Just in: Justice Raymond Zondo named new Chief Justice
Zondo beat the JSC's recommended candidate, SCA president, Judge Mandisa Maya, for the post. She has been nominated for Deputy Chief Justice.
Raymond Zondo on day 4 of the JSC chief justice interviews. Picture: Gallo Images/Daily Maverick/Felix Dlangamandla
President Cyril Ramphosa has appointed Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo as the next Chief Justice of South Africa with effect from 1 April 2022.
“The Chief Justice stands as the champion of the rights of all South Africans and bears responsibility for ensuring equal access to justice,” said the Presidency in a tweet.
“I have every confidence that Justice Zondo will acquit himself with distinction in this position.”
The President’s decision follows consultation with the Judicial Service Commission and leaders of parties in the National Assembly on four nominees for appointment as Chief Justice.
Justice 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.
Zondo beat the JSC’s recommended candidate, SCA president, Judge Mandisa Maya, for the post.
Judge Maya was among four senior judges shortlisted by President Cyril Ramaphosa for the top judicial post.
“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,” said the Presidency.
Maya has been described as a trailblazer in the judiciary due to her impressive track record.
The 58-year-old is regarded as “a woman of firsts” because she was one of the first women judges on the Eastern Cape High Court, the first black woman to be appointed to the SCA, the first woman deputy president of the court, and later, the first woman president of the SCA.
Maya has also received three honorary doctorates and was recently appointed as the Chancellor of the University of Mpumalanga.