous role in the fight against apartheid, in our negotiated transition and the shaping of our constitutional democracy as well as in the building of our post-apartheid society based on reconciliation, reconstruction and a South African nationhood. As the first President of our Constitutional Court he leaves a special imprint on the building of a united, non-racial, non-sexist constitutional democracy. On behalf of all South Africans we reach out to his wife and family as we salute a life inseparable from South Africa's march to freedom," President Zuma said.

Former Chief Justice Chaskalson served as the first President the Constitutional Court. He also served as Chief Justice of South Africa from November 2001 until his retirement in 2005.

During apartheid he represented members of the liberation movements in several major political trials including the Rivonia Trial.

"We wish the Chaskalson family strength during this difficult time. Our thoughts are with them," President Zuma said.

Issued by: The Presidency

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