'Extraordinary judge' killed by black mamba to be cremated in Zambia

23 May 2019 - 11:12 By Dave Chambers
Anton Steenkamp in Missisi, Mozambique, on a recent motorcycle trip.
Anton Steenkamp in Missisi, Mozambique, on a recent motorcycle trip.
Image: Facebook

The labour court judge killed by a snakebite in northern Zambia on Monday was due to be cremated on Thursday in Lusaka.

A statement issued on behalf of the family of Anton Steenkamp said the Western Cape judge's ashes would be brought home by his wife, Catherine.

Following Steenkamp's death from a black mamba bite, the statement said he died in a remote part of Zambia during a holiday with Catherine.

"A memorial service will be held shortly and further details as to the date and venue will be released once finalised," it said.

"We take this opportunity to thank everyone for their incredible support in this time of grief."

Judge Anton Steenkamp
Judge Anton Steenkamp
Image: Twitter/Anton Steenkamp

The statement was issued by Steenkamp's friend and motorcycling partner, advocate Andrew Brown, who also wrote a personal tribute which was published on Thursday by the Daily Maverick.

The tribute was illustrated with the photograph above, showing Steenkamp during a motorcycle trip in Mozambique.

Brown wrote: "In a world where integrity increasingly takes a distant second place to self-interest and avarice, it is bewildering that life should choose to give up one of its finest souls. 

"[Steenkamp] was an extraordinary judge, both firm and gentle in his court manner, courageous in his judgments, erudite and always committed to the highest standards of ethics. Anton brought his humanity to bear on every aspect of his professional life with unrelenting clarity.

"But the loveliness of Anton lay in his ability to shed the robes and decorum, don some faded khaki T-shirt and start an earnest conversation with a complete stranger about the tyre choice on his motorbike.

"Or just as easily sit down and debate with sensitivity the new scandal sweeping our punch-drunk political landscape. Or take up the fight for someone struck down by injustice or disadvantage."

Steenkamp leaves his wife Catherine and their two children, Stewart and Marion.