Judge Sandi's Passing a Blow to the Judicial Community and South Africa

Cape Times (South Africa), March 9, 2017 | Go to article overview

Judge Sandi's Passing a Blow to the Judicial Community and South Africa


It is with deep sorrow and regret that the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (Nadel) learns of the death of human rights lawyer Judge Bonisile Sandi.

Judge Sandi was judge of the High Court of South Africa, Eastern Cape Division, Grahamstown.

He succumbed to a two- year illness on March 2 in his home in Grahamstown at the age of 62.

Judge Sandi was one of Nadel's founding members.

He believed strongly in an organised profession, the capacitation of young black professionals and in the transferring of skills.

He played a valuable role in shaping the strategic direction of Nadel.

This led it to a position where it was able to influence not only the constitutional/legislative process but the creation of institutions of our democracy.

During his early years he practised as an attorney in Grahamstown where he ran the busiest black correspondent firm at the time.

All firms in the region would utilise his office when they litigated in Grahamstown.

Those who used him as a correspondent say that he went beyond what was expected of him as a correspondent and used the opportunity to pass his knowledge to practitioners.

As an attorney he was a cut above the rest and the epitome of an activist attorney (bold, intelligent and inexorable in his defence of his clients, especially those who were oppressed by the apartheid regime).

During his time of practice he was considered a gateway to the profession as almost all of the black professionals in the Grahamstown region were admitted to the profession through his office and at no cost.

During a time when black law firms had little resources and no support he had trained a number of candidate attorneys who are now thriving attorneys. …

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