President Jacob Zuma has nominated South African Judge Raymond Zondo for the post of deputy chief justice, his office announced.
Zondo who is currently serving the country on the Constitutional Court of South Africa, was nominated by Zuma to fill the vacancy left when former deputy Dikgang Moseneke retired in May 2016.
Before his service on the constitutional court in 2012, Raymond Zondo was the Judge President of the Labour Appeal Court. His appointment to serve in the concourt was largely queried by a number of South Africans who queried the fact that it was Zuma who nominated him.
University of the Witwatersrand professor of law Cathi Albertyn at that time, told the Mail & Guardian her concern was with “process and diversity”, not Zondo’s appointment, a judge whose capability she does not question.
“The process became very problematic when it became ‘known’ that Raymond Zondo was President Jacob Zuma’s choice at a very early stage,
“I do not know how or why this happened, but it made potential candidates reluctant to put their hats in the ring and was one of the reasons why this process took so long,” said Albertyn who believed that it is a “great pity” that the president did not exercise his choice in favour of diversity even as the concourt at that time, had only two female judges out of the 11.
A number of well-known South African legal practitioners believes Zondo to be a traditional old-school lawyer and too conservative in his attitude to the Constitution and the law.
His qualifications included a BJuris (University of Zululand); an LLB (Natal); an LLM cum laude from the University of South Africa with a specialization in commercial law, and he was at the time about to be conferred a specialization in patent law.
Zondo’s nomination for the post of deputy chief justice was conveyed in writing to the leaders of political parties in the National Assembly, and also after consultation with Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.
”President Zuma has also consulted Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng as the Chairperson of the Judicial Service Commission,” his office said.