Here are the top 8 candidates vying for chief justice post

The Presidency released the list on Monday, which includes the names of sitting Constitutional Court Justices Mbuyiseli Madlanga and Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo among others.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: @PublicProtector/Twitter

Embattled Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe and public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane have made it onto the top eight list of nominated individuals for the post of chief justice.

The Presidency released the list on Monday, which includes the names of sitting Constitutional Court Justices Mbuyiseli Madlanga and Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo among others.

This follows an unprecedented public nomination process, which closed on Friday.

The Presidency said 148 submissions were made consisting of 25 names, which were put forward by members of the public.

In mid-September, President Cyril Ramaphosa invited members of the public to take part in the nomination process with a panel already appointed to undertake the shortlisting process.

The eight people nominated were the only ones who met the criteria, which included the nominee’s acceptance and one letter of support from a professional body of legal practitioners among others.

“Some of these individuals featured in more than one submission. Of the 25 names, only 8 nominations met the criteria as set out in the call by the president,” Ramaphosa said in a statement on Monday.

The list includes the names of Supreme Court of Appeal President Mandisa Maya, Ayo Technology chairperson Dr Wallace Mgogi, Pretoria Judge President Dunstan Mlambo and former acting judge Alan Nelson.

South Africans have been invited to submit objections they may have with the nominees.

“President Cyril Ramaphosa wishes to thank members of the public for responding to his invitation to participate in the process of nominating the next Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa,” he added.

The successful candidate will replace outgoing Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

The panel has a difficult task ahead which has been guided by the terms of refence.

The scope of work for this panel includes assessing and scrutinising all received nominations to determining whether a candidate is suitable to be shortlisted and recommended for nomination by the president for purposes of filling the vacancy of the Chief Justice.

The panel will also summarise all nominations and submitting three to five candidates to the president for his referral of candidates from the shortlist to be interviewed by the Judicial Service Commission.

The appointment criteria, which can be seen as the most important part of this process, includes assessing whether a candidate is a fit and proper person who possess the qualifications, skills, knowledge and expertise reasonably expected of an incumbent of the position of the Chief Justice.

The candidate also needs to meet the constitutional requirements for appointment and demonstrate the ability and capability to defend, protect and uphold the Constitution.

Above all that, the candidate must be reputed to be of unblemished integrity, be beyond reproach, possess moral leadership qualities and strong skills that would assist in promoting and enhancing an harmonious environment for the entire judiciary.

The 8 names that qualified for nomination:

  1. Judge President John Hlophe

  2. Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga

  3. Justice Mandisa Maya

  4. Dr Wallace Amos Mgoqi

  5. Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane

  6. Judge President Dunstan Mlambo

  7. Adv. Alan Nelson, SC

  8. Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo

Here’s the panel that will decide on the next chief justice:

  1. Judge Navanethem (Navi) Pillay (as chairperson of the panel)

  2. Mr Jeff Radebe (as deputy chairperson of the panel)

  3. Mr Ronald Lamola

  4. Advocate Thuli Madonsela

  5. Ms Mmapaseka Steve Letsike

  6. Professor Ziyad Motala

The deadline for submission of objections and comments in relation to the published list of nominees is 15 October 2021 while the panel expected to submit its report to the president by 29 October 2021.

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