File picture: Independent Media

JOHANNESBURG - On behalf of the South African judiciary, Gauteng High Court Judge President Dunston Mlambo has paid tribute to Judge Willem van der Linde, who died on Saturday, and offered condolences to his family and friends. 

The judges and staff of the Gauteng Division of the High Court were shocked to learn of the sudden and untimely death of Van der Linde, the office of the chief justice said in a statement. 

Mlambo commended Van der Linde and said, “He was a committed jurist, a pillar of strength at the court.”

Van der Linde was appointed to the High Court in 2015. Prior to his elevation to the Bench, he served as an advocate since 1983 and took silk in 1996. Van der Linde was a graduate of the University of Port Elizabeth (Now Nelson Mandela University), where he obtained his LL B and LL M degrees.

He had extensive experience as a commercial litigator, including in the specialist areas of insurance and construction-related litigation. As a judicial officer, Van der Linde had been described as well-prepared – someone who listened patiently and politely, but also dealt decisively with counsel on both sides appearing before him. He had a commanding judicial presence and demonstrated an acute grasp of the issues.

"Judge Van der Linde’s loss will be deeply felt by his colleagues and the staff in the Gauteng Division. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife Isabella, his children, family, and friends. May his soul rest in peace. Details of his funeral will be released in due course," the statement said.

African News Agency (ANA)