- Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s term will come to an end on 11 October.
- The public had until 1 October to send their nominations for the new chief justice.
- A panel will now shortlist between three and five candidates for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s consideration.
With the deadline for South Africans to nominate the next chief justice passed, a selection panel will shortlist suitable candidates for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s consideration.
It is understood that between three and five candidates will be shortlisted.
The Presidency previously said it would make all nominations public on its website, and any objections should be sent in writing by 15 October.
Presidency spokesperson Tyrone Seale said on Friday that the panel, chaired by Judge Navi Pillay, held its inaugural meeting this week to deliberate on procedural and substantive matters of its work.
The panel also includes Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola, former justice minister Jeff Radebe, former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, SA National Aids Council co-chairperson Mmapaseka Steve Letsike, and Professor Ziyad Motala of the Howard University School of Law.
“During the meeting, all panel members confirmed their acceptance of the task and declared that they had no conflict of interest,” Seale said.
“All discussions and decisions taken with regard to the terms of reference and criteria for assessment of the nominees agreed upon by the panel will be published in due course as a matter of keeping the public abreast of this process.”
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s term will come to an end on 11 October.
The panel is required to report to the president by 29 October.
The president will decide which shortlisted candidates to refer to the Judicial Service Commission and the leaders of political parties represented in the National Assembly for consultation, as required by the Constitution, before appointing the new chief justice.
The call for citizens to send in their nominations was a first for the country.
Seale said this was “part of promoting transparency and encouraging public participation”.
At a briefing at Luthuli House this week, Ramaphosa defended the selection process.
“I have not outsourced that. I have not outsourced anything. In fact, if you like, I have insourced the process of selection and have asked people to come up with a list,” he