Judge President hangs up his robe
RETIRED: Judge President Pule Tlaletsi bids farewell to his predecessor, Frans Kgomo, who served as a judge in the Northern Cape for nearly two decades. COURT adjourned for the final time for Northern Cape Judge President Frans Kgomo on Friday, who officially retired after nearly two decades on the bench in the Province.
Despite his physical absence from the courtroom, Kgomo’s contribution to the Province, country and judicial system in general will continue to make a significant impact on the lives of most South Africans as there are few courts in the country where he has not had a hand in the mentoring of presiding officers.
This is according to the 16th Northern Cape High Court Judge President, Pule Tlaletsi, who took over the position last week and said on Friday that, of his predecessor’s many achievements, his most enduring legacy would be the structures Kgomo put in place to nurture and train judges.
“His mission has always been the transformation of the legal and judiciary structures,” the incumbent judge president said in the Northern Cape High Court on Friday, adding that Kgomo had established a “university for judges” in Kimberley.
“He used this court to mentor and train judges. As a result, all provincial courts have been impacted.”
Tlaletsi said that the fact that more than two thirds of the judges that Kgomo had taken under his wing were women, was a further indication of his commitment to transformation.
“We are standing on the shoulders of a giant who never flinched and served with honour,” added Tlaletsi.
Kgomo who was born in Brits and moved through the ranks of the judiciary after becoming a court interpreter in 1969.
An avid death penalty abolitionist, he was admitted to the the North West Bar from 1986 to 1998 before moving to Kimberley to serve as an acting judge.
After only three years on the bench in the Northern Cape, Kgomo was appointed Judge President of the Province in 2001.
“I’m leaving this division in good hands,” Kgomo told his family, friends and colleagues shortly before court adjourned on Friday.
“I was hesitant to come to Kimberley at first. As they say, you cry when you first arrive but later you cry because you have to leave.”
“I would also like to thank my family and staff for all their support.”
Picture: Soraya Crowie