Chief Justice Candidates Named By Ramaphosa

In an effort to promote transparency and give the public an opportunity to participate on selecting the new Chief Justice, President Cyril Ramaphosa invited the public to get involved and nominate a suitable qualified candidate for the Head of Judiciary in South Africa, a process which started on 16 September 2021. 

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The public had responded to the call for public participation where 148 submissions were made containing 25 names.

Some of these individuals featured in more than one submission, and only 8 nominations met the criteria as set out in the call by the President.

The 8 names that qualified for Chief Justice nomination as set out in the criteria are as follows: 

•    Judge President John Hlophe 

•    Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga 

•    Justice Mandisa Maya 

•    Dr Wallace Amos Mgoqi 

•    Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane 

•    Judge President Dunstan Mlambo 

•    Adv. Alan Nelson, SC 

•    Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo

The criteria stated the following requirements for nominations: 

•    A nomination letter, including the contact details of the nominator.

•    The nominee’s acceptance of the nomination and their contact details.

•    Letters of support for the nomination, including contact details of people or entities that support the nomination, including at least one letter of support from a professional body of legal practitioners, nongovernmental organisation working in the field of human rights or another legal field.

•    Any additional documentation that the person nominating the candidate for chief justice deems relevant.

The selection panel has also indicated that they will consider objections against the nominated candidates before the final three to five names are submitted to the President.

The panel is expected  to submit its final report to President Cyril Ramaphosa by October 29.

The Judges Matter Research and Advocacy Officer, Zikhona Ndlebe said the names released by the president were expected as the process was inclusive. 

The 8 nominees included the Western Cape Judge president, John Hlope, whose name has been embroiled in corruption accusations. 

Hlophe was found guilty of gross misconduct by the Judicial Conduct Tribunal for trying to influence Constitutional court judges to rule in favour of the former president Jacob Zuma.

Ndlebe said the selection of Judge Mlambo, Justice Madlanga, Raymond Zondo and Mandisa Maya in line with their expectations.

The objections are said to be submitted by the 15th of October from the 8 nominations in writing and substantial reasoning addressed to the panel. The candidates are required to demonstrate judicial competence and suitable academic qualifications to the law profession, said Ndlebe. 
 

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