Zondo chief justice

Photo: Gallo Images

Hlophe, Mkhwebane, or Zondo? Eight nominees for Chief Justice revealed

We’re down to the final eight nominees for South Africa’s next Chief Justice – and a few high-profile names have been thrown into the ring.

Zondo chief justice

Photo: Gallo Images

In a statement released earlier on Monday, Cyril Ramaphosa announced a shortlist of eight nominees who will all be competing to replace Mogoeng Mogoeng as the Chief Justice of South Africa.

Who will replace Mogoeong Mogoeng as Chief Justice?

Mr. Mogoeng’s term is ending within a matter of days, and the deeply religious judge has had something of a rollercoaster ride during his stint in the top job. However, the time has come to pass the reins over to an official replacement – and some names will be more familiar than others.

On the eight-person shortlist, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo is perhaps the most eye-catching candidate. He has presided over the State Capture Inquiry, and famously, duelled with Jacob Zuma at the Commission.

Controversial candidates nominated

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane finds herself in the running, and the head of the Chapter Nine institution has also had her share of ups and downs recently. She has lost several court battles with both Cyril Ramaphosa and Pravin Gordhan over the past few years, and has even faced the threat of impeachment from her current role.

In August, the Judicial Services Commission ruled that John Hlophe must also be subject to impeachment, a move that paves the way for his removal from the bench. The decision upholds a gross misconduct finding against Hlophe earlier this year by a Judicial Conduct Tribunal, and his inclusion on the Chief Justice shortlist has ruffled feathers.

“In response to the call for public participation, the public made 148 submissions which consisted of 25 names. Some of these individuals featured in more than one submission. Of the 25 names, only eight nominations met the criteria as set out in the call by President Cyril Ramaphosa.”

“The Nominations Panel, chaired by Judge Navi Pillay assessed and scrutinised all submissions. The Panel will now consider any objections before submitting a shortlist of three to five names to the President. They required to report to Ramaphosa by Friday 29 October, and its Terms of Reference are also available on the Presidency website.” 

Statement from the President

Hlophe, Mkhwebane, Zondo… and the others – full list of Chief Justice nominees HERE:

The eight names that qualified for nomination as set out in the criteria are, in alphabetical order: 

1. Judge President John Hlophe 
2. Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga 
3. Justice Mandisa Maya 
4. Dr Wallace Amos Mgoqi 
5. Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane 
6. Judge President Dunstan Mlambo 
7. Adv. Alan Nelson, SC 
8. Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo