Retired Judge Hilary Squires will be laid to rest on Wednesday in Durban. He died of heart failure at his home last week.
Judge Squires rose to prominence for his ruling in former President Jacob Zuma’s financial advisor Schabir Shaik’s fraud and corruption trial in 2005. He sentenced Shaik to two terms of 15 years in prison for corruption and an additional three years for fraud at the Durban High Court in 2005. The sentences were to run concurrently.
Former NPA Spokesperson, Makhosini Mgitywa, says that he does not think Judge Squires was ever questioned about his integrity as a judge.
“That is a court case that catapulted him to prominence. I don’t think at any point he was ever questioned to his integrity as a judge. I think with this particular matter of Schabir Shaik, the judge was very thorough in the judgment. It’s quite sad that he has passed on and condolences to his family and loved ones and may his soul rest in peace.”
Judge Squires was born in 1933 in South Africa and completed his law degree at the University of Cape Town. He practiced as an attorney in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.
In 1971 he was appointed by Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith as Justice Minister. Later he became minister of both Defence and Operations.
In 1988 he returned to South Africa and was appointed to the bench. Justice Squires was the first judge in the country to acquit a suspect on temporary insanity. He also presided over the 1995 Shobashobane trial where 18 ANC supporters were massacred at dawn on Christmas Day.
Family Spokesperson, Ian Cox, says that although Squires was respected as a judge, he never wanted to talk about work and when he was at home, he was a family man.
Judge Squires’ wife, Coralie, died about a year ago. He leaves behind two children and four grandchildren.
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