Former Pres. Jacob Zuma and the Jacob Zuma Foundation asked the Pretoria High Court to order pres. To have Cyril Ramaphosa’s appointment of Raymond Zondo as Chief Justice declared unconstitutional and to have the appointment process reviewed.
Zondo has been in this position for almost 18 months.
Mzwanele Manyi, spokesperson for the Jacob Zuma Foundation, says the appointment was made despite widely available evidence that during the appointment process Zondo apparently received the fewest votes of all the candidates.
The Zuma camp accuses Ramaphosa of disregarding the Judicial Service Commission’s (JSC) advice and acting “irrationally” by appointing Zondo.
Ramaphosa is also accused of overlooking a female candidate – Judge Mandisa Maya – when he appointed Zondo as Chief Justice in March last year, even though she received the most votes.
“The applicants and members of the public will surely look forward to what legal justification mr. Ramaphosa will give his decision when he submits his answering affidavit,” says Manyi.
On 26 September, Ramaphosa submitted his notice that he intends to oppose the application. The RDK has submitted a notice that the commission will rely on whatever decision the court finally takes.
In March last year, Ramaphosa nominated Zondo as Chief Justice and Maya, then Judge President of the Court of Appeal, for the position of Deputy Chief Justice.
RNews reported at the time that Ramaphosa had finally decided on Zondo after consultation with the RDK and the relevant leaders of parties in the National Assembly regarding the four possible candidates who were presented at that stage for consideration for the position as chief justice.
The president’s candidates were Zondo, Maya, Mbuyiseli Madlanga, judge of the Constitutional Court, and Dunston Mlambo, judge-president of Gauteng.