Tragedy!Labour Judge dies after poisonous black mamba bites him while on holiday

Related imageSocial media is awash with,  messages of condolence after a Cape Town Labour Court judge died after he was bitten by a black mamba while on holiday in Zambia.

His close friends have described him as a man of integrity, one who was kind and generous to people he came across.

Judge Anton Steenkamp, 57, was doing what he loved, touring Africa with his wife, Catherine, when he was bitten by a black mamba on Monday, the family said.

Steenkamp’s friend, well-known journalist and author, Anneliese Burgess said she was “bewildered” by the news of his death.Image result for Anton Steenkamp,

“We are absolutely devastated. None of us can begin to comprehend what has happened. He was such a brilliant man, and such a mensch,” Burgess said.

Burgess recalled that the last time she saw Steenkamp was at her book launch in Cape Town in 2018. She was “so touched” that he had made an effort to be at the launch.

“‘Stenie’ as he was known to all of us old Stellenbosch lefties was simply one of the best people I knew, and I am completely devastated at the news of his passing,” she said.Image result for black mamba

Black mambas are fast, nervous, lethally venomous, and when threatened, highly aggressive. They have been blamed for numerous human deaths.

The black mamba has quite a reputation. It is one of the world’s deadliest snakes. It is the fastest land snake in the world, and “the longest species of venomous snake in Africa and the second longest in the world.Image result for black mamba

The black mamba’s reputation is not undeserved. “Black mambas are extremely toxic and very fast snakes,” Viernum said. They are highly aggressive when threatened, “known to strike repeatedly and [to] inject a large volume of venom with each strike.” Image result for black mamba gifTheir venom is potentially lethal, and though antivenin exists, it is not widely available in the black mamba’s native habitat of southern and eastern Africa. For this reason, they are considered a top killer in a land where nearly 20,000 people die from snake bites every year, according to PBS’s Nature.

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