Veteran court interpreter dies

2015-07-31 15:30
(Jenni Evans, News24)

(Jenni Evans, News24)

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Johannesburg - Staff at the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court were in mourning after the death of well-known interpreter William Mnisi, who died after being rushed to hospital during the trial of a serial rapist.

Colleague Charles Moloi told News24 on Friday Mnisi, a former secretary of the National Interpreters Association of South Africa, began feeling unwell on Wednesday while translating for a witness.

Court was adjourned to attend to Mnisi, who was taken to hospital. He died in hospital, despite efforts to stabilise him.

Moloi said Mnisi, in his 60s, had battled with diabetes and hypertension.

"We are very upset," said Moloi. "Some courts had to be adjourned, because staff were so upset."

On Thursday, staff could be seen hugging each other and some wore black to mark the death of the man who had sprung to the defence of interpreters after they were criticised during the Oscar Pistorius trial.

Moloi added Mnisi spoke no less than eight languages.

He had first met him in the mid 70s, when the two worked together at the Randburg Magistrate's Court. Mnisi then left to dabble in politics with the then Progressive Federal Party (PFP) in Gauteng, a predecessor of the Democratic Alliance (DA).

However, he had returned to his first love, interpreting.

"He was a very sweet man, he was always helping people," said Moloi of Mnisi, whose picture was pasted on walls around the huge court building.

A memorial service would be held for him at the High Court in Johannesburg on August 5 at 13:00.

Read more on:    johannesburg

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