Busisiwe Mkhwebane OUTA

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Photo: Twitter/@Gentlements

Busisiwe Mkhwebane, John Hlophe nominated for Chief Justice

Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane and Judge President John Hlophe are considered controversial candidates

Busisiwe Mkhwebane OUTA

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Photo: Twitter/@Gentlements

Despite their pending impeachments, Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane and Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe have been nominated for the most senior role in the country’s judiciary, Chief Justice.

Current Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng is set to retire on 11 October 2021.

Other nominations for Chief Justice

South Africans had until 1 October to submit their nominations for the post, after President Cyril Ramaphosa made a call for members of the public to make suggestions for their choice. Apart from John Hlophe and Busisiwe Mkhwebane, here are others who have been shortlisted.

  • Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo,
  • Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) President Mandisa Maya
  • Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo
  • Constitutional Court Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga

Both Mkhwebane and Hlophe are considered rather controversial picks for the top job – they both face impeachment.

In August, the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) ruled that Hlophe must face impeachment, a move which paves the way for his removal from the bench. The decision upholds a gross misconduct finding against Hlophe earlier this year by the Judicial Conduct Tribunal in relation to a complaint laid by Constitutional Court justices.

Justices Bess Nkabinde and Chris Jafta, had accused Hlophe of trying to persuade them into ruling in favour of former president Jacob Zuma in 2008. This was in relation to Zuma’s arms deal case with French weapons manufacturer Thales, which is still before the courts.

On Mkhwebane, The DA in parliament submitted the motion to institute removal proceedings against her back in February 2020, citing a number of scathing court judgements against her, particularly relating to some of her investigations including the Estina Dairy probe. Then Parliamentary speaker Thandi Modise gave the bid a nod