Jeff Radebe mourns Fikile Bam
Johannesburg - The passing of Land Claims Court Judge President Fikile Bam was a huge loss to people who had pending land claim disputes, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said on Monday.
"He passes on while still striving to effectively deal with the land issue in South Africa," Radebe said in a statement.
"Bam has delivered transformative and ground-breaking decisions in several land restitution cases to restore claimants to their land."
Radebe said as a member of the heads of courts, Bam had contributed to ensuring courts continued to dispense justice without fear, favour or prejudice.
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng earlier on Monday said the judicial community had lost a leader in the legal fraternity who had left an indelible mark in the quest for land restitution.
The Law Society of South Africa said Bam had contributed immensely to land reform jurisprudence and would be missed dearly.
AgriSA president Johannes Möller said Bam was a "man of integrity, a true servant of his country, who was always dignified and principled".
On Sunday, President Jacob Zuma described Bam as "a political veteran who was committed to the liberation struggle and the defence of the rights of the poorest of the poor".
Bam's memorial service would be held on Wednesday at the Walter Sisulu Hall in Randburg. The funeral service would be held in Tsholo, Eastern Cape next Tuesday.