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Prof D. Pond

(1895 - 1991)

Prof Daniel Pont was Dekaan van die Transvaal Universiteitskollege (TUK) se Fakulteit Regsgeleerdheid van 1927 tot 1960met die uitsondering van ‘n paar jare, wat hom die eerste voltydse en permanente regsprofessor aan die Universiteit maak. Hy was ook hoof van die Departement Romeins-Hollandse Reg. Pont het sy doktorsgraad in regte in 1921 aan die Universiteit vanUtrecht in Nederland ontvang. In 1923 het hy na Suid-Afrika geëmigreer en as ’n student by die Universiteit van Suid-Afrika (Unisa) ingeskryf, waar hy sy LLB-graad verwerf het. Weens sy belangstelling in die regspraktyk, het hy by ’n prokureursfirma,Van Gorkom en Noonan, aangesluit, waar hy van 1924 tot die einde van 1926 gewerk het. Hier het hy waardevolle ondervinding in die praktiese toepassing van die reg opgedoen. Omdat hy egter as regsgeleerde opgelei is, was dit vanselfsprekend datuniversiteite sy diens as ’n opvoedkundige in die reg sou wou hê, en in 1927 het hy ’n posisie by TUK, wat later die Universiteit van Pretoria geword het, aanvaar. Prof Pont was ’n vurige voorstander van Romeins-Hollandse Reg en in 1937 het hy dieTydskrif vir Hedendaagse Romeins-Hollandse Reg, waarvan hy van 1937 tot 1960 die redakteur was, begin. In ’n huldeblyk oor Prof Pont is die volgende oor sy rol as redakteur geskryf: “... die status wat die tydskrif verwerf het, is in geen geringe matenie te danke aan die leiding en ywer van prof Pont...” Hy was ook vir baie jare die Voorsitter van die Gesamentlike Komitee oor
Professionele Eksamens. Prof Pont het homself regdeur sy loopbaan by UP beywer vir die bevordering van regstudie, en die TUK Regsvereniging is so vroeg as 1927 onder sy leiding gestig. Hy het in 1960 afgetree, maar het voortgegaan om die University College of Fort Hare te help om ’n regsfakulteit te stig. ’n Voormalige student skryf: “Dit was met die eerste kennismaking dat ekdiep beïndruk was met Prof Pont se persoonlikheid. Prof Pont, met sy ouderdom en ervaring, weerspieël deur sy kaalkop, en skerpsinnige wysheid in sy skerp en deurdringende oë, het vir my voorgekom as ’n samestelling van omvattende geleerdheid en’n studie in persoonlike sjarme en hoflikheid.Ek het ook opgemerk dat as die Hooggeregshof van Ongeregtigheidin die Christian Union-saal in sitting was hulle hom altyd aangekla het dat hy te deftig aangetrek was vir ’n ou man – ’n aanklag wat hy ontkenhet. Ooreenkomstig die beginsels van daardie hof het hy verkies om die boete van R2 te betaal wat hy ontvang het.” Prof Pont is in 1973 deur UP vereer toe hy ’n eredoktorsgraad (honoris causa) ontvang het. Pont was die outeur of mede-outeur van meeras 50 artikels wat in wetenskaplike en populêre vaktydskrifte verskyn het.

 
   

Prof Daniel Pont was Dean of the Transvaal University College’s (TUC) Faculty of Law from 1927 to 1960, with the exception ofa few years, making him the first full-time and permanent professor of law at the University. He was also head of the Department of Roman-Dutch Law. Pont was awarded his Doctor of Law degree by the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands in 1921. In1923, he emigrated to South Africa and enrolled as a student with the University of South Africa (Unisa), where he obtained his LLB degree. His interest in legal practice led him to join a firm of attorneys, Van Gorkom and Noonan, where he remained from1924 until the end of 1926. Here he obtained valuable experience as far as the practical application of the law was concerned. However, being a trained jurist, it was only natural that universities would seek his services as a teacher of law, and in 1927he accepted a position at TUC, which later became the University of Pretoria. Prof Pont was a fierce proponent of Roman-Dutch Law and in 1937 founded the Tydskrif vir Hedendaagse Romeins-Hollandse Reg, of which he was the editor from 1937until 1960. In a tribute to Prof Pont, the following is written about his role as editor: “… the status acquired by the magazine is in no mean measure due to the guidance and efforts of Prof Pont…”. He was also, for many years, Chairperson of the JointCommittee for Professional Examinations. Throughout his career at UP, Prof Pont applied himself to the advancement of the study of law and under his guidance, the TUC Law Society was established as early as 1927. Prof Pont retired in 1960, but wenton to assist the University College of Fort Hare to establish a faculty of law. A former student writes: “It was at that first meeting that I was deeply impressed by Prof Pont’s personality. His age and experience, written unmistakably in his bald head, his acutejudiciousness in his shrewd and penetrating eyes, Prof Pont appeared to me to be both a compendium of extensive learning and a study in personal charm and courtesy. I noticed also that when a High Court of Injustice was in session in the Christian UnionHall, they had him charged with always being too smartly dressed for an old man of his age, a charge which he denied though. In accordance with the tenets of that court, he preferred to pay the fine of R2 imposed on him.” Prof Pont was honored by UP in1973 when he received an honorary doctorate (honoris causa). Prof Pont was the author or co-author of more than 50 articles that appeared in scientific and popular journals.