Seasoned Gauteng High Court judge Ramarumo Monama has died

Judge Ramarumo Monama, who sentenced serial killer Noma Rosemary Ndlovu to multiple life sentences, has died. Stock photo.
Judge Ramarumo Monama, who sentenced serial killer Noma Rosemary Ndlovu to multiple life sentences, has died. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/3Drenderings

The high court judge who sentenced cop-turned-serial-killer Nomia Rosemary Ndlovu to six life terms behind bars has died.

The office of the chief justice said judge Ramarumo Monama died on Thursday after a short illness.

“The judges and staff of the Gauteng division of the high court were saddened to learn of the passing of the judge Ramarumo Emerson Monama, who had been an active judge in the division since 2010,” read a statement from the office of the chief justice.

“After completing matric, the judge studied towards and obtained a Bachelor of Jurisprudence (B.iuris) degree at the University of the North in Limpopo. He later obtained a Bachelor of Law (LLB) from the University of the Witwatersrand.”

Monama served his articles at Webber Wentzel attorneys, where he became a qualified attorney. In 1978, he formed the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) which is SA’s oldest human rights and public interest legal centre alongside lawyers Prof John Dugard and Halton Cheadle.

Ndlovu’s conviction was one of the last high-profile cases Monama concluded, handing her six life terms in October 2021.

He delivered a striking judgment, saying Ndlovu killing her own relatives to cash in on insurance policies was one of the worst since the case of Daisy de Melker — a nurse who killed her two husbands and son to also cash in on policies in the early 1900s. 

Other than this case, Monama had also presided over part of the “Thulsie Twins” case — twin brothers Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee who were linked to the group Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and were suspected of planning terrorist attacks in SA.

He also recently presided over the case of Nathaniel Julies, a 16-year-old from Eldorado Park in the south of Johannesburg. The teen, who lived with down syndrome was allegedly shot by police in August 2020. Police officers had allegedly then staged the scene to make it look like he was caught in crossfire during gang-related violence.

He had also presided over the case involving the murder of anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol by apartheid-era cop Joao Rodrigues. The late Rodrigues was charged with the murder but died before the trial could start.

The office of the chief justice said Monama's contribution to the bench would be missed.


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