South Africa: ANC Statement On the Passing On of Justice Arthur Chaskalson

press release

Photo: Centre for Human Rights
Arthur Chaskalson.

The African National Congress is at pains in expressing its loss with the passing on today of the former Chief Justice and former President of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, Justice Arthur Chaskalson.

South Africa has lost a sterling and outstanding South African who had a huge and immeasurable impact on our Constitutional democracy and the post apartheid jurisprudence. He served this country selflessly and sterlingly as the Chief Justice of South Africa and subsequently as the President of the Constitutional Court.

Judge Chaskalson played a pivotal role in opposing apartheid laws and their manifestations. He was amongst the leading lawyers during the Rivonia Trial in defending the Rivonia Trialists. He also became key during negotiations for a post apartheid South Africa. He was a leading figure in the ANC's brain trust on Constitutional and legal matters. He was well known by all parliamentarians as he had the rare opportunity to swear in all democratically elected parliamentarians in South Africa in 1994 . He has served as the President of the International Commission of Jurists.

As a judge he is credited for a number of ground breaking rulings and judgements. Owing to his diligence and hard work, in 1990 he received the Human Rights Award of the Foundation for Freedom and Human Rights in Berne, Switzerland. He has also received awards for his human rights work from the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and the General Council of the Bar of South Africa. In 2002, he was awarded the Order of the Counsellor of the Baobab in Gold for Exceptional Service in Law, Constitutional, Jurisprudence and Human Rights. The Order of the Baobab is one of the highest awards given to citizens in South Africa.

The passing on of Arthur Chaskalson has left a void in the arena of legal minds that is critical in our continued effort to fine tune and achieve best practice in our endeavour to entrench constitutional legislation and our democratic institutions.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank his family for having given South Africa an extraordinary leader whose legacy will be unmatched. To them, we extend our heartfelt condolences.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2012 South African Press Association. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.

InFocus

Parliament Honours Former Chief Justice

Arthur Chaskalson.

South Africa's parliament has paid tribute to former chief justice and defence lawyer for Nelson Mandela, Arthur Chaskalson. He died after a battle with leukaemia. Read more »