Prof Carl Mischke was appointed as a Professor of Law at the University of Johannesburg on 1 January 2013. The University was shocked to hear of his murder, particularly as it appears that he may have been the victim of a hate crime. The University is deeply saddened by the passing of Prof Mischke and wishes to express condolences to his family, friends, colleagues and students.
Prof Mischke completed his doctoral thesis at the University of South Africa under the joint supervision of Prof PAK le Roux (then of Unisa) and Prof Derek van der Merwe, at present a DVC at the University of Johannesburg. He left Unisa after eight years of service in 1998 as a senior lecturer. However, he never abandoned the academic enterprise. He continued to lecture in postgraduate and non-subsidised programmes, which included lecturing in the LLM in Labour Law and Postgraduate Diploma in Labour Law offered by our Faculty of Law.
After leaving Unisa, he was employed as a labour consultant and he had been self-employed since 2003. He was also a part-time senior commissioner at the CCMA. He was a prolific writer who has contributed over 40 articles to Contemporary Labour Law since 2007 and chapters to six books which include some of the standard text books in South African Labour Law.
Prof Nicola Smit, whom Prof Mischke replaced at UJ when she took up the position as Dean of the Faculty of Law at NWU, wrote as follows in respect of him in her referee’s report:
“Dr Mischke’s subject knowledge is impressive. I hold this opinion not only from our discussions but also having regard to his writings. He has the benefit of considering labour law issues from the personal perspective of having been an academic at a higher education institution, practising attorney with one of the most well-known labour law firms (Haysom, Chealde and Thompson), and is an accredited arbitrator performing dispute resolution for different institutions (including the CCMA and Tokiso).
“He is certainly one of the most up-to-date researchers in our field as he published daily and weekly updates on the IR Network (whose customers are mostly non-lawyers but managers who have to implement the law every day), as well as articles in the Contemporary Labour Law journal which is mostly utilized by attorneys and academics. He was writing an electronic product (Labour Law Guidance) for LexisNexis which is modeled on similar products abroad. He is co-author of the book Essential Labour Law, which has been the prescribed labour law text book at UNISA and other universities for many years. During his time at UNISA he also published in accredited academic journals.
“I have read some of Dr Mischke’s arbitration awards, which cover complex issues of labour law and evidentiary and procedural issues. In this regard, reference could perhaps be made to the recent award affecting a large group of employees in LEWUSA / Dunlop Belting Products  4 BALR 376 (CCMA).”
Although he was employed for only a short while by the University of Johannesburg, he already had made important contributions to the Faculty of Law. He taught the Master’s students in labour law who reported that they found him to be a dynamic lecturer. The third last entry on his personal blog was before his lecture to them on Thursday evening, in which he wrote how he was looking forward to the class and how “awesome” he found his students.