The tributes have been pouring in for Judge Anton Steenkamp on Tuesday after it was confirmed he had passed away while travelling in Zambia. The magistrate succumbed to a snakebite from the venomous Black Mamba. He was rushed to hospital but nothing could be done to save his life.
Who is Anton Steenkamp?
Steenkamp made his name as a Labour Law Court specialist. From an early age, he showed great promise and potential. He still remains as one the youngest ever South Africans to be made a judge. Steenkamp’s talents were highly appreciated by veteran journalist Max du Preez, who hailed “his very special friend” for his warm personality.
“I mourn the death of a very special friend, Anton Steenkamp. After his LLB he came to work for Vrye Weekblad because of his commitment to justice and democracy. He went on to become one of SA’s youngest judges. Clever, kind, progressive man of great integrity.”
Max du Preez
What happened during their Zambia visit?
Details of the incident have been concealed for the time being. The death of Anton Steenkamp has rocked both media and political personnel, too. The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) were also compelled to share their grievances, releasing a statement earlier on Tuesday:
“Minister Lindiwe Sisulu sends her condolences to the family and friends of Judge Anton Steenkamp after an unfortunate encounter with a black mamba. We have requested that the South African High Commission in Zambia provide all the necessary support to the Steenkamp family that is already in Zambia to prepare for the repatriation of his remains.”
How deadly is the Black Mamba?
According to National Geographic, the Black Mamba is one of the deadliest and longest snakes in the world. They are native to East Africa and contain the most poisonous venom known to man. The fatality rate from an untreated bite is 100%, and unless you’re given the antivenom within 20 minutes, death is all but a certainty.