23 May 2019

South Africa: Judge Bitten By Black Mamba to Be Cremated in Zambia

Cape Town Labour Court Judge Anton Steenkamp, who died after a black mamba bit him earlier this week, will be cremated in Zambia's capital, Lusaka, on Thursday, according to his family.

Steenkamp's wife, Catherine, and her brother travelled to Lusaka on Wednesday.

The 57-year-old and his wife were touring when the snake bit him.

In a statement released on behalf of the family, Andrew Brown said Steenkamp's body was taken from the remote part of Zambia, where Steenkamp was bitten, to Lusaka on Wednesday evening.

"In accordance with his wishes, Anton will be cremated in Lusaka and his ashes brought home by his wife," said Brown.

'Wonderful human being'

Brown extended a word of gratitude for the "incredible" support the family has received.

"The support for Catherine and the children has been incredible. This has given them the strength to cope with this terrible tragedy. I think it would be fair to describe them as heartbroken but strong," said Brown.

Following the news of Steenkamp's death, friends and colleagues of his lauded him as a "wonderful human being" and a "man of integrity".

Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi took to social media to praise Steenkamp saying: "You were a wonderful human being. We shall miss you."

Judge President of the Labour and Labour Appeal Court Basheer Waglay hailed Steenkamp as someone who "had a deep love for his country and a zest for life", saying he would be remembered for "his independence, integrity and significant contribution to labour law jurisprudence in South Africa as a practitioner, scholar and judge".

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) lauded Steenkamp as a "man of integrity who contributed immensely to the South African labour market".

On Wednesday, News24 reported that the African Snakebite Institute deduced that Steenkamp had died before anti-venom could be administered, according to Johan Marais of the institute.

Marais added that it appeared Steenkamp had been bitten on his lower leg.

Source: News24

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