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Pius Langa laid to rest

Thousands have gathered to bid the former Chief Justice farewell at the City Hall in Durban.

Justice Pius Langa. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - Thousands of people are gathered inside and outside the City Hall in Durban to bid farewell to former Chief Justice Pius Langa.

The former Constitutional Court judge died at the age of 74 at the Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg last month after suffering a long illness.

Lang has been described by current Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng as a pioneer of the South African judicial system.

Mogoeng said Langa worked tirelessly to ensure the justice system worked better after his retirement than it did when he began his career in the judiciary.

He also acknowledged some of the short-comings of the justice system but reminded those present that Langa had put structures in place that continue to correct them.

Mogoeng has described Langa as a father and a mentor, who was committed to the transformation of the judiciary through training programmes that focused on empowering women within the system.

President Jacob Zuma, who delivered the eulogy at Langa's funeral, said the former Chief Justice used his knowledge of the law to help root-out institutional apartheid in this country.

FINEST LEGAL MIND

On Thursday the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) paid tribute to Langa.

Speakers highlighted his determination to succeed despite having to leave school at the age of 14.

The African National Congress (ANC)'s Nzimande Lewis said, "He made an indelible contribution to the development of South Africa's jurisprudence."

The Democratic Alliance (DA)'s Velly Manzini said, "South Africa has lost one of its best legal minds."