Ramaphosa names Zukisa Tshiqi and Stevan Majiedt as ConCourt judges

11 September 2019 - 16:56 By Qaanitah Hunter
President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed two new judges to the Constitutional Court.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed two new judges to the Constitutional Court.
Image: FINANCIAL MAIL

President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) justices Zukisa Tshiqi and Stevan Majiedt as judges of the Constitutional Court, five months after being given the names of shortlisted candidates.

The presidency announced on Wednesday that Ramaphosa made the appointments after consulting chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and the leaders of the parties represented in the National Assembly.

Both judges will serve at the apex court from October 1.

“President Ramaphosa appointed judges Tshiqi and Majiedt from a list of five nominees prepared by the Judicial Service Commission. The commission conducted interviews in April 2019 following the discharge from active service of former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke and justice Bess Nkabinde,” said presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko, adding that Ramaphosa had confidence in the two judges.

When Tshiqi was being interviewed by the commission in April, she was criticised for her apparent hesitance to write judgments at the SCA, her alleged reluctance to write minority judgments and the fact that she did not have much non-criminal experience.

She was also chastised by the chief justice when it emerged that her former law firm had been paying for her cellphone since 2005. "That payment is wrong - you must put an end to it. Reflect on it - it's a wrong payment, you must put an end to it," Mogoeng told her.

She reportedly said that she had declared it, but then realised that it was wrong.

On Tshiqi’s experience, the presidency said: “Judge Tshiqi, 58, holds a B.Proc degree and a postgraduate diploma in labour law. She started her legal career as a legal co-ordinator at the South African Council of Churches from 1986 to 1989. She served her articles from 1989 to 1991 and practised as an attorney until 2005, when she was appointed as a judge of the Gauteng division of the high court, Johannesburg.

“Prior to her permanent appointment, judge Tshiqi served part-time as a mediator, facilitator and arbitrator under the Independent Mediation Service of South Africa (IMSSA) and at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), as well as a mediator in the Land Claims Commission. She acted at the Competition Appeal Court from 2007 to 2009. She was later appointed at the Supreme Court of Appeal in 2009. She had an acting stint at the Constitutional Court from November 2014 to May 2015.”

Majiedt, 58, holds BA Law and LLB degrees from the University of the Western Cape. He was admitted as an advocate in 1984 and practised as such until 1995, when he was appointed as a chief provincial state law adviser in the Northern Cape office of the premier from 1996 to 1999.

“In January 2000, Majiedt returned to private practice as an advocate and this culminated in his appointment as an acting judge of the Northern Cape division of the high court. It was during that year that he was appointed as a permanent judge of the Northern Cape division of the high court,” said the presidency.

Majiedt was appointed as a permanent judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal in December 2010 and acted at the Constitutional Court from February to May 2014.

In his interview, Majiedt said he did not want to be considered a "coloured" judge, but identified as black.

“Too often people say to me, there are no coloureds in that court. I must say I detest that. I’m not coloured. I’m a black person. If you want to classify me, I am a human being - but if you classify me, I’m black,” he said.

When quizzed by EFF leader Julius Malema on whether he believed there should be expropriation of land without compensation, Majiedt said there should be expropriation of land with “reasonable compensation” if there is no willing seller of the land.


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