Johannesburg – Raymond Zondo, whose three-year investigation detailed rampant corruption under former president Jacob Zuma, was on Thursday named chief justice of South Africa’s apex court.
Zondo was already deputy chief justice, but his promotion to the top spot on the Constitutional Court came after lengthy, televised interviews last month with other leading candidates.
“The chief justice stands as the champion of the rights of all South Africans and bears responsibility for ensuring equal access to justice,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement making the announcement.
“I have every confidence that Justice Zondo will acquit himself with distinction in this position.”
Zondo takes office on April 1, as his investigation into Zuma will be preparing its fourth and final report.
The Constitutional Court has taken an unflinching stance on forcing Zuma to comply with Zondo’s investigation. When he refused to testify in July 2021, the court ordered him jailed for contempt.
The move sparked protests that devolved into riots and looting that left more than 350 dead. Zuma was later granted parole on medical grounds.
The court seems certain to tackle more cases around Zuma, as Zondo’s reports laid legal groundwork that prosecutors are already taking up.
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