Nation honours Chaskalson

All national flags will fly at half-mast from Monday morning as Arthur Chaskalson is laid to rest.

Former Chief Justice Arthur Chaskalson.

JOHANNESBURG - As tributes continue pouring in after the death of former Chief Justice and co-author of the Constitution, Arthur Chaskalson, the President has declared his funeral, a special event.

Chaskalson passed away at Milpark Hospital on Saturday morning at the age of 81, following a long illness.

The Presidency's Mac Maharaj said all national flags will fly at half-mast from Monday morning as Chaskalson will be laid to rest in the afternoon.

"As the first president of our Constitutional Court, he leaves a special imprint on the building of a united, non-racial, non-sexist constitutional democracy.

"On behalf of all South Africans, his wife and family, as we salute a life inseparable from South Africa's march to freedom."

Chaskalson was born in Johannesburg on 24 November 1931.

In 1952 he graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand with a B.Com, and in 1954 he obtained his LLB Cum Laude.

Two years later he was admitted to the Johannesburg Bar.

Chaskalson acted as defence counsel in a number of important political trials during the apartheid era, including the Rivonia Trial in 1963-1964 in which former President Nelson Mandela and other African National Congress (ANC) leaders were sentenced to life imprisonment.

As founder and director of an organisation that sought to pursue justice and human rights in South Africa, the Legal Resources Centre, he challenged the implementation of several apartheid laws.