ConCourt judge Johan Froneman retires after 26 years on the bench

04 June 2020 - 19:13 By ERNEST MABUZA
ConCourt judge Johan Froneman has retired, the office of the chief justice said on Thursday.
ConCourt judge Johan Froneman has retired, the office of the chief justice said on Thursday.
Image: Office of the Chief Justice

Constitutional Court judge Johan Froneman has retired, capping a judicial career spanning 26 years.

The office of the chief justice said in a statement on Thursday that Froneman, 67, was born and raised in the Eastern Cape. After matriculating at Grey College in Bloemfontein, he obtained a BA degree from Stellenbosch University and later graduated with an LLB degree from the University of South Africa (Unisa).

He did pupillage at the Pretoria Bar and went on to commence practice as an advocate in Grahamstown in 1980. In 1990 he became senior counsel and in 1994 was elevated to the bench as a judge of the Eastern Cape division of the high court.

Two years later he was appointed as the deputy judge president of the labour and labour appeal courts — a position he held until 1999.

In October 2009, Froneman was appointed as a justice of the ConCourt.

Froneman's legal interests went beyond legal practice and judgeship. For five years he was Professor Extraordinaire at Stellenbosch University, lecturing a course in human rights at LLM level. He also attended Harvard and Oxford Universities — in 1999 and 2008, respectively — in a visiting capacity.

The office added that Froneman had given a number of public lectures and talks at academic and professional conferences. He also published articles featured in academic and professional journals.

“As a judge, justice Froneman is one of those pioneers who made their mark quite early on in crafting our constitutional jurisprudence. This he did still sitting as a high court judge and soon after the advent of our constitutional democracy.

“He was later to cement his role in developing our constitutional jurisprudence when he became a justice of the Constitutional Court.”