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Judge Kuper, So African Jewish Leader, Dies from Assassin’s Bullet

Judge Simon Kuper, Jewish leader and member of the South African Supreme Court, died last night from bullet wounds he suffered in an attack on March 8 by an unknown assailant who fired the shot from the darkness outside as the judge was sitting in the lounge of his suburban home.

No trace of the killer or clues to his motive have been found. Gen. Van den Bergh, chief of the Criminal Investigations Department, issued a statement today declaring that everything was being done to trace the murderer. Judge Kuper was shot in the head and had been struggling for life since the evening of the assassination attempt when he was rushed to a hospital and had undergone an emergency operation.

The passing of the 57-year-old Jewish leader brought a message of condolence from Justice Minister B.J. Vorster on behalf of the South African Government, expressing sympathy on the “tragic death of a conscientious and devoted judge, husband and father. The dastardly attack on his life came as a shock and the death comes as a greater shock because it was hoped he would recover.”

Dr. Teddy Schneider, chairman of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, said that “the whole community is distressed to hear of the death of Judge Kuper who was loved by all and whose passing will be mourned by everyone.” A meeting of the judges of Transvaal memorialized the slain leader today.

Judge Kuper was the son of Johannesburg Jewish pioneers, a past chairman of the Jewish Board of Deputies and of the Zionist Federation. He was appointed to the South African Supreme Court in 1955. He had also been president of the United Hebrew Congregation, and an honorary vice-president of the Israel United Appeal and the South African Jewish Appeal.

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