Justice Zondo slams Minister Sisulu for controversial article on the Judiciary

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has slammed Tourism Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu for her controversial article in which she attacked the country’s Constitution and Judiciary.

Addressing a media briefing on Wednesday, Zondo says the article is an insult to all black judges.

In the opinion piece titled “Hi Mzansi, have we seen justice”, Sisulu questioned the moral standing of the country’s judges and compared unnamed judges with “house Negroes”.  She further called for a complete overhaul of the judiciary.

Zondo says while they accept criticism, it should be fair and based on facts.


The Acting Chief Justice says judges will continue to do their work in accordance with their oath of office despite continuing attacks on the judiciary.

Zondo says he was horrified by Sisulu’s article, particularly, given her senior role in government. He says judges respect their oath of office.

The Judiciary hopes that Sisulu will have the decency to withdraw the insult that she has hurled at African judges. Justice Zondo says he has not engaged with Sisulu over her column.

 ‘Undermine credibility of judiciary’

Meanwhile, the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) has lambasted Tourism Minister as seeking to undermine the credibility of the judiciary.

Spokesperson, Lawson Naidoo has reiterated Zondo’s sentiments. Naidoo says Zondo’s outrage is warranted.

“We have a judiciary in South Africa that is fundamentally transformed from what it was pre-1994. We have a very transformed judiciary with many black and women judges who serve the oath of office that they take and ensure that justice is dealt with impartially. We should be proud of our judiciary and the independence that they display. Clearly, the comments that the Minister made is seeking to undermine the credibility of that judiciary, to undermine the credibility in particular of black judicial officers without a shred of evidence to back up her statements and I think the outrage that has been demonstrated by the Acting Chief Justice is fully warranted.”