Home News Partner of late Justice Mokgoro could face culpable homicide charges

Partner of late Justice Mokgoro could face culpable homicide charges

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As tributes continue to pour in for Kimberley-born former Constitutional Court Judge Yvonne Mokgoro, 73, her partner has been summonsed to appear in the Barkly West Magistrate’s Court on May 30, following her death in Johannesburg last week.

Late Justice Yvonne Mokgoro. File picture: Courtney Africa

AS TRIBUTES continue to pour in for Kimberley-born former Constitutional Court Judge Yvonne Mokgoro, 73, her partner has been summonsed to appear in the Barkly West Magistrate’s Court on May 30, following her death in Johannesburg last week.

Justice Mokgoro was regarded as a pioneer in her field, being the first black woman judge to sit on the first Constitutional Court bench from 1994 to 2009.

Mokgoro was involved in a motor vehicle accident involving a collision with a truck between Kimberley and Warrenton in 2023, where her partner, David Melesi, was the driver.

Mokgoro sustained serious injuries that impacted her health and she had to withdraw from public obligations.

She died in a Johannesburg hospital on Thursday last week.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson Mojalefa Senokoatsane said Melesi was charged with reckless and negligent driving following the crash and was released on a warning.

Senokoatsane added that Melesi was expected to appear in the Barkly West Magistrate’s court on May 30 where the charges could be amended to culpable homicide.

Northern Cape Premier Dr Zamani Saul stated that Mokgoro was “one of the most brilliant legal minds” and would always be remembered as a “defender of justice, equality, social cohesion, and human dignity and for her passion to serve South Africa”.

The chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Amos Masondo, and the Acting Speaker of the National Assembly, Lechesa Tsenoli, said the passing of one of South Africa’s most distinguished jurists and academics was a devastating loss, not only to her family but to the entire nation.

“Starting her career as an administrative clerk, Judge Mokgoro studied part-time. Her tenacity and hard work paid off as she eventually became an intellectually distinguished academic with two Master’s degrees.”

He stated that Mokgoro was a fierce advocate for women’s rights and fought tirelessly for their recognition in society.

She was awarded the Order of the Baobab in bronze by former President Jacob Zuma in 2015, in recognition of her excellent contribution to law and the administration of justice in a democratic South Africa.

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