n South African Journal on Human Rights - Tribute to the late Chief Justice Pius Langa

Volume 30, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0258-7203



As the first black African Chief Justice of South Africa, Pius Nkonzo Langa has been described as a 'human rights lawyer who headed a transforming judiciary and legal profession with strength, humility and dignity'. Pius Langa was born in Bushbuckridge on 25 March 1939. In 1977, he was admitted as an advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa after completing his BIur and LLB degrees from the University of South Africa. He had served as interpreter, prosecutor and magistrate before practising at the Natal Bar where he attained the rank of senior counsel in January 1994. He was appointed to the Constitutional Court in 1994, and in 1997 became its Deputy President. He was appointed Chief Justice and head of the Constitutional Court in June 2005, and served as Chief Justice until his retirement in October 2009.

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