JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday announced that he appointed Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to head the commission of inquiry into state capture.
Zondo has an interesting history, like many previously disadvantaged South Africans he had to make hard choices early on in his life.

In 1997 he was appointed a judge of the Labour Court and in 1999 he was appointed to the Transvaal Provincial Division of the High Court (later the North Gauteng High Court, now the Gauteng Division). In 2000 he was elevated to Judge President of the Labour Court, a post in which he served for ten years. In 2010 he returned to the Pretoria High Court.

From November 2011 to May 2012, Zondo served as an acting judge of the Constitutional Court.

He was permanently appointed with effect from September 2012 and is now considered a key member, with Chris Jafta, of the Court's conservative wing.

In June 2017, President Jacob Zuma appointed Zondo to the office of Deputy Chief Justice, succeeding Dikgang Moseneke who retired in 2016.


Zondo matriculated in 1977 and decided he wanted to study law, however, his mother had lost her job 2 years prior to his matric year. Zondo was adamant on studying law, after obtaining a bursary but knew that he still needed to care for his mother and his siblings.

This was when Zondo took matters into his own hands and approached a wholesale store owner, Suleman Bux, for a loan so he could pay for groceries for his family while Zondo continued with his studies.


Video by Special Assignment published on YouTube.

Bux, eager to assist Zondo, said he could not help him in the form of money, but provided him with a monthly grocery voucher, which his mother could use to put food on his family’s table, as Zondo continued his studies.

To Zondo’s understanding, he was to pay back Bux once he had completed his studies three years later.

To the Deputy Chief Justice’s surprise, when that faithful day came when he could pay back the store owner, Bux simply informed Zondo that he did not need to pay him back anything. The benefactor just simply said please pay it forward and do what I have done for you to someone else who is less fortunate.

Zondo was appointed deputy chief justice in June 2017. He has been a Constitutional Court judge since 2012 and has served on several commissions, including the Goldstone Commission, which investigated political violence that took place between 1991 and 1994.