Tourism Minister Sisulu Insulted African Judges – Zondo

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Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Wednesday said Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu “has insulted us for doing our jobs”.

He was referring to an article that appeared in online publications Africa News Global and IOL in which Sisulu described African judges in South Africa as “mentally colonised”.

The African National Congress MP also compared African judges to “house negroes” – a pejorative term to compare a contemporary black person to a loyal house slave.


The article has caused a stir on social media.

Zondo said while the Judiciary accepted fair criticism he felt Sisulu had “insulted African judges” without any “facts”.

He said Sisulu made a completely unwarranted attack on the judiciary and has heaped insults on African justices in the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, various divisions of the high court, and all African judges.

The acting chief justice said it was unacceptable for a senior member of both Parliament and the Executive to act the way Sisulu did.

Justice Zondo said Sisulu’s utterances were “probably the worst insult levelled against the judiciary”.

He added: “Some citizens might well say we are not taking our disputes to the courts because she says these black judges are basically puppets of their masters … it is completely unacceptable”.

Justice Zondo, who consulted his colleagues before he went public, said Sisulu had crossed the line and it would be a pity if nothing was done about it.

“We can’t tell the other arms of state Parliament … the executive what to do when one of them does what Ms. Sisulu has done … it is up to them,” said Justice Zondo.

“We will still continue and do our job the way we are required to do it in accordance with our oath of office.”