Zondo, Hlophe, Mkhwebane Vying For Chief Justice

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane and Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe are among the eight nominees named on Monday to replace the retiring Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

The others nominees for chief justice are; Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga, Justice Mandisa Maya, Dr. Wallace Amos Mgoqi, Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo and Advocate Alan Nelson, SC.

Zondo is the acting chief justice.

All eight were nominated through an open public process.

“President Cyril Ramaphosa wishes to thank members of the public for responding to his invitation to participate in the process of nominating the next Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa,” said the Presidency in a statement announcing the nominees.

The nomination process began last month when Ramaphosa called on South Africans to nominate suitably qualified candidates for this critical position as Head of the Judiciary of South Africa. 

This invitation was intended to promote transparency and enable public participation.

The submission process closed at midnight on 1 October 2021.

“In response to the call for public participation, the public made 148 submissions which consisted of 25 names,” said the Presidency.

“Some of these individuals featured in more than one submission. 

“Of the 25 names, only 8 nominations met the criteria as set out in the call by the President.”

The criteria referred to stipulated that to qualify one needed a nomination letter, including the contact details of the nominator;

the nominee’s acceptance of the nomination and their contact details.

Letters of support for the nomination, including contact details of persons or entities that support the nomination were also requested.

At least one letter of support from a professional body of legal practitioners, non-governmental organisation working in

the field of human rights, or other legal field; and any additional documentation that the person nominating the candidate for chief justice deems relevant.

The nominations panel which is chaired by Judge Navanethem “Navi” Pillay assessed and scrutinised all submissions.

The panel will consider objections before submitting a shortlist of three to five names to the president. 

The panel is required to report to the president by Friday, 29 October 2021 and its terms of reference are also available on the Presidency website.