From a former law student at the University of Zululand, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, who also chairs the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, was installed on Wednesday the university’s Chancellor.

He received a rousing welcome. Zondo will be the university’s Vice Chancellor for the next five years.

He was born in rural Ixopo in southern KwaZulu-Natal. He holds several law-related qualifications including a B. Juris from the institution.

He served his articles under late human rights lawyer Victoria Mxenge’s law firm in Durban. Zondo was appointed to the office of Deputy Chief Justice in 2016.

One of his main priorities now is restoring the university’s reputation and striving for academic excellence.

“This university has done quite a lot but there is a lot of work to be done to make sure that it takes its rightful place among the families of universities. I will listen to the challenges and concerns that will be brought to me and bearing in mind that all of us must work together. I will guide and give advice,” says Zondo.

The university has been plagued by allegations of corruption and financial mismanagement for years.

“They will be able to come to a point where they remove the current Vice Chancellor to deal with the issues of corruption and investigate the allegation laid against the Vice Chancellor, “says Save UniZulu Coalition’s Sandile Khwanazi.

Many feel Zondo is well-placed to turn the university around. “He embodies deep humility, dignity and characteristic of the servant leader. What a wonderful choice you have made. Justice Zondo’s ascent to the highest legal fraternity, his yet incomplete 20 year journey through the SA judiciary makes him one of the SA’s foremost legal minds,” says Chief Executive Officer of Universities South Africa, Professor Ahmed Bawa.

The university is one of a few institutions of higher learning to have produced Justices in the Constitutional Court.