Justice Bess Nkabinde-Mmono

Date of Birth

1 January 1959


BProc (1983) (University of Zululand), LLB (1986) (University of the Northwest), Diploma in Industrial Relations cum laude (Damelin)

History at the Court:

Appointed: January 2006

Retired: 7 December 2017

Brief biography

After graduating from the University of Zululand, Justice Nkabinde-Mmono (“Justice Nkabinde“) acted as a state law advisor in Bophuthatswana until 1988, after which she completed her pupillage at the Johannesburg Bar and was admitted as an advocate.

From 1990 until 1999 Justice Nkabinde was a member of the North West Bar Association specialising in civil, commercial, matrimonial and criminal matters.  During this time she participated in numerous other initiatives including a judicial training programme in Canada in 1993 and the Mpshe Commission of Inquiry into the Mutiny of Warders at Mogwase Prison.

In 1999 Justice Nkabinde was appointed to the bench of the Bophuthatswana Provincial Division, first in an acting capacity and, thereafter, as a judge.  In 2000, and again in 2003, she served a term as an acting judge of the Labour Court in Johannesburg.

Also in 2002 she facilitated a discussion on “The rights of minorities within the context of access to justice” at the First South Asian Regional Judicial Colloquium on Access to Justice (held in New-Delhi) which was convened by the Chief Justice of India, BN Kirpal, and facilitated by Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights (Interights) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

In 2003 Justice Nkabinde was appointed to serve on the Special Tribunal on Civil Matters Likely to Emanate from Investigations by the Special Investigative Units.

In 2004 and 2005 she took up the role of acting judge at the Labour Appeal Court, and from June until November in 2005 she served as an acting judge at the Supreme Court of Appeal.

She is a member of the Black Lawyers Association and the International Association of Women Judges: SA Chapter, as well as a member of the Sub-Committee on Racism and Sexism within the Judiciary established by the Judicial Service Commission.

Justice Nkabinde acted as Deputy Chief Justice between May 2016 and June 2017, and acted as Chief Justice in November 2016.

Selection of Judgments written