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Judge Mpopelele Bruce Gilbert Langa

Capacity: Judge
First appointed as a judge: 2022 (Mpumalanga, Mbombela and Middleburg
Gender:  Male
Ethnicity: African
Date of Birth: April 1959

Key judgments:

Candidate Bio:
Judge Mpopelele Bruce Langa is a judge of the Mpumalanga High Court, Mbombela and Middleburg.

Langa began his career in 1978 as an administrative clerk with the Department of Justice while completing his legal studies. After graduating, he became a public prosecutor in 1982. He first joined as the magistracy in 1983 as an assistant magistrate. From there he rose through the ranks to become additional magistrate (1985), regional magistrate (2004) and ultimately the regional court president of the Western Cape (2013).

Langa was an active member of the magistrate’s profession, first becoming a member of the Magistrates Association of SA in 1994, Limpopo chairperson of the Judicial Officers Association of SA (JOASA) in 2002, and finally a member of the Association of Regional Magistrates of SA (ARMSA) until his elevation as a judge.

Since 2017, Langa has held several stints as an acting judge in Gauteng, Western Cape and Mpumalanga. He holds a Diploma Iuris from the University of the North (now University of Limpopo) and LLB and LLM degrees from the University of South Africa.

Acting President David Mabuza appointed Langa as a judge from 1 January 2022.

October 2021 JSC Interview:

Mr Mpopelele Bruce Gilbert Langa’s October 2021 interview for a position on the Mpumalanga Division of the High Court was successful. He was nominated for appointment.

October 2021 Interview synopsis

Interview of Mr Mpopelele Bruce Gilbert Langa by the JSC, October 2021, for a position on the Mpumalanga Division of the High Court.

Magistrate Langa had to abandon his last interview in April 2021 and withdraw his candidacy after allegations emerged that he had mistreated a woman magistrate who reported to him. When he returned to the JSC in October 2021 for another interview, these allegations were the hot topic. Judge President Legodi eased him into this issue with a series of ‘sweet-heart’ questions which seemed to highlight Langa’s track record as a feminist and gender activist. Langa leapt at these questions and rattled off statistics of the many women who were appointed to the Western Cape Regional during his tenure as president. All these did not seem to impress Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane, who asked why Langa left allegations of sexist mistreatment until he came to the public JSC interviews, this especially in the context of shocking violence against women in Mpumalanga, “why did you not take this matter up?” she asked. Langa explained that the allegations were dealt with in 2017 and he thought it was resolved and needed no further action, until this came to the JSC interview.

Mr Langa’s interview was successful. He was recommended for appointment to the Mpumalanga High Court.

April 2021 JSC Interview:

Interview of Mr M B G Langa by the JSC, April 2021, for a position on the Mpumalanga Division of the High Court

Mr Langa was not recommended for appointment.