The Constitutional Court in Braamfontein. Picture: Dumisani Dube/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
The Constitutional Court in Braamfontein. Picture: Dumisani Dube/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

SCA Acting Judge President Xola Petse to chair interviews for appointment of Chief Justice

By Baldwin Ndaba Time of article published Dec 2, 2021

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Johannesburg - The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has appointed Justice Xola Mlungisi Petse to chair the proceedings for the appointment of a new Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court following the recommendation of four candidates, including Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

The vacancy came after former Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s term ended in October.

JSC spokesperson advocate Dali Mpofu SC said their handling of the final interviews began after President Cyril Ramaphosa wrote a letter to the judicial body containing a list of four recommended candidates for the post.

“By means of a letter dated November 18, the President of the Republic of South Africa submitted to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) a list of four names to be considered for the position of Chief Justice.

“This formed part of the consultation process envisaged in section 174(3) of the Constitution. In the letter the president nominated acting Chief Justice RMM Zondo, President MML Maya, Justice MRW Madlanga and Judge President D Mlambo for consideration for appointment as next Chief Justice. The president also requested the JSC to advise him on other practical arrangements such as who would chair the JSC interviews and related issues,” Mpofu said.

He said at the JSC meeting held on November 30, the JSC considered the president’s letter and decided to designate the acting president of the Supreme Court of Appeal, Justice Petse, as the acting chairperson of the JSC for the purposes of the interviews of the nominees for the position of Chief Justice.

“The JSC further decided that all four nominees must complete the required questionnaire for judges and submit all the necessary and standard documentation required for persons who seek to be appointed as judges. The nominees have been given until Friday, December 10, to submit all the information.

“Upon receipt of the documentation from the nominees, the JSC will invite the law bodies, members of the public and all other institutions with an interest in the work of the JSC, to make written submissions to it on the suitability or otherwise of the president’s nominees for appointment as the Chief Justice and any other information which they deem to be relevant to the entire selection process,” he said.

Mpofu said the JSC had decided that after receiving the information from the candidates and the subsequent comments, the nominees would be invited for public interviews scheduled to take place from February 1-5 in Gauteng to determine the suitability or otherwise of the nominees. Details of the time and venue will be communicated in due course to the media and the public at large.

“On the conclusion of the session, the JSC will advise the president of the outcomes of its deliberations by submitting a written report to him,” Mpofu said.

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Political Bureau

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