Former acting judge and long-serving regional magistrate Alexis Helena Diergaardt has died after battling Covid-19. Diergaardt succumbed to the deadly virus on Saturday in a local hospital. Her husband Ronald is currently in the same hospital fighting the virus.
Diergaardt completed her schooling in South Africa from where she obtained her B Juris and LLB law degrees from the University of the Western Cape and the University of South Africa in 1996 and 2012, respectively.
She worked as a prosecutor for two years before first being appointed as a magistrate in 1998. She was one of the first prosecutors to be contracted from South Africa.
Between 2006 and 2009, she was also a researcher with the Law Reform and Development Commission. Diergaardt was the president of the Magistrates and Judges Association of Namibia from 2009 to 2015 and represented magistrates as a member of the Magistrates Commission from 2011 to 2014. Diergaardt has been a regional court magistrate since 2010, first stationed at Otjiwarongo and since 2015 based in Windhoek. She was appointed as an acting judge of the High Court from 1 April to 31 August last year, after successfully participating in the basic and advanced Aspirant Judges Course in 2016 and 2017 respectively. The Judiciary has sent out a notification in which they announced her passing and said her determination and wisdom will be missed. Her colleagues described her as a mentor and friend to all who left an indelible mark on all she came into contact with. According to the magistracy, Diergaardt was hardworking and always willing to assist and she left shoes that will be hard to fill.