Karyn Maughan | Zondo, Maya, Madlanga and Mlambo: Meet the nominees for SA's next Chief Justice

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has put forward four names for the position of Chief Justice.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has put forward four names for the position of Chief Justice.
Ashraf Hendricks, GroundUp

Under attack, divided and unable to ensure proper accountability, South Africa's judiciary is in desperate need of a capable leader – and all four nominees for the Chief Justice position have shown that they are up for the job, writes Karyn Maughan.


In the coming weeks, President Cyril Ramaphosa will need to make one of the most important decisions of his term in office: by choosing the man or woman who will lead South Africa's judiciary.

Late on Wednesday night, the Presidency confirmed that Ramaphosa had selected four preferred candidates for the position: Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, Supreme Court of Appeal President Mandisa Maya, Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo and Constitutional Court Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga.

They will now need to be interviewed by the Judicial Service Commission, which will provide Ramaphosa with its assessment of their individual suitability for the judiciary's most powerful position.

Here is what we know about the President's Chief Justice nominees:


Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has been shortlisted as one of the candidates to head up the Constitutional Court. Karyn Maughan writes with such a short term left at the apex court, this may be a barrier to him getting the position. 

SCA President Judge Mandisa Maya

Supreme Court of Appeal Judge Mandisa Maya is the only woman contender of the four nominees for the position of Chief Justice. Karyn Maughan writes that if President Cyril Ramaphosa choses to appoint Maya to the position he will be making a compelling statement. 

Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo

Chief justice-nominee Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo's lack of reticence in speaking about unsubstantiated attacks on judges in politically loaded cases is much-needed, writes Karyn Maughan. 

Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga

Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga, one of the four nominees for position of Chief Justice, has written some of the Constitutional Court's most far-reaching and powerful decisions, writes Karyn Maughan.

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