In a move sure to upset his critics notably the EFF, President Cyril Ramaphosa elevated Raymond Zondo from Deputy Chief Justice to Chief Justice. The Presidency made the announcement late on Thursday afternoon.
Zondo was shortlisted with judges Mbuyiseli Madlanga, Mandisa Maya and Dunston Mlambo. After a contentious round of interviews, the JSC, in an unusual step, recommended Maya for Chief Justice. The JSC was widely criticised, and several commentators pointed out that the president was not constitutionally obliged to follow this recommendation.
Zondo chaired the State Capture Inquiry, which is busy finalising its report. Since early last year, the EFF has believed, like accused former president Jacob Zuma, that Zondo is biased. The party, who has several leaders facing criminal charges made several unsubstantiated attacks on the judiciary of late.
The Presidency’s statement says that, in terms of the Constitution, the Chief Justice is the head of the judiciary and exercises responsibility over the establishment and monitoring of norms and standards for the exercise of the judicial functions of all courts.