Following the retirement of Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke on Friday, President Zuma has appointed Justice Bess Nkabinde as acting deputy chief justice.
Nkabinde’s appointment was publicized by the presidency on Monday via a statement which reads in part; “The president wishes acting Deputy Chief Justice Nkabinde all the best in this new role.”
With this appointment, the new deputy chief judge would act in the position until it gets filled.
Justice Bess Nkabinde’s Appointment Welcomed
Nkabinde’s appointment has however been welcomed by political parties in the country. ANC’s Khusela Sangoni opined that Nkabinde has extensive experience right from the time she was in Bophutatswana.
“But for us the greatest accolade, we would say is that she has risen through the ranks in a profession that has generally not been kind to women jurists.
We have full confidence in her abilities and are confident – she will be an inspiration to young and not so young,” Sangoni remarked.
Speaking also, the Democratic Alliance’s shadow minister of Justice, Glynis Breytenbach, expressed the party’s support for the new official and also welcomed her appointment.
“We warmly congratulate Justice Nkabinde. It’s a great opportunity for her. She has proven herself in the past to be acting without fear, favour or prejudice.
She has experience on the Constitutional Court bench and we wish her very well for the future,’ Breytenbach opined.
Prior to her appointment, precisely in 2008, Nkabinde and fellow Justice Chris Jafta alleged that Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe tried to influence their ruling in a corruption case involving Zuma and French arms company Thint in the multi-billion rand arms deal.
Importantly, Dikgang Moseneke- Nkabinde’s predecessor, stepped down from the bench on May, 20, after joining the Constitutional Court since 2002.
The Constitutional Court held a special ceremonial session to mark his retirement, an occasion that pulled legal luminaries like Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court‚ judges as well as representatives of the executive and parliament.