Last week, he promoted deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo to chief justice after mulling over the decision for several weeks. Ramaphosa becomes the first president not to appoint a candidate recommended by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), after inviting public participation in the process.
The president of the Supreme Court of Appeal, Mandisa Maya, had vocal support from Ramaphosa’s detractors at the JSC, one of whom was Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters party. They wanted to block Zondo’s promotion by pushing for Maya to become South Africa’s first female chief justice – a position that also had some public appeal.
Zondo is particularly susceptible to attack as he presided over the state capture inquiry, which implicated a number of high-ranking ANC leaders in large-scale corruption. He also has only two years until retirement. However, through his
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