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Judges Matter mourns the loss of retired Justice Yvonne Mokgoro

Judges Matter mourns the loss of retired Justice Yvonne Mokgoro

Judges Matter mourns the loss of retired Justice Yvonne Mokgoro

Judges Matter joins millions of South Africans in mourning the passing of retired Constitutional Court Justice Yvonne Mokgoro. We send our condolences to her family and loved ones.

A pioneer in the legal profession, Justice Mokgoro grew up in Galeshewe, Kimberley rose to first be a law professor at the Universities of Bophutatswana and the Western Cape. She later became the first black woman to be appointed as judge in the South African judiciary in October 1994.

Justice Mokgoro served a full 15-year term as a justice of the Constitutional Court and a built a powerful jurisprudence that infused the concept of Ubuntu/Botho as a key part of South African law.

As chairperson of the SA Law Reform Commission for 16 years, Justice Mokgoro spearheaded numerous projects to bring South African law in light with the values and principles of the new human-rights based constitution.

After her retirement from the South African Constitutional Court, Justice Mokgoro continued to serve as a judge in the appellate courts of Lesotho and Namibia, strengthening the judiciaries of those countries.

Beyond her work as a judge, Justice Mokgoro’s legacy stands tall in the form of the Sol Plaatjie University, one of two new universities of the democratic era. Justice Mokgoro served as founding council chairperson – the university’s highest decision-making body – and worked hard to build that institution from the ground up.

Mbekezeli Benjamin, research and advocacy officer at Judges Matter says:

Judges Matter will remember Justice Mokgoro for her life of dedicated service to the cause of justice in South Africa, Africa and. Her pioneering life and work are an inspiration to so many in the legal community and beyond. Her kindness, humour and generosity of spirit are all qualities that make her loss deeply felt. A moya wa gagwe o robale ka kagiso.”


Mbekezeli Benjamin

Research and Advocacy Officer






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