Ramaphosa grants Yvonne Mokgoro a Special Official Funeral

President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared that retired Constitutional Justice Yvonne Mokgoro be honoured with a Special Official Funeral Category 1.

Justice Mokgoro, an esteemed member of the Order of the Baobab, passed away on 9 May at 73.


In recognition of her distinguished career and contribution to the nation, President Ramaphosa has declared, in terms of Chapter 1.3.2(a) of the State, Official and Provincial Funeral Policy Manual, that the late justice be accorded a Special Official Funeral Category 1.

The government’s State, Official, and Provincial Official Funeral Policy accords Special Official Funerals, Category 1, to persons of extraordinary credentials specifically designated by the President of the Republic of South Africa.

The distinguishing features of a special official funeral in this category include ceremonial elements by the South African National Defence Force.

On Saturday, the Presidency said President Ramaphosa has also declared that the national flag be flown at half-mast at all flag stations around the country from Sunday morning, 19 May, until the evening of the funeral on Thursday, 23 May.

Further details of the funeral, which will be held in Johannesburg, will be communicated in due course.

Retired Justice Yvonne Mokgoro when she was bestowed the Order of Mendi for Baobab during the National Orders Awards ceremony in Pretoria in 2015. Image: Flickr/GCIS


Following the news of Mokgoro’s passing, President Ramaphosa said her death deprives the South African nation of a formidable intellect and impeccable jurist who served the country’s democracy at its very inception and through the years that followed.

“As we recall the inauguration of our founding President Nelson Mandela 30 years ago on this day, 10 May, we count his appointment of Justice Mokgoro to the Constitutional Court as one of the critical, transformative decisions he exercised in those early days of our liberation.”

As a black woman judge, President Ramaphosa said Mokgoro was a pioneering embodiment of and contributor to the transformation of the country and the legal system and new jurisprudence that enabled transformation.

“Justice Mokgoro distinguished herself as an academic, a justice of our apex court, Chairperson of the South African Law Commission, and strategic advisor to diverse boards in different sectors. Her insightful and principled counsel lives on in the thousands of legal careers she shaped during her academic endeavours.

“She has left us under very tragic circumstances, and we, therefore, join the family in their sadness and their prayers that this beloved mother, patriot, leader, and citizen of the globe will rest in peace,” the President said.

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