|Deon van Zyl, Honorary President of the Classical Association of South Africa|
| Deon Van Zyl received a LLB degree in 1966 and a MA in Latin in 1968 at the University of Pretoria. He has four doctorates: a Dr Jur (Leyden 1970); PhD and LLD (Cape Town 1983 and 1988 respectively); and a D Litt in Latin (Orange Free State 1989). From September 1968 to September 1969 he studied at the Universities of Paris and Hamburg.
He was professor in and head of the Department of Roman Law and Legal History at the University of the Orange Free State (1971 to 1973), and part-time head of the Department of Roman Law and Legal History at the University of Pretoria from 1974 to 1979. At present he is an honorary professor of law at the North West University; an extraordinary professor of law at the University of the Free State and a visiting professor at the University of Edinburgh.
He practised as an advocate at the Free State Bar during 1973 and from 1974 to 1984 at the Pretoria Bar. In 1983 he became Senior Counsel and from 1985 to 1993 he was a Judge of the Transvaal Provincial Division of the High Court of South Africa. Since 1994 he has been a Judge of the Cape Provincial Division of the High Court.
On an international level he is President for Africa of the World Jurist Association (Washington DC); an Associate Member of the International Academy of Comparative Law (Paris), the Society of Legal Scholars (London), and the Stair Society (Edinburgh). He is also a networker and "smart partner" of the Commonwealth Partnership for Technology Management (London), which holds regular conferences in Africa and Malaysia.
He is an enthusiastic supporter of sport, particularly athletics. He was the last President of the South African Amateur Athletics Union (1991-1992) and the first President of Athletics South Africa (1992-1993). In February 1999 he was appointed a member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Lausanne) and served on its ad hoc arbitration panels doing duty at the Commonwealth Games (Manchester 2003) and the Olympic Games (Athens 2004).
He is the author of nine books, including textbooks on Roman law, legal history and comparative law, and of some 100 contributions to legal and other journals. Most recently he has co-edited, with Justice Bola Ajibola of Nigeria, a book on The Judiciary in Africa (Juta 1998). More than 120 of his judgments have been reported in South African law reports. He has been a member of the Rotary Club of Gordon's Bay since its inception in July 1998 and was President of the Club in 2000-2001. He was recently awarded the Rotary International "Four Avenues of Service Citation for Individual Rotarians" and the Paul Harris Award for services rendered. He is actively involved in a number of community projects, including education, drug and alcohol action and AIDS awareness.
He has delivered a large number of papers on law and related matters at conferences throughout the world. In 1992 the Laureatus Award of the University of Pretoria Alumni Society was conferred on him.
His interest in the classics and legal history has given rise to his recent election as Honorary President of the Classical Association of South Africa.