Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
FORMER Supreme Court Judge, Justice Wilson Sandura, has died. He was 74. The distinguished jurist, died at a private hospital in Harare yesterday from injuries sustained in a car accident that occurred on February 28 this year in Madziva.
Since then, the esteemed judge had been in and out of hospital.
Mourners are gathered at House Number 5 Glen Carron Avenue in Highlands.
He is survived by his widow Caroline, three children and three grandchildren.
Mrs Sandura confirmed the death of her husband.
“I can confirm that Justice Sandura has passed on. The death was due to injuries he sustained when he was involved in a car accident near his rural homestead in Madziva on February 28.
“On that day, he was rushed to Mt Darwin Hospital before being referred to Shashe Hospital in Bindura. On that same day, he was transferred to the Avenues Clinic where he was admitted until his death today,” said Mrs Sandura.
“We all thought he was improving, but we were surprised to hear of his collapse around 12:30pm. The doctors tried their best, but he finally passed away.”
Justice Sandura, who served as a judge for nearly 30 years, retired from the bench on July 29, 2011 at the age of 70.
He would be remembered as a forthright and fearless judge, who served his country with a constant mind both in good and turbulent times.
The top judge had served on the Supreme Court since 1998.
He was a High Court judge between 1983 and 1997 and was Judge President from 1984.
In 1989 Justice Sandura became a household name in Zimbabwe after presiding over the Sandura commission
that probed the abuse of office by government officials in acquiring motor vehicles through Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries at concessionary rates before selling them at a premium price for profit.
The high profile case became known as the Willowgate scandal, and it claimed the scalps of several ministers.
For more than seven weeks, the Sandura commission called 72 witnesses, including six Cabinet ministers, two deputy ministers, three members of Parliament, two senior army officers and 40 directors and managers of private companies.
During the hearings some Cabinet ministers threatened commissioners, but Justice Sandura stood his ground and threatened two of them with arrest.