Zuma bids farewell to Pius Langa

THE long overdue transformation of the judiciary was at the top of the agenda when President Jacob Zuma and opposition parties gathered yesterday to bid farewell to former Chief Justice Pius Langa.

The function also welcomed new Constitutional Court head Sandile Ngcobo.

Zuma paid tribute to Langa in a joint sitting of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces yesterday, but said South Africa still faced many "challenges".

"Our government must ensure that even the poorest of the poor have access to the courts. The issue of the transformation of the judiciary remains a central challenge," Zuma said.

"We know that transformation is not an event but a prolonged struggle. This struggle must further entrench the independence of the judiciary, for which so many of our people fought," Zuma said.

ID leader Patricia de Lille praised Langa's ruling that declared customary laws relating to the inheritance of property unconstitutional because they discriminated "unfairly against women and illegitimate children".

DA parliamentary leader Athol Trollip told Ngcobo that "transformation was a complexissue not merely one of numbers and race."