Wednesday, 12 January 2022 18:51

Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo slams Sisulu’s criticism of judiciary.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Acting chief justice Raymond Zondo lambasted Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu over her criticism of the judiciary.

"Sisulu has launched a completely unwarranted attack on the judiciary and has heaped insults,"  Zondo told reporters Wednesday at a briefing.

"I find this conduct from a senior member of the ruling party, of a senior member of parliament and a senior member of the executive completely unacceptable and it would be a pity if it was allowed to stand."

Zondo’s remarks come after Sisulu wrote an opinion piece published on Janaury 7 by IOL in which she called for an overhaul of the justice system alongside economic reforms to address legacies of apartheid including poverty and land inequality. Sisulu, 67, has held various government positions since the nation’s first all-race elections in 1994.

Her article expounded on views that have been expressed by opponents of President Cyril Ramaphosa who are loyal to former president Jacob Zuma. They’ve been interpreted by some media outlets as a signal that Sisulu plans to run against Ramaphosa when the ruling party elects new leaders in December.

Sisulu’s comments about the judiciary were "unacceptable" because they weren’t based in fact, Zondo said. 

Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele on Tuesday described Sisulu’s remarks as "reckless utterances" that "grossly misrepresent the constitution.

"There is no analysis of anything," he said. "It’s just accusations, insults to the judiciary."

In addition to being minister of tourism, Sisulu is a member of the ruling African National Congress’s National Executive Committee. She’s previously served as minister of foreign affairs and defense. She was Ramaphosa’s running mate in the party race in 2017 at which he was elected ANC president.

Sisulu said she is consulting her legal team on Zondo and will engage with his comments at the right time.

"I have noted the comments made by the Acting Chief Justice Zondo and they will be engaged with at an appropriate time in an appropriate platform. I am in consultation with my legal team," said Sisulu on social media.