Monday, October 13, 2008

Ex-Industrial Court judge Cockar dies

By SAM KIPLAGAT

Long-serving Industrial Court judge Saeed R. Cockar has died aged 81.

Mr Justice Cockar, who died last Saturday, solely served at the Industrial Court for close to three decades, earning the title “workers saviour”.

His competence was recognised nationally not only in the field of law, but also in sports. In his early years, he represented Kenya in international hockey matches.

Won medal

He won a silver medal in the 1965 All Africa Games. Another medallist in the team then was athlete Kipchoge Keino.

Mr Justice Cockar was also an accomplished cricketer and tennis player. The judge is a third generation Kenyan of Indian extraction.

The Cockars came to Kenya at the beginning of the 20th century. Mr Abdul Wahid, his grandfather, was a guard with Uganda Railways. He later quit and became one of the wealthiest people in the country at the time.

He died in 1939 and Saeed’s father took over the business and became a distinguished member of Nairobi City Council and the Legislative Assembly.

Mr Justice Cockar studied law in Britain after which he joined Lincoln’s Inn as a barrister. He returned to Kenya and started a law practice.

He served as an advocate of the High Court for 17 years, teaming up with his brother, former Chief Justice Abdul Majid Cockar, at Cockar and Cockar firm.

He represented freedom fighters, among them Waruhiu Itote, better known as General China.

The judge is survived by a widow and four children.

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