Department of Jurisprudence

Prof GJ van Niekerk

College of Law
School of Law
Department: Jurisprudence
Tel: 012 433 9538
Fax: 012 429 3442


  • B.A. (Law) - University of Pretoria, 1976
  • LLB. - University of Pretoria, 1976
  • LLM. - University of South Africa, 1986
  • LLD. - University of South Africa, 1995     

Currently teaching

Origins of South African Law

Fields of academic interests

  • Indigenous African Law
  • Comparative Law
  • Legal History

Journal articles

  • "Systems of servitude in pre-contact Africa" 2004 (10) Fundamina 211
  • "The application of South African law in the courts of Botswana" 2004 CILSA 37 (3) 312
  • “People as Property: Systems of Servitude in Traditional Africa and Ancient Rome” 2004 (51) REVUE INTERNATIONALE DES DROITS DE L’ANTIQUITÉ 339
  • “Succession, living indigenous law and ubuntu in the Constitutional Court 2005 (26) OBITER 474
  •  “Criminal justice in the Cape of Good Hope in the seventeenth century: Narratives of infanticide and suicide” 2005 (11) Fundamina 135
  • "Gumede v President of the Republic of South Africa: harmonisation or the creation of new marriage laws in South Africa?" SA Public law (co-authored with J Bekker)
  • "Pre-contact African judicial procedure and the legis actio procedure of Early Roman Antiquity: a comparative analysis" 2009 Studia Iurisprudentia []
  • "Manipulation of traditional leadership and traditional legal institutions: Zululand during the 1880's" 2009 Fundamina 193-222
  • "The challenge of legal pluralism: Fosi v Road Accident Fund [2007] JOL 19399 (C)" 2008 SA Public Law 208-220
  • "Harmonisation of indigenous laws in Southern Africa" 2008 Fundamina 155-167
  • "The case of the Hottentot Venus: an exercise in legal history" 2007 Fundamina 146-174
  • "Registration of customary marriages under the Transkei marriage Act: Wormald NO and others v Kambule [2004] 3 All SA 392 (EC), Wormald NO and others v Kambule 2006 3 SA 562 (SCA) and Kambule v Baduza and 7 others Case no 1833/2006 (EC)" 2007 Sepculum Iuris 276-288 (co-authored with GS Nkosi)
  • "Death and sacred spaces in South Africa and America: a legal-anthropological perspective of conflicting values" 2007 CILSA 3-56

Professional positions, fellowships & awards

  • Admitted as an advocate, 1978
  • Honorary Member and member of management committee: Centre of Indigenous Law University of South Africa
  • Management Committee: Certificate Programme in Law, Unit for Basic Legal Education, UNISA  
  • NRF Rated researcher
  • Member of Management Committee of the Unit for Legal Historical Research