South African parties approve new Chief Justice Zondo

 South African parties approve new Chief Justice Zondo

South Africa’s political parties have approved the choice of Justice Raymond Zondo as the new chief justice, citing his long experience in the judiciary.

But Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters party dismissed Justice Zondo as a “divisive force” who is “prone to descending into the political arena”.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday announced Justice Zondo’s appointment after a lengthy process which started with the public submitting names of their preferred candidates to the presidency.

The judge was the chairman of the state capture commission of inquiry that investigated allegations of corruption during the tenure of former President Jacob Zuma.

The commission’s findings implicated big players in government and the private sector.

The leader of the Democratic Alliance party described Justice Zondo as “a safe pair of hands”.

“Judge Zondo has a clear track record and will go a long way in restoring faith in the judiciary,” John Steenhuisen said.

Freedom Front Plus party leader Pieter Groenewald said Justice Zondo’s “reasoning is independent of politics, and he shows no favouritism”.

Inkatha Freedoom Party spokesman Mkhuleko Hlengwa said Justice Zondo should be “afforded the necessary support and resources to continue to uphold the rule of law and defend the hard-won rights and freedoms”.