“I WILL MISS HIS HUMOUR AND HUMBILNESS”
By: Zinhle Mngadi
“I will miss his humour, humbleness and those endless questions he would ask me which I often failed to answer”. These were words of Mandla Langa, at the memorial service of his brother, late former Chief Justice Pius Langa held at the Durban City Hall Thursday.
The ceremony was graced by many officials including Minister of the Presidency Trevor Manual, Minister of Justice Jeff Radebe, Kwa-Zulu Natal Transport MEC Willies Mchunu, Kwa-Zulu Natal Speaker of the Legislature Peggy Nkonyeni and bodies of the judiciary that Chief Justice Langa worked with.
Born in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga, in the year 1939 Justice Pius Nkonzo Langa was the second of seven children of his parents. He later acquired his LLB at the University of South Africa and was admitted as an Advocate for the Supreme Court of South Africa in 1977.
In 1994, Langa became one of the 11 judges to minister in the new Constitutional Court of South Africa of which he later became the first Chief Justice of this court in 2005.
He retired from office in October 2009 due to health reasons. He died on 24th July 2013 at the age of 74 years.
The MEC of Transport in the province said his welcoming remarks on behalf of the Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize, who could not attend the service. In his address, Mchunu spoke of Langa as a legend and patriot who was selfless in his service to the nation.
“Chief Justice Langa served as a true legend to the victims. He dedicated his service to serving people and putting others first at all times. His service compels us and the younger generation to come to live the legacy Justice Langa has left upon us to further,” said Mchunu.
The hall was filled with legal dignitaries as well as friends who came to pay their tribute to the fallen hero. Among those was Vice Chancellor of the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, who said that as many may know Justice Langa as a great lawyer, an academic but he said to him, he always remained a warm, loving and humble personality.
“I have never seen that legal side to him, even though many knew him as a great lawyer. To me, I always saw a loving, warm father. Very just and fair to judge ones decisions,” said Makgoba.
He further said that the university has named a bursary and residence after Chief Justice Langa in honour of his great contribution he played in the nation.
The Presidency has declared a state funeral for the late Judge Langa which will be held at the Durban City Hall on Saturday.