Presidency clarifies nomination of Deputy Chief Justice

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Pretoria – The Presidency has clarified that Justice Bess Nkabinde was not nominated to fill the position of Deputy Chief Justice because her term ends in December.

"She has already served 18 years as a judge and it is mandatory that she retires on the completion of the 12-year term at the Constitutional Court," the Presidency said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to Section 176 of the Constitution, Constitutional Court judges hold office for a non-renewable term of 12 years.  

Nkabinde will be discharged from active service on 31 December 2017 after serving a non-renewable term of 12 years at the Constitutional Court. 

This means that if President Jacob Zuma had nominated Nkabinde, it would have meant that he had to start the process of finding a replacement again when her term ends in December.

The Presidency was responding to an open letter written by leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Juliuis Malema who accused President Zuma of overlooking a qualified black woman judge to fill the position.

President Zuma last week announced that he nominated Justice Raymond Zondo to take over the position. It was left vacant when Dikgang Moseneke retired last year. - SAnews.gov.za

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