Justice Bess Nkabinde retires – ConCourt

Judge served for 12 years as a Justice of the Court

Retirement: Justice Bess Nkabinde

6 December 2017

Justice Bess Nkabinde who has had an illustrious legal career will be retiring from the Constitutional Court at the end of 2017 after serving 12 years as a Justice of the Court. 

Justice Nkabinde was born in Silwerkrans (North West Province) in 1959.  In 1979, she matriculated from Mariasdal High School (Tweespruit).  She went on to obtain a BProc degree at the University of Zululand in 1983, and an LLB from the University of the North West in 1986.  She also attended the Damelin College, where she was awarded a Diploma in Industrial Relations, with Distinction. 

Justice Nkabinde was admitted as an advocate in 1988, and after pupillage in 1989 joined the North West Bar in 1990, where she practised as an advocate until 1999.  In 1999 she served as an Acting Judge of the High Court (Bophuthatswana Provincial Division), and was subsequently appointed as a Judge of that division of the High Court.  Justice Nkabinde went on to act as a Judge in the Labour Court (in 2000 and 2003), the Labour Appeal Court (October 2004 - February 2005) and the Supreme Court of Appeal (in 2005). 

In 2006, she was appointed as a Justice of the Constitutional Court.  When Moseneke DCJ retired in 2016, Justice Nkabinde was appointed acting Deputy Chief Justice.  For part of this acting stint, she became Acting Chief Justice, the first woman in South Africa to hold that position. 

A formal court session will be held in her honour at 10:00 on Thursday, 7 December 2017.  All members of the public are invited to attend.

Issued by Constitutional Court of South Africa, 6 December 2017