ALICE - Respected human rights lawyer Dumisa Ntsebeza has been appointed chancellor at the University of Fort Hare.
The university said Ntsebeza would serve a term of five years in accordance with university statutes.
The university recently acquired the services of professor Sakhela Buhlungu as vice-chancellor and rector.
Ntsebeza takes the reins at the institution after the death of former sports minister Makhenkesi Stofile.
Stofile died in August last year after a short stint in the position replacing late Judge Thembile Skweyiya, who died the previous year.
Ntsebeza was admitted as an attorney in 1984, practising in the Eastern Cape, mainly in the area of human rights.
He represented a number of political prisoners throughout the 1980s and early 1990s.
In 1995 he was appointed as one of the commissioners on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
He is a founder of the South African National Association of Democratic Lawyers and served as its president. He was also president of the Black Lawyers Association.
In 2000, Ntsebeza was called to the Bar in Cape Town, where he took silk in 2005, becoming the first black person to be conferred such status on the Cape Bar.
He has practised in the Johannesburg Bar since 2008.
Ntsebeza has a passion for constitutional and administrative law, labour law, mining law and land law. He is also a member of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), where he has acts as the spokesperson.
He has also sat as a judge in various divisions of the High Court of South Africa and in all the Labour Courts.
Since October 2012 he has represented before the Marikana Commission of Inquiry 36 families of striking miners who were killed by the police in August 2012.