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An introduction to Raymond Zondo

An introduction to Raymond Zondo

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South African president Cyril Ramaphosa lately announced the appointment of Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo as the subsequent chief justice of the nation’s Constitutional Court docket.

Zondo is greatest identified for his function as the top of the judicial fee of inquiry into allegations of rampant corruption, fraud and state capture throughout former President Jacob Zuma’s tenure (May 2009-February 2018. Zuma grudgingly established the fee in January 2018).

The fee’s work will go down within the annals of historical past as having outlined Zondo’s tenacity as a fearless judicial chief. Presiding over the politically charged inquiry noticed him lock horns with the previous president, who bizarrely questioned his suitability to lead the commission – after he had elected him to the place.

The fee examined Zondo’s mettle. It sat over greater than 400 days of hearings, that includes greater than 300 witnesses. Based on the fee, about 1,438 individuals and entities had been implicated by proof before the commission.

The end result, in a three-part report, made far-reaching suggestions in ridding the nation of corruption, and organising an efficient anti-corruption framework.

Additionally notable is Zondo’s dealing with of Zuma’s contempt of court case earlier than the Constitutional Court docket. It resulted within the ruling that permit to the imprisonment of the previous president.

So, who’s Justice Raymond Zondo?

The early years

Raymond Mnyamezeli Mlungisi Zondo was born on 4 March 1960 in Ixopo, a small city on a tributary of the Mkhomazi River within the midlands of KwaZulu-Natal Province. Ixopo is most well-known because the setting for the 1995 South African-American movie, Cry the Beloved Country, primarily based on Alan Paton’s novel of the identical identify.

The younger Zondo’s father labored as a labourer in Johannesburg and his mom was a nurse help. He’s the third of 9 youngsters. He and his spouse Sithembile Zondo have 4 youngsters. Considered one of them is a cricketer Khayelihle (Khaya) Zondo.

Zondo matriculated (completed highschool) at St Mary’s Seminary in Ixopo. He went on to check regulation on the College of Zululand and as we speak’s College of Kwa-Zulu Natal, incomes an LLB. He went on to finish three Grasp of Regulation levels (cum laude) in labour regulation, business regulation, and patent regulation on the College of South Africa.

Throughout his coaching as a lawyer he met with an amazing loss. His articles of clerkship in Durban underneath Victoria Mxenge, a human rights legal professionals who fought fearlessly towards apartheid, needed to be ceded after she was assassinated by apartheid authorities brokers in 1985.

He was appointed as a choose to the Labour Court docket in 1997. He then grew to become a choose within the then Transvaal Provincial Division of the Excessive Court docket, now the Gauteng Excessive Court docket (1999). He was elevated to guage president of the Labour Court docket in 2000. The choose president’s function is to offer management to make sure that judges within the division carry out their judicial tasks diligently and successfully. Zondo noticed one other upward motion when he joined the Constitutional Court docket in 2012, later changing into deputy chief justice in 2017.

Profession highlights

Zondo’s illustrious profession is a tapestry of highlights: from a lawyer to one of many senior judges within the South African judiciary. He has written greater than 200 judgments.

In 1991 and 1992 he served in two committees of the Fee of Inquiry Relating to the Prevention of Public Violence and Intimidation, chaired by Justice Richard J. Goldstone. Its mandate was to research the causes of political violence and intimidation during which some 20,000 individuals had died within the decade earlier than the discharge of Nelson Mandela from jail, and the unbanning of the liberation organisations, paving the best way for negotiations to end aparthied.

Additionally notable is that he was the primary chairperson of the governing physique of the Commission for the Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, whose mandate is to resolve labour disputes speedily and cost-effectively.

In 1994, Zondo was appointed as a member of the ministerial process group tasked with producing a draft labour relations bill for post-apartheid South Africa. It culminated within the Labour Relations Act of 1995.

The General Bar Council has credited him with taking part in a serious half in creating South Africa’s employment regulation right into a revered, coherent and honest system of regulation.

Considered one of Zondo’s important judgments was within the case Modise v Steve’s Spar Blackheath. On this case, the commerce union SACCAWU demanded that the shop and different Spar shops comply with discount collectively with the union. The shop declined.

Nearly all of the staff who went on strike in November 1994 had been discovered by the Supreme Court docket to have launched into an unlawful strike. It granted an interim interdict forbidding the strike. The employees had been subsequently dismissed.

They appealed their dismissal to the Labour Enchantment Court docket. Zondo, with appearing enchantment choose Mogoeng Mogoeng – sarcastically Zondo’s predecessor as chief justice – concurring, held that the employer was obliged to afford the strikers a listening to with a view to resolve whether or not to dismiss them. Additionally, that the best to be heard ought to be carried out previous to the issuing of an ultimatum to return to work or face dismissal, relatively than afterwards.

Zondo set a priority by discovering that the rules of audi alteram partem (“let the opposite facet be heard as properly”) utilized in labour regulation, and should be noticed even in instances of dismissals in strikes.

In the end, this was the affirmation of the best to procedural equity of unprotected putting staff.

It’s clear from his many different judgments that Justice Zondo believes in upholding the rights and values enshrined within the nation’s constitution.

One other instance was in Minister of Home Affairs v Tsebe. Zondo wouldn’t enable the federal government to extradite a homicide accused to Botswana with out receiving an assurance that the loss of life penalty wouldn’t be carried out, as that might have been opposite to South Africa’s abolitionist strategy.

Chief Justice function

When saying Zondo’s appointment as chief justice, Ramaphosa noted:

The place of chief justice carries an amazing accountability in our democracy. As the top of the judiciary, the chief justice is a guardian of our structure and the legal guidelines adopted by the freely elected representatives of the individuals. The chief justice stand because the champion of the rights of all South Africans and bears accountability for guaranteeing equal entry to justice. I’ve each confidence that Justice Zondo will acquit himself with distinction on this place.

The assertion is a transparent indication of the mammoth process awaiting Zondo in his new function.

He is without doubt one of the longest serving justices on the Constitutional Court docket, with the institutional reminiscence required to steer the judiciary. However he is available in with the acknowledgement that there’s nonetheless a whole lot of work to be carried out on the Constitutional Court docket and the judiciary on the whole.

His new function will embody having to take care of what he recognized throughout his interview for the job to be myriad issues affecting the nation’s courts, together with the delayed handing down of judgments. Throughout the interview he had this to say:

I feel {that a} chief justice in a rustic corresponding to ours ought to be someone of integrity, who can present mental management, who has a demonstrable observe report as a choose, someone who is ready to work with individuals and is ready to recognize the contribution of different leaders of the judiciary.The Conversation

Omphemetse Sibanda, Govt Dean and Full Professor, College of Limpopo School of Administration and Regulation, University of Limpopo

This text is republished from The Conversation underneath a Artistic Commons license. Learn the original article.

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