Zondo’s JSC interview ends in shouting match over Julius Malema’s ‘blue lie’

Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo's interview turned into a shouting match when Justice Minister Ronald Lamola accused EFF leader Julius Malema of telling 'a blue lie'.

Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Picture: @OCJ_RSA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo's interview for the judiciary's top job turned into a shouting match when Justice Minister Ronald Lamola accused Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema of telling "a blue lie".

The drama erupted on Friday night near the end of Zondo's nearly 12 hour-long interview with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

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Malema also tackled Zondo over meetings he had with former president Jacob Zuma, suggesting he was too close to politicians.

The eruption came after Malema implied that the process of making Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo an acting Constitutional Court judge had been manipulated, apparently to boost his chances for the position of chief justice.

The JSC heard that Lamola last year asked Zondo to consider Mlambo for the Constitutional Court. Zondo told the JSC this was not the norm, though he would not venture to say whether it was unlawful.

He also said Mlambo, who had previously declined an offer to act in the Constitutional Court, had been available at short notice, so it made sense to select him.

Lamola withdrew his accusation that Malema had lied. The JSC will spend Saturday deliberating behind closed doors.