Msimang appointed KZN deputy judge president

2009-11-26 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG Judge Herbert Msimang was among 14 judges appointed by President Jacob Zuma yesterday to courts across the country.

Msimang has been appointed de­puty judge president of KwaZulu-Natal.

Ironically, he was the first judge to be appointed to preside over Zuma’s corruption trial in Pietermaritzburg in 2005 and 2006.

Msimang took the farreaching decision on September 20, 2006, to strike the case off the roll after refusing a request by the prosecution for a postponement.

A judge of the high court, Msimang was the only nominee for the post, which was vacated as a result of the retirement of Judge Phillip Levinsohn.

When previously speculating about the prospect of Msimang being appointed the Zuma trial judge, several of his colleagues and former teachers described him as a “brilliant legal mind”.

The former dean of the faculty of law at the University of Zululand, where Msimang studied during the 1970s, Professor Mike Erasmus, reported that Msimang was admired for his phenomenal memory.

Msimang was known during his student years by the name Jerome Ngwenya (his mother’s surname), but took the name Msimang towards the end of his studies at Unizul.

Msimang practised law in Pietermaritzburg from about 1981, under the banner Rutsch and Msimang.

The firm later amalgamated with Shepstone, Wylie & Tomlinson, becoming Tomlinson, Mnguni & James. Msimang remained a director for many years.

He took up his appointment as judge in January 2002.

Last year, one of Msimang’s four daughters, Ayanda, was admitted as an attorney. She is the only member of the family to follow in his footsteps.

Sapa reports that Zuma yesterday appointed Lorrimer Eric Leach, Jeremiah Buti Zwelibanzi Shongwe and Zukisa Laura Lumka Tshiqi to the Supreme Court of Appeal from December 1, as well as making a number of appointments in high courts across South Africa.

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