Thokozile Masipa

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Thokozile Masipa
The Honourable
Thokozile Masipa
Judge in the Gauteng Division of the High Court of South Africa
Assumed office
1 December 1998
Nominated by Judicial Service Commission
Appointed by President Nelson Mandela
Personal details
Birthday/Birthplace (1947-10-16) 16 October 1947
Orlando East, Soweto, South Africa
Wife/Husband Makhutla Wilson Masipa
Kid(s) 2
Alma mater University of South Africa
Profession(s) Judge
Profession Jurist

Thokozile Masipa’s Biography

Mazipa was born in Soweto in 1947, a year before the laws that established apartheid, the racial segregation of the blacks that constituted the majority of the country, were passed in South Africa. As a child she suffered the privations of the blacks of her time-she lived in a two-room house with her parents and brothers-that continued when she got married. She lived in a one-room home, which, according to her own testimony, served as a bedroom, living room, bathroom … everything-.

He made an effort to get a good education, being part of the “stubborn and talented little minority that managed to overcome the obstacles that the State put in him”, as the journalist John Carlin has related. After finishing his studies he became a journalist and worked for several newspapers, among them the main black newspaper of the time, The Sowetan. The coverage of various trials revealed his true vocation: the law. So he studied law and became a lawyer. In 1998, four years after the end of apartheid, she was appointed judge, the second black woman to hold that position in the history of South Africa. And thereafter she earned a reputation as a serious, impartial and extremely meticulous judge in her work.

He had presided over several trials of great media impact. The first two against black defendants. One against the CEO of a company that demanded a huge compensation after being fired, and that the judge dismissed; and another, against a serial rapist that the judge sentenced to 256 years in prison. But the one that catapulted him to international fame was the trial against the South African athlete Oscar Pistorius, amputee of both legs, accused of having murdered his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, ​​on the night of Valentine’s Day 2013. After the celebration During the trial, Pistorius was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter on September 12, 2014, absolving him of the murder charge, and sentenced him to five years in prison a few weeks later, however, in December of that year, the Supreme Court reviewed the case and elevated the crime committed to the rank of murder, which implied a penalty of at least 15 years in prison, a sentence that has finally been halved, as on July 6, 2016, Thokozile Masipa decided not to apply the rank of years considered for this type of crime and dictated a sentence of 6 years in jail.This sentence caused a great polemic in South Africa.

More Facts about Thokozile Masipa

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