His mother was an Afrikaner, and his father
was a first-generation Scottish-South African.
Unlike other white families in South Africa at
the time they were comparatively poor. When he
was six his mother put him and his sister into
a children's home.
He went to eight different schools but
ended up at a very good high school. He then went
to study law and Latin at Stellenbosch University.
He won a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford where he
went in 1976 to take a BA in jurisprudence. While
at Oxford he won its highest prize for law, the
Vinerian. He graduated with a first class honours
degree. He then took an LLB at the University
of South Africa, with an award for best law graduate.
He was at the general bar for three years and
then moved to the Human Rights Institute at the
Witwatersrand University Centre for Applied Legal
He did legal work for the ANC and the trade union
COSATU. He defended captured guerrillas.
He founded a gay lawyers group which took over
the law reform trust which was held by the Gay
Association of South Africa (GASA).
He worked with members of GASA, including Kevin
Botha, to lobby for the inclusion of sexual orientation
in the new South African constitution. Cameron
believed that he became infected with HIV in the
1980s but on the advice of colleagues decided
that there was no need to reveal the fact.
1993/4 he was part of the drafting team for the
development of the South African national AIDS
policy. At the end of 1997 he fell ill and started
combination therapy. When he was interviewed for
a seat on the South African Constitutional Court
he decided that he had to make a statement about
his health. In April 1999 he confirmed publicly
that he was living with AIDS.
He became a High Court judge in 1995 aged 42.
On 10th July 2000 he gave the Jonathan Mann memorial
lecture at the 13th. International AIDS conference
which South Africa was hosting in Durban. His
criticism of the way that President Thabo Mbeki
had been handling the HIV/AIDS crisis was reported
on radio and television that day, and in the press
the following day.
Relationships: He divorced his
wife when he realised that he was gay.
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