Cape Town.190707.Arthur Chaskalson accepts the Human Rights award at the Mandela Awards for Health and Human Rights 2007. Picture:Sophia Stander Reporter:John Yeld/Cape Times

Johannesburg -

A police brass band played solemnly in the Johannesburg City Hall on Wednesday as mourners gathered to remember former chief justice Arthur Chaskalson.

The band was in a corner of the stage, which was lined with bouquets of yellow and white flowers, and several potted plants.

A lone podium stood in the centre of the stage. Next to it, a black and white picture of Chaskalson was mounted on a stand.

The podium was flanked by large video screens, showing pictures of Chaskalson with his wife Lorraine.

Family, friends, colleagues and members of the legal fraternity occupied the front of the hall.

Advocate Jeremy Gauntlett SC, Chaskalson's friend and colleague George Bizos SC, former chief justice Pius Langa, current deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke, National Assembly speaker Max Sisulu and President Jacob Zuma were expected to address mourners.

Chaskalson died at the age of 81 in Johannesburg on Saturday, reportedly of leukaemia.

He was the first president of the Constitutional Court and was chief justice from November 2001 until he retired in 2005.

In 2002, he was awarded the Order of the Baobab, one of the highest accolades the government can bestow on a South African citizen.

He was buried on Monday in a private, but special official funeral at Westpark cemetery in Johannesburg. - Sapa