A Limpopo high court judge has died at Polokwane Medi-Clinic after a long illness.
Judge Alfred Lukoto, who has not been on duty for a few months because of his failing health, died at the weekend.
Lukoto was appointed to the high court in 2000. He previously worked as an attorney.
He also worked for the Department of Justice in the former Venda bantustan.
Lukoto was well known for his robust way of dealing with criminals in the area.
Soon after being appointed judge, he found guilty and sentenced Mashudu Tshitevhe and others who were charged with rape and murder.
Tshitevhe had raped and murdered a young woman, whose decomposed body was found days after her killing. Lukoto cracked the case.
Lukoto also presided over the high-profile case of the dispute over the chieftaincy between the two Venda clans - the Tshivhases and the Mphephus.
He ruled in favour of the Tshivhase family. The Mphephus had lodged an appeal with the supreme court of appeals in Bloemfontein. The case has not yet been resolved.