Jules Browde. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
Jules Browde. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

ADVOCATE Jules Browde‚ an eminent member of the Johannesburg Bar and a long-serving human rights activist and Jewish communal leader‚ died on Tuesday.

He was 98 years old.

In the course of a career stretching over more than half a century‚ Browde acted for Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo‚ as well as other as number of other anti-apartheid activists‚ and was a founder member of Lawyers for Human Rights.

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies said in a statement his Jewish communal involvement included serving for 25 years as national president of the Habonim youth movement.

Jules Browde was born in Johannesburg in 1919. After obtaining a BA from Wits University‚ he enlisted in the Union Defence Force in the early months of World War II. After the war‚ he continued his studies at Wits‚ where he first met Mandela‚ a fellow law student.

"The two men established a warm and enduring friendship‚ one interrupted by Mandela’s 27 years of imprisonment but renewed shortly after his release."

In 1996‚ Mandela’s appointed Browde to investigate irregularities in the appointment of certain public servants’ posts during the transition to democracy period.

In 1969‚ Browde was appointed as a Senior Counsel. He went on to serve as an acting judge in SA‚ as well as a judge on the Appeal Courts of Swaziland and Lesotho. In July 2008‚ he received the Sydney and Felicia Kentridge Award for Service to Law in Southern Africa. Both he and his wife received the Helen Suzman Lifetime Achievement Award by the SA Jewish Report in 2011.

Browde was married for over 60 years to Professor Selma Browde‚ who has also achieved considerable eminence‚ in her profession as a senior radiation oncologist at the University of the Witwatersrand and Johannesburg group of hospitals.

TMG Digital