Date of Birth
4 May 1960
BIuris (1983) (University of Zululand), LLB (1986) (University of Natal), LLM specialising in labour law, LLM specialising in commercial law, LLM specialising in patent law (UNISA)
History at the Court:
Appointed: September 2012
Appointed as Deputy Chief Justice: 7 June 2017
Deputy Chief Justice Zondo served the first part of his articles of clerkship under the late Mrs Victoria Mxenge in her law firm in Durban. After Mrs Mxenge’s assassination, Deputy Chief Justice Zondo ceded his articles of clerkship to Mthembu & Partners, and later to Chennels Alberton Attorneys.
After admission as an attorney, he became a partner in the Durban law firm first part of his articles of clerkship under the late Mrs Victoria Mxenge in her law firm in Durban. After Mrs Mxenge’s assassination, DCJ Zondo ceded his articles of clerkship to Mthembu & Partners, and later to Chennels Alberton Attorneys., in which he practised for a number of years before he was appointed as a judge. He also served as a mediator and arbitrator on a part-time basis.
In 1991 and 1992 DCJ Zondo served in two committees of the Commission of Inquiry Regarding the Prevention of Public Violence and Intimidation (also known as the Goldstone Commission) which investigated violence in South Africa during the early 1990s.
In 1994 DCJ Zondo was appointed as a member of the task team charged with producing a draft Labour Relations Bill (later to become the Labour Relations Act) for the post-Apartheid South Africa. In 1996 he was appointed as the first chairperson of the governing body of the Commission for the Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (otherwise known as the CCMA) from which position he resigned upon appointment as a judge
With effect from 1 February 1997, DCJ Zondo was appointed as an acting judge of the Labour Court. With effect from 1 November 1997 he was appointed on a permanent basis. In 1999 he was appointed as a judge of the then Transvaal Provincial Division of the High Court (now the North Gauteng Division of the High Court) in Pretoria. With effect from 1 August 1999 he was appointed as Acting Judge President of the Labour Appeal Court and Labour Court. In 2000 he was appointed to this position on a permanent basis for a term of 10 years.
While he was Judge President, DCJ Zondo served in various ad hoc committees established by the Heads of Courts. These included a committee, chaired by then Chief Justice Pius Langa, which drew up a document to be used by the judiciary in dealing with complaints about racism and sexism within the judiciary. He also served in committees chaired by Judge President Ngoepe, which was established by the Heads of Courts to organise the first and second Conferences of Judges in Post-Apartheid South Africa. DCJ Zondo also chaired a committee of the Heads of Courts which looked into the use of official languages in courts.
After completing his term of office as Judge President in 2010, Justice Zondo returned to the North Gauteng High Court and resumed his duties as a judge of that court.
With effect from 1 November 2011 Justice Zondo was appointed as an acting judge of the Constitutional Court until just prior to his permanent appointment to the same court.
DCJ Zondo was appointed as Deputy Chief Justice to succeed Deputy Chief Justice Moseneke on 7 June 2017.
DCJ Zondo was appointed to chair the the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector including Organs of State, which commenced hearings in August 2018. The first of the Commission’s reports was published on 4 January 2022.
DCJ Zondo acted as Chief Justice, after Chief Justice Mogoeng’s retirement in October 2021.
Selection of Judgments written
- Malachi v Cape Dance Academy International (Pty) Ltd and Others (CCT05/10) (http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZACC/2010/13.html)
- Viking Pony Africa Pumps (Pty) Ltd t/a Tricom Africa v Hidro-Tech Systems (Pty) Ltd and Another (CCT34/10) (http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZACC/2010/21.html)
- Betlane v Shelly Court CC (CCT14/10) (http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZACC/2010/23.html)
- F v Minister of Safety and Security and Another (CCT30/11) (http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZACC/2011/37.html)
- South African Transport and Allied Workers Union and Another v Garvas and Others (CCT112/11) (http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZACC/2012/13.html)
- Oriani-Ambrosini, MP v Sisulu, MP Speaker of the National Assembly (CCT16/12) (http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZACC/2012/27.html)
- Agri South Africa v Minister for Minerals and Energy (CCT51/12) (http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZACC/2013/9.html)
- The Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe v Fick and Others (CCT101/12) (http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZACC/2013/22.html)