My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?
TO: ALL MEDIA
DATE 14 JANUARY 2010
ATTENTION: NEWS EDITORS/ REPORTERS AND PR WIRE
I wish to convey my deepest regret and the heartfelt condolences of the entire Judiciary to the family of Judge President Qedusizi Herbert Msimang and the people of South Africa, in particular the people of KwaZulu-Natal, on his untimely death.
Judge Msimang, the Judge President of the KwaZulu-Natal High Court, died at the Midlands Medical Centre in Pietermaritzburg after a short illness. He is survived by his dear wife Nomusa, and four beloved daughters, Nokuthula, Sibongile, Sanelisiwe and Ayanda.
Judge Msimang was regarded within the judiciary and broader legal fraternity as a brave jurist with an incisive and independent mind. He had a distinguished career, both as an attorney and a Judge. He has served our nation with distinction.
The Judge President played a critical and crucial role in the transformation of South Africa’s Judiciary, the promotion and protection of human rights, peace and social justice.
His passing on is a big loss, not only to the Bench and the legal fraternity, but also to the people of South Africa. He was a proficient and conscientious Judge.
While we are greatly saddened by his sudden departure, we find solace in the good life he led and in the legacy bequeathed to all of us as a good friend, jurist, scholar, family man and citizen.
Born in 1951 in Ennerdale, south of Johannesburg, Judge Msimang led a distinguished life, whose key milestones include the following:
10. In 2002 he was appointed a full-time judge. Since then he has presided over a variety of criminal and civil cases, both in Durban and Pietermaritzburg and the province’s western, southern and northeastern circuits.
11. On 24 November 2009, he was appointed Deputy Judge President of the KwaZulu-Natal High Court.
12. On 29 April 2010, Judge Msimang was appointed Judge President of the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg and Durban until his death on Thursday, 7 April 2011.
Judge Msimang is also respected for his participation in community work, the following serving as examples:
Judge Msimang’s untimely death therefore has created an irreparable vacuum in the country’s judiciary and society at large. Our thoughts and prayers are with Judge Msimang’s family during this difficult time. He was a friend, a colleague and one of the greatest jurists of our time. South Africa has lost a truly great man. We all mourn his death and extend our sympathies to his family. We pray to God to provide his family and colleagues with courage and strength to bear his loss.BACK TO TOP