Controversial South African judge appointed acting Chief Justice

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo File picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA)

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has been appointed Acting Chief Justice, the judiciary announced on Friday.

Justice Sisi Khampepe has been acting deputy chief justice since outgoing Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng took long leave in May.

Justice Khampepe, who is due to retire in October, replaced Deputy Chief Justice Zondo and assumed his powers.

Her appointment as acting deputy chief justice came to an end on Wednesday.

The Superior Courts Act 2013 makes provision for the deputy chief justice to exercise the powers or perform the functions of the chief justice in an acting capacity.

According to the judiciary, the work of the commission of inquiry into state capture has now, despite the recent three month’ extension until September 30, has reached a stage where Justice Zondo will be in a position to fulfil his responsibilities as acting deputy chief justice while attending to its finalisation.

Justice Zondo assumed responsibilities as acting deputy chief justice effective from July 1.

Justice Mogoeng took three-and-a-half months long leave in May and at the time the judiciary’s spokesperson, Nathi Mncube, said regulations promulgated in terms of the Judges’ Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act 2001 provided for judges to take such leave for every period of four years’ actual service.

“This leave is referred to as long leave within the judiciary. The chief justice’s four-year cycle to take his long leave commenced on July 1, 2018, but he was unable to take it due to his judicial and extra judicial commitments,” Mncube said.

He said because judges’ leave is not cumulative, Justice Mogoeng would have forfeited it as it has happened on previous occasions and that it was normal practice for members of the judiciary to take their leave whenever it is due, as was the case for the country’s top judge. – IOL

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