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Busisiwe Mkhwebane pulls out of race to be next chief justice

No reasons have given for public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's withdrawal from the race to be appointed chief justice. File photo.
No reasons have given for public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's withdrawal from the race to be appointed chief justice. File photo.
Image: Esa Alexander/Sunday Times

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has withdrawn from the chief justice race, the presidency announced on Friday.

Mkhwebane was one of eight candidates who had accepted nominations from members of the public to be appointed after the retirement of chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng earlier this month. The other seven were:

  • Constitutional Court justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga;
  • president of the Supreme Court of Appeal Mandisa Maya;
  • Dr Wallace Amos Mgoqi;
  • Gauteng judge president Dunstan Mlambo;
  • advocate Alan Nelson SC;
  • deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo; and  
  • Western Cape judge president John Hlophe.

The presidency said Mgoqi had also withdrawn from the nomination process.

The statement from the presidency said the advisory panel established to evaluate the public nominations, chaired by judge Navanethem Pillay, had submitted its report to President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday.

The president was “giving consideration to the recommendations of the panel”. However,  the report would not be publicly released as “the candidates the president will select from the shortlist need to go through a process of interviews by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and consultation with the leaders of political parties represented in the National Assembly”.

The presidency said after considering what the panel had recommended, Ramaphosa would decide which candidate(s) from the shortlist he would refer to the JSC and the leaders of political parties in parliament “for consultation in line with section 174(3) of the constitution”.

The statement did not give reasons for Mkhwebane’s withdrawal. She is facing criminal charges for alleged perjury and is embroiled in litigation challenging an impeachment process by parliament.

TimesLIVE


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