Next chief justice: Former spy boss Arthur Fraser objects to Zondo's nomination

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Arthur Fraser.
Arthur Fraser.
Jan Gerber
  • Former spy boss Arthur Fraser has lodged an objection to the nomination of Raymond Zondo as the next chief justice.
  • He accused Zondo of lacking objectivity and integrity.
  • The state capture inquiry, headed by Zondo, had heard evidence of allegations of impropriety and wrongdoing against Fraser when he was the head of the State Security Agency.

Former spy boss Arthur Fraser has objected to the nomination of Raymond Zondo as the next chief justice, saying he is not "fit and proper" to hold the position.

In a letter to the short-listing panel on Friday, Fraser accused Zondo of lacking objectivity and integrity.

"Despite my repeated requests to be given an opportunity to appear before him in order to state my version and to defend myself against a well-orchestrated narrative and propaganda against me, Deputy Chief Justice Zondo made sure that I neither presented my version nor got an opportunity to cross-examine those he called to testify against me.

"No independent-minded judge would act in this manner," he said.

READ | JSC concludes ConCourt interviews - now it will deliberate over candidates

Fraser's lawyer, Eric Mabuza, confirmed the letter was sent, but said "no comment".

The state capture inquiry, headed by Zondo, had heard evidence of allegations of impropriety and wrongdoing against Fraser when he was the head of the State Security Agency (SSA).

Evidence at the inquiry by former minister Sydney Mufamadi, who headed a high-level panel review on the SSA, former acting director-general Loyiso Jafta and at least two other SSA operatives implicated Fraser in alleged wrongdoing, News24 reported. 

The allegations against Fraser included the misappropriation of hundreds of millions of rand of state money, nepotism and corruption.

He was also accused of being at the helm of the SSA when it was used for the factional interests of the ANC.Fraser has denied all the accusations against him and has opened cases of perjury in response

Eight candidates have been nominated for the chief justice position after President Cyril Ramaphosa asked the public for input.

A shortlist is expected to be submitted to Ramaphosa by no later than 29 October 2021.

On Wednesday, Presidency spokesperson Tyrone Seale said the short-listing panel had received more than 500 submissions of public comment in support of and objection to eligible nominees.

"The panel is in the process of evaluating these comments and engaging nominees on these submissions. The panel will address objections to shortlisted nominees in its report to the president," he added.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with comment from the presidency.

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