Judge Vuka Tshabalala

Vuka, as he is fondly known, was born in Orlando East in 1937. A year later his family moved to settle in Durban. After completing his junior primary schooling at Fannin government school, Vuka enrolled at the famous Loram Secondary School in Durban for a year. He then moved to Pholela Institution where he could not stand the freezing weather of Bulwer. After completing Standard Nine at Pholela, Vuka moved to St Francis College at Mariannhill to study for his matric.

Tshabalala was employed by the Radiography Department of McCords Hospital in 1956. He went on to obtain his Bachelor of Arts Degree at University of Fort Hare and a Law degree (LLB) at the then University of Natal (now University of KwaZulu –Natal). Shabalala did his articles of clerkship with attorney O.K. Mofolo and became a fully-fledged lawyer under the Natal Law Society.

Vuka Tshabalala has broken through several apartheid barriers. In 1969 he became the first black advocate to practise in Natal. In March 1995 he was appointed Judge of the Bisho High Court and was appointed Deputy Judge President Of KwaZulu–Natal in October 1998, taking up the appointment in February 1999. In October 2000 he was appointed as Judge President of KwaZulu–Natal. Judge Tshabalala was also appointed as the Chancellor at DUT, beginning on 1st April 2012. He is currently an Advisor at Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services.

Community Goals

But Tshabalala does not only pursue personal goals. He has strong ethos of ubuntu and has devoted his life to serving his community. He has held leadership positions in business, sporting, education, and cultural organisations, including serving as a Vice–President of the Natal Council of YMCAs and Vice–Chairman of the Clermont Advisory Board.

Fame and fortune have not diminished Vuka Tshabalala’s simplicity and humanity. Unlike many other successful professionals who have moved to Durban’s classy suburbs, Vuka has chosen to remain with the people he’s grown up with, in his Clermont township dwelling. “I love the environment and the people where I live,” he says. Tshabalala is an avid sportsman, interested in soccer, golf and boxing. Sadly, Vuka’s wife passed away in 1986. He has five children.

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