Chief Justice Raymond Zondoi

A photo of Raymond Zondo while chairing the State Capture Inquiry
Photo: Gallo Images

Zondo calls Ramaphosa ‘bold’ for appointing him Chief Justice

The country’s new Chief Justice has had his say in his top job. He’s also spoken frankly about the president’s decision to appoint him.

Chief Justice Raymond Zondoi

A photo of Raymond Zondo while chairing the State Capture Inquiry
Photo: Gallo Images

From the 1st of April, Raymond Zondo is officially the new Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court. While he has been acting in the position for several months now, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to pick Zondo was certainly a bold one. And even Zondo has now admitted that himself.

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo ready to get to work

Speaking for the first time since his appointment was announced, Zondo told News24 that he is ready to work with everyone to deliver justice equally. He also again stressed that he feared his work leading the State Capture Inquiry could rule him out of the job. However, Zondo feels that the president took a “bold” decision to apoint him despite some vocal opposition.

“It certainly occurred to me from time to time that my role in the commission could be a factor, that I could end up not getting the job because there are so many people who might have influence, who are unhappy about some of the decisions I’ve made in the commission. But I was always very clear in my own mind that I will do what is right, if it costs me anything, then so be it. I will just do what I’m expected to do.”

Raymond Zondo told News24

So why was it such a bold move by Ramaphosa?

The Judicial Service Commission, the panel that interviews judicial candidates and recommends them to the President, recommended Supreme Court of Appeal President Mandisa Maya for the job. Maya and Zondo were two of the four final shortlisted candidates that went through JSC interviews.

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However, as per the constitution, it is still completely up to the president to pick who he wants to appoint.

While the EFF are furious over Zondo’s appointment, the majority of political parties and advocacy groups have welcomed Ramaphosa’s decision. This includes the JSC itself.

In his statement announcing he had chosen Zondo, Ramaphosa also revealed that he intends to nominate Maya to serve as the Deputy Chief Justice. That position will become vacant as it was previously held by Zondo.

Looking forward to working with Maya

“I thought that the president, he must really have been bold, because I think that there would be some people who really would not have wanted me to be appointed and who might have some influence.”

Zondo told News24

While Maya is yet to confirm whether she will accept being nominated for the position of Deputy Chief Justice, Zondo says he is looking forward to working with her.

Zondo will have a busy few weeks ahead of him though, he is still working day and night with the State Capture Inquiry team to complete his final report.