Openly Gay HIV-Positive Judge Named to South Africa’s Highest Court

Edwin Cameron, who Nelson Mandela has called “one of South Africa’s new heroes” because of his advocacy on behalf og HIV-positive people has been named to the Constitutional Court, South Africa’s highest.

Cameron was the first judge in South Africa to disclose his HIV status and was questioned by the board reviewing his appointment about his activist past over concerns it could effect his impartiality. Ultimately, the board recommended him unanimously.

The Johannesburg Times reports:

“Outspoken Supreme Court of Appeal judge Justice Edwin Cameron is “overjoyed” about his appointment to the country’s top court.

On Friday, Judge Cameron, 55, said he was “humbled” that President Kgalema Motlanthe had chosen him to take over from Constitutional Court Justice Tholakele Madala, who retired at the end of 2008.

“I’m overjoyed at the opportunity to serve in that court because the constitution is the bedrock of our democracy and that court is the guardian of the constitution, so it’s a very humbling opportunity and a very exciting one,” he said.

Motlanthe announced the appointment on Wednesday, a day before Judge Cameron officially took up the position as one of the court’s 11 judges.”