Acting Chief Justice Zondo slams Minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s comments

Johannesburg – Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has slammed the article that was written by Minister of Tourism Lindiwe Sisulu in an article written on the 7th of January 2022 on IOL.

The media briefing led by Zondo took place on Wednesday afternoon, via Zoom.

In the article, Sisulu, argued that oppression persists and is legitimized under the guise of law.

Sisulu wrote that the constitution and judiciary do not serve African values and interests.

In response to the minister’s words, Zondo said, “We as the judiciary have never said that we should not be criticized, we accept that we may be criticized, but we say criticism should be fair and factual. This is not a criticism it is an insult to the Judiciary who serve this country.”

“This is most regrettable because it does not come from a young and inexperienced person. There are no facts that are put up by Sisulu and analysis it is just accusations and insults to the judiciary,” Zondo further said.

Zondo said he would have expected Sisulu to have facts about her allegations and opinions for everyone to see.

“It should not be acceptable for a member of parliament to wake up one morning without any facts to write an article to insult the African judges and the Judiciary as a whole,” he said.

“I would have expected at least that if she held the views that she holds here, she would at least have some facts to back up what she is saying and I don’t think she has those facts, because if she did have those facts, there is no reason why she would not put them up.

It should not be acceptable in a constitutional democracy such as ours that a member of parliament and the executive should wake up one morning, without any facts, write an article to insult the judges in the land,” Zondo said.

“It is very important to draw the line on conduct that is acceptable and conduct which is not acceptable. This is not a criticism but an insult to the entire judiciary.”

“I want to say to my colleagues, particularly African judges who may have been insulted by Miss Sisulu, I want you to continue to do your work, in accordance to your oath of office.”

“Other people in our country, who appreciate the role of our judiciary, the constitution, and the role of law, will play their role, to protect the judiciary when such attacks are aimed at us.”

“More attacks are expected upon us but we should continue to do our work, in accordance with its oath of office,” he concluded.

Zondo said that he did not engage with the minister since the article was published.

Watch Zondo’s response below: 

Also read: Zondo set respond to Minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s article about constitution

Watch live: Zondo responds to Minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s opinion piece

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