President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Raymond Zondo, who led a four-year judicial inquiry into corruption during former president Jacob Zuma’s rule, as the nation’s chief justice.
Zondo, 61, succeeds Mogoeng Mogoeng, who went on long leave in May before his term expired in October.
“I have every confidence that Justice Zondo will acquit himself with distinction in this position,” Ramaphosa said in a statement emailed by the presidency on Thursday.
The appointment ignores a recommendation by the Judicial Service Commission, whose members include lawyers, judges and representatives of political parties, that he appoint Supreme Court of Appeal President Mandisa Maya, 57, to the position.
Maya, the first woman to be appointed to highest office at the appeal court since its establishment in 1910, has been nominated as deputy chief justice, Ramaphosa said.
Zondo was first appointed as a judge of the Labour Court in 1997 and was judge president of the Labour and Labour Appeals courts between 2000 and 2010, according to the presidency.
He has been a judge of the Constitutional Court since 2012 and was appointed Deputy Chief Justice in 2017.
He holds a BJuris degree from the University of Zululand and obtained his LLB from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He also holds a masters degree in law from the University of South Africa and another with a specialisation in commercial law.
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