#WCW: Women Who Slay / Culture

Women you should know : Justice Leona Valerie Theron

South Africa has a new Constitutional Court Judge and she is great!

Here is a quick run down on the lady at one of the highest seats in the country.



The 51-year-old graduated with a BA and LLB degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 1987 and 1989 respectively. Later, in 1990, she bagged an LLM from Georgetown University in Washington DC, USA.

Theron was appointed to the KwaZulu-Natal division of the High Court in 1999. She wasn’t only the court’s first black female judge but at 33 she was also the youngest.

On 1st December 2010, she became the Judge of Appeal at the Supreme Court of Appeal. She was also an Acting Judge of the Constitutional Court between January to May 2015.

In 2008 her she had a groundbreaking case where she made changes to the customary law of the country. While at the KwaZulu-Natal High Court a woman who brought her husband to court after their 40-year customary marriage collapsed. Based on the KwaZulu-Natal customary laws, the property they gathered while they were married belonged to the husband. Nonetheless, Theron ruled that women in customary marriages were, in effect, married in community of property. Thus, divorcees and widows can claim and inherit property. It was a sensitive case and the Constitutional Court was to have the final say. The biggest court of the land agreed with Theron.

We cannot wait to see what she achieves at the Constiuttional Court. Congratulations Justice Leona Valerie Theron.

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