80 S. African L.J. 163 (1963)
In Memoriam: Mr. Justice S. M. Kuper

handle is hein.journals/soaf80 and id is 175 raw text is: Vol. LXXX                                                May
(Part II)                                              1963
THE
SOUTH AFRICAN LAW
JOURNAL
IN MEMORIAM: MR. JUSTICE S. M. KUPER
On 20th March Mr. Justice Kuper of the Transvaal Provincial
Division. died. Twelve days before, while sitting in the evening in
the study of his home with his wife and his daughter, he was shot
in the head through an open window and collapsed, never to regain
consciousness. Though at the time of his death, shortly after which
these lines were penned, no arrest had been made, it was widely
accepted that the murder was a carefully planned and coldly executed
act of a person imbued with a spirit of revenge or impelled by a
warped sense of grievance arising out of some decision of the late
Judge acting in his official capacity. That a member of the judiciary
could pay with his life for carrying out his public duty was a thought
that filled the entire country with horror. Such an event is almost
unprecedented in the world; it was unheard of in the Republic. And
that the fates should pick on Simon Meyer Kuper, man of peace,
for this dreadful, violent end, that goodness should be extinguished
by evil, was cruelly ironic. For he was a gentle, softly-spoken,
merciful being, deeply religious, the very personification of dignity
and uprighteousness. As M . Justice Ludorf said in tribute to his
memory in the Witwatersrand Supreme Court, 'Why a murderer
should have taken for his prey this good man is incomprehensible. He
was always to my mind the epitome of honesty. The work he did
not like was in the criminal court. For all of us the task of punishing
a man: is very difficult. But he seemed to find the task even more
difficult than the others. He would discuss a case with his colleagues
for hours to satisfy himself that the punishment he proposed to
inflict'was just and proper - and not too severe.'
. So has ended a life of service. The late Judge was born in Johannes-
burg in 1906. He received his early education at Jeppe High School,
proceeding, to the University of the Witwatersrand, where he read
for the degrees of B.A., LL.B. In 1927 he was admitted to the Bar.

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