Judge Anton Steenkamp. PHOTO: SASLAW

JOHANNESBURG - Labour Court Judge Anton Steenkamp, who died from a snake bite while in Zambia, was a man of integrity who contributed significantly to labour matters, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union said on Tuesday.

Steenkamp, 57, was in Zambia on leave with his wife Catherine when he was bitten by a black mamba. He died on Monday.

"In his role as Labour Court judge, he ensured that there was fair administration of justice. Through progressive jurisprudence, South African workers are protected from arbitrary unfair workplace practices with the introduction of progressive labour laws since the dawn of our constitutional democracy. We wish to pass condolences to his family, his wife Catherine, colleagues and all stakeholders in the labour fraternity," the union said in a statement.

The Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) expressed shock at Steenkamp's passing.

"The PSCBC wishes to extend its deepest and sincerest condolences to the Steenkamp family. We are shocked to hear of the passing of Judge Anton Steenkamp. He will be remembered as an excellent judge and labour lawyer. Hamba kahle [go well]."

The SA Labour Law Society said Steenkamp will be remembered for his excellent work in labour law.

"Judge Steenkamp will be fondly remembered as an excellent judge and labour lawyer who contributed significantly to the development of our labour law jurisprudence. He also served as the national president of SASLAW. We are deeply saddened by his death," said SASLAW president Ludwig Frahm-Arp.

Frahm-Arp said Steenkamp loved touring the continent with his wife.

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said she has requested the South African High Commission in Zambia to provide all the necessary support to the Steenkamp family and prepare for the repatriation of his body to South Africa.  

African News Agency (ANA)