South Africa’s Ramaphosa appoints new chief justice

South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has appointed experienced jurist, Raymond Zondo, as the country’s new chief justice effective April 1.

The announcement was made in a statement released on Thursday after a public seAlection process.

Zondo, who has served as deputy chief justice at the Constitutional Court since 2017, became the public face of Ramaphosa’s anti-corruption drive while heading a recent national inquiry into allegations of widespread corruption under the presidency of Jacob Zuma, the previous head of state.

Last year, the country’s highest Constitutional Court sentenced Zuma to 15 months imprisonment after he failed to appear at the Zondo corruption inquiry despite being instructed to do so.

In January, the inquiry’s first published report pointed to systemic corruption during Zuma’s tenure, following three years of investigation and more than 300 witnesses.

Ramaphosa replaced Zuma as president in 2018 after narrowly defeating him at a governing African National Congress party elective conference a few months prior.

“The Chief Justice stand as the champion of the rights of all South Africans and bears responsibility for ensuring equal access to justice. I have every confidence that Justice Zondo will acquit himself with distinction in this position,” Ramaphosa said in a statement.


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