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Judge President Bernard Makgabo Ngoepe

The Honourable Judge President Bernard Makgabo Ngoepe is a man who, among other things, has devoted his professional life to the law in its many facets and to justice and equality for all.


  • The Bluris degree at the University of the North in 1973
  • Bachelor of Law degree at Unisa in 1977

Legal career

1976: Established a legal practice in Polokwane, and, for seven years, practised as an attorney before being admitted in 1983 as an Advocate of the now High Court of South Africa.
1994: Elevated to the status of Senior Counsel. His elevation to the Bench followed not long thereafter.
1995: Served as an Acting judge of the High Court of South Africa until he was appointed as a Judge of the Transvaal Provincial Division of the High Court of South Africa. In the same year he also served for one term as an Acting Judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.
1998: Served as an Acting Judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein. Was appointed Judge President of the Transvaal Provincial Division of the High Court of South Africa.

Honours and memberships

  • Honorary Member of the State of Tennessee House of Representatives (1982)
  • Received the Duma Nokwe Award of the National Institute for Public Interest Law and Research (1998)
  • Honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from The University of the North (1997)
  • Appointed Honorary Professor in the School of Law, University of Limpopo
  • Member of the Technical Committee on Constitutional Issues charged with drafting the Interim Constitution of South Africa
  • Member of a committee of the Commission of Inquiry Regarding the Prevention of Public Violence and Intimidation
  • Head of a team of advocates appointed to inquire into the activities of the former Bophuthatswana Government
  • Member of the Lutheran Church Committee for Justice and Reconciliation
  • Participant in overseas conferences on human rights issues under the auspices of the Lutheran World Federation, the World Council of Churches and the United Nations Centre for Human Rights
  • Member of the Amnesty Committee appointed by the President in terms of the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act to hear applications for amnesty

To many, Bernard Makgabo Ngoepe's contributions thus far in his life would be regarded as not only considerable, but also as sufficient. But his involvement in society extends even further to encompass institutions of learning at all levels. He has, among others, lectured at the University of the North and is a former and present member of various governing bodies at primary and secondary school level.