Judge Ronald Jonathan Wilshire (Jos) Jones was born in Pretoria but has been closely associated with the Eastern Cape, Grahamstown and Rhodes University for a great deal of his life.
He initially attended Grey Primary School in Port Elizabeth and matriculated from St Aidan's College, Grahamstown in 1957. His relationship with Rhodes University then began, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1961 and a Bachelor of Laws (cum laude) in 1963.
He started his career as an advocate at the Grahamstown Bar in 1964. In 1984 he “took silk” and in 1986 was elevated to the bench of the Eastern Cape Division of the Supreme Court (now High Court). He served on the High Court bench from 1986 until his retirement in 2010, playing an increasingly influential role as a judge in the Eastern Cape over the years and particularly since the advent of democracy.
In the words of Judge Clive Plasket (Judge of the High Court) “Jos administered justice with distinction in the Eastern Cape Division of the High Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal. I was privileged to be a colleague of his…. He played a huge role as a mentor to us, teaching us by way of example the best practice of being a judge…”
Parallel to his judicial role Jos has made an incredible contribution to the University. He served as Chair of Council and a member of Rhodes Board of Governors from 1994 to 2014. His tenure as Chair of Council started at a very turbulent time. He presided over meetings the way he did in court – with courtesy, patience, wisdom and common sense. Outgoing Vice-Chancellor, Dr Saleem Badat stated that it had been a pleasure working with him, and that it had been a fantastic eight years of serving with him.
His dedication to Rhodes and his distinguished career in the South African legal system makes him an ideal recipient of the Distinguished Old Rhodian Award.
Old Rhodian Award
30 August 2014