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Cyril Ramaphosa appoints Zondo as Chief Justice

Cyril Ramaphosa appoints Zondo as Chief Justice…  In a move sure to upset his critics – notably the EFF – President Cyril Ramaphosa elevated Raymond Zondo from Deputy Chief Justice to Chief Justice.

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Cyril Ramaphosa appoints Zondo as Chief Justice

 

The Presidency made the announcement late on Thursday afternoon.

“President Cyril Ramaphosa has, in accordance with Section 174(3) of the Constitution, decided to appoint Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo as the next Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa with effect from 1 April 2022,” reads the statement.

“The president’s decision follows consultation with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and leaders of parties in the National Assembly on the four nominees for appointment as Chief Justice.”

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Zondo was shortlisted with judges Mbuyiseli Madlanga, Mandisa Maya and Dunston Mlambo.

After a contentious round of interviews, the JSC, in an unusual step, recommended Maya for Chief Justice.

The JSC was widely criticised, and several commentators pointed out that the president was not constitutionally obliged to follow this recommendation.

Zondo chaired the State Capture Inquiry, which is busy finalising its report.

The first three parts of the report have already been published.

His interview at the JSC was one of the flashpoints, as it descended into a screaming match between the usually reserved Justice Minister Ronald Lamola and EFF leader Julius Malema.

Since early last year, the EFF has believed, like accused former president Jacob Zuma, that Zondo is biased.

The party – who has several leaders facing criminal charges – made several unsubstantiated attacks on the judiciary of late.

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The Presidency’s statement says that, in terms of the Constitution, the Chief Justice is “the head of the judiciary and exercises responsibility over the establishment and monitoring of norms and standards for the exercise of the judicial functions of all courts”.

In a move sure to upset his critics – notably the EFF – President Cyril Ramaphosa elevated Raymond Zondo from Deputy Chief Justice to Chief Justice.

The Presidency made the announcement late on Thursday afternoon.

 

President Cyril Ramaphosa has, in accordance with Section 174(3) of the Constitution, decided to appoint Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo as the next Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa with effect from 1 April 2022,” reads the statement.
“The president’s decision follows consultation with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and leaders of parties in the National Assembly on the four nominees for appointment as Chief Justice.”

 

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Zondo was shortlisted with judges Mbuyiseli Madlanga, Mandisa Maya and Dunston Mlambo.

After a contentious round of interviews, the JSC, in an unusual step, recommended Maya for Chief Justice.

The JSC was widely criticised, and several commentators pointed out that the president was not constitutionally obliged to follow this recommendation.

Zondo chaired the State Capture Inquiry, which is busy finalising its report.

The first three parts of the report have already been published.

His interview at the JSC was one of the flashpoints, as it descended into a screaming match between the usually reserved Justice Minister Ronald Lamola and EFF leader Julius Malema.

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Since early last year, the EFF has believed, like accused former president Jacob Zuma, that Zondo is biased.

The party – who has several leaders facing criminal charges – made several unsubstantiated attacks on the judiciary of late.

The Presidency’s statement says that, in terms of the Constitution, the Chief Justice is “the head of the judiciary and exercises responsibility over the establishment and monitoring of norms and standards for the exercise of the judicial functions of all courts”.

“With Justice Zondo assuming the position of Chief Justice, the position of Deputy Chief Justice will become vacant. President Ramaphosa has accordingly indicated his intention, once the new Chief Justice assumes office, to nominate Justice Mandisa Maya for the position of Deputy Chief Justice. This nomination will be subject to the process outlined in Section 174(3) of the Constitution.”

Ramaphosa thanked each of the nominees for making themselves available for the position of the head of the judiciary.

He also thanked the JSC, the leaders of political parties, the members of the nomination panel, and the many South Africans who submitted nominations.

“The inclusive process of selecting the next Chief Justice demonstrated not only the value that South Africans place on the judiciary, but also the depth of experience and capability within the senior ranks of the judiciary,” Ramaphosa said.

“The position of Chief Justice carries a great responsibility in our democracy. As the head of the judiciary, the Chief Justice is a guardian of our Constitution and the laws adopted by the freely elected representatives of the people. The Chief Justice stands as the champion of the rights of all South Africans and bears responsibility for ensuring equal access to justice. I have every confidence that Justice Zondo will acquit himself with distinction in this position.”

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Zondo was first appointed as a judge of the Labour Court in 1997 and was Judge President of the Labour and Labour Appeals courts between 2000 and 2010.

He has been a judge of the Constitutional Court since 2012 and was appointed as Deputy Chief Justice in 2017.

He holds a BJuris degree from the University of Zululand and obtained his LLB from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

He also holds an LLM (cum laude) from the University of South Africa and another with a specialisation in commercial law.

 

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