Judge Anton Steenkamp has died of a snake bite while on holiday in Zambia. He was 57. Saslaw via Facebook

South African Labour Court Judge Anton Steenkamp, 57, has died after being bitten by a black mamba – one of the most venomous snakes – while on holiday in Zambia.

“We are devastated. No words. What an incredible man. His wife, Catherine, is still on her own in Zambia. They were touring Africa. We as a family were very, very proud of him,” relative Ruby Steenkamp told News24 site.

South African newspaper columnist Max du Preez paid tribute to Judge Steenkamp, describing him as a “clever, kind, progressive man of great integrity”.

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