Ngcobo 'mindful of challenges'

2009-10-01 16:38

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma on Thursday named Sandile Ngcobo as South Africa's new chief justice.

"It is my pleasure to announce the appointment of Justice Sandile Ngcobo as the Chief Justice designate... His record in promoting and protecting human rights is well known and is respected," Zuma told the media at the Presidential guest house in Pretoria.

"It is this track record that made us see in him a South African who will protect that which we hold very dear, the Constitution of the Republic and the rights of our people," Zuma said.

Zuma added that he was confident Ngcobo will be supported by Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke.

Ngcobo takes over from Pius Langa who retires this month.

"As we bid farewell to Chief Justice Langa, we will do so with our deepest gratitude for his selfless dedication in creating a South Africa that has at its core the observance of human rights and the rule of law," Zuma said bidding Langa and all the departing Constitutional Court justices a "fond and patriotic farewell".

'Enormous task'

Accompanying Ngcobo at the guest house was his wife, daughter, two sons and grandson.

Taking the podium, he said he was "humbled" by the appointment and expressed his deepest appreciation for the honour of stepping into the seat of the highest judge in the land.

"I'm mindful of the enormous task ahead... I'm mindful of the challenges facing the judiciary," he said adding however that he was also mindful of the support he will be receiving to address the challenges.

"I'm a judge, therefore I cannot make any promises but I can give my commitment... to uphold the oath of office that I took 13 years ago... to uphold and protect the Constitution... to administer justice to all persons without fear, favour or prejudice in accordance with the Constitution and the law," Ngcobo continued.

During a brief question and answer session, Zuma said the process to appoint the remaining judges to the Constitutional Court was underway and it was now up to him to choose four names from a shortlist handed to him by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC)

Consulting political parties

Zuma said the law required that the president consults political parties on the selections and that was where the process was at.

"I cannot drop even an iota of what is happening there," Zuma said.

The DA, Cope, the IFP and the ID accused Zuma of failing to consult properly ahead of his nomination of Ngcobo.

The opposition urged Zuma to restart the entire process saying they would prefer current Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke for the post.

Zuma wrote a formal letter to the parties saying that Ngcobo remained his preferred candidate, though he had not "taken a final decision on whom to appoint".

He urged them to comment on his nomination and put forward their case for Moseneke.

But the parties remained unmoved. They said his remarks had side-stepped debate on the real issues at stake.

The opposition said Moseneke was the best qualified person for the post because he had been working with Langa for the past four years.


Read more on:    constitutional court  |  dikgang moseneke  |  pius langa  |  sandile ngcobo  |  jacob zuma

Read News24’s Comments Policy


Inside News24


Anglican Church urges people to vote

The Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has called on his congregation to use their right to vote, amid a campaign to spoil ballot papers.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 2 White 16GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Two cameras for FaceTime and HD video recording. The dual-core...

From R5727.00

I'm shopping for:


You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.