From shack to high office

NATVARLAL "Natu" Ranchod's rise from running a family fruit and vegetable business in a small Mpumalanga town to being a high court judge has been meteoric.

One of President Jacob Zuma's new judicial appointments, Ranchod serves at the Gauteng North and the Gauteng South high courts.

"I look forward to this new challenge with enthusiasm. I look forward to joining my fellow colleagues in ensuring that justice is served,'' Ranchod said. Growing up in a shack without electricity, running water or a sewage system, Ranchod attended a so-called "Indian and coloured" school where he was almost always top of his class. He completed his high school education by correspondence and 10 years later read for a law degree at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Ranchod joined the then Pretoria and Johannesburg high courts in 2004 as an acting judge and now mentors young attorneys - primarily women from historically disadvantaged communities. - Canaan Mdletshe