DA Leader officially responds to the nomination of Justice Zondo as new Deputy Chief Justice

In terms of his obligation under section 174(3) of the Constitution, President Jacob Zuma wrote to me requesting my views and input on his decision to nominate Mr Justice Raymond Zondo as the new Deputy Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa.
I have today responded in writing to his request, outlining my support for the nomination of Mr Zondo, while drawing the President’s attention to a handful of concerns pertaining to the candidate which require further consideration.The full response can be accessed here.
We approach candidates for judicial appointment with one central thing in mind: Judicial independence is of paramount importance in any Constitutional democracy, but especially so in a young democracy which is still working to establish and entrench the institutions that make a democracy work for the people and limit the power of individuals.
To us, it is essential that appointees to the bench in South Africa observe, and evince, a genuine strict independence from the Executive, from party politics, from corporate interests, from organised religion, and all other external interests. In the South African context, this more often than not manifests itself in judges having to stand opposed to unfair, prejudicial or unconstitutional actions by a powerful state. This judges must be comfortable to do without fear or favour.
Furthermore, I appealed to the President, as head of the national executive, to take the lead in fostering an attitude of respect towards the courts, particularly the Constitutional Court – the highest in the land. The courts are not a burden to Constitutional democracy, but are given a particular Constitutional mandate to both protect and advance the Constitution and all that it embodies.