(File image) Judge Raymond Zondo. Photo: Antoine de Ras

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma has appointed Judge Raymond Zondo to the Constitutional Court, the presidency said on Tuesday.

“We wish Justice Zondo well in the exercise of this important duty to the country and the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa,” Zuma said in a statement.

Zondo served as an acting judge on the Constitutional Court from November last year until May 31.

He is presently a judge of the Pretoria High Court.

Zondo will begin his term on September 1.

The Democratic Alliance congratulated Zondo on his appointment.

“Judge Zondo is a good and experienced judge who has made his mark in the Labour and Labour Appeal Courts and also with judgments such as the well-reasoned ruling in the recent Sishen Iron Ore case,” said DA MP Dene Smuts.

“We do consider the president’s choice a missed opportunity to appoint an eminently qualified, highly respected female judge to the highest bench, where women are underrepresented, but it was clear from the Judicial Service Commission interviews that the choice lay between Judges Zondo and Maya and the final choice is the president’s prerogative.”

The DA preferred Supreme Court Judge Mandisa Maya “based on her integrity and the fact that she has shown that she is not afraid to hand down dissenting judgments”.

“We do, however, recognise the president’s constitutional prerogative to make an appointment to the Constitutional Court and appreciate his decision to allow for greater consultation on this matter than has been customary in the past,” said Smuts.

The presidency said Zondo had a 20-year career in the legal field and began his career as a judge in the Labour Court in 1997.

He then served as a judge in the then-Transvaal Provincial Division in 1999 for a short stint, before being appointed as an acting Judge President of the Labour Appeal Court and Labour Court.

Zondo became the permanent Judge President of the Labour Appeal Court in 2000, where he served a 10-year term.

After his term in the Labour Appeal Court expired, he was appointed to the High Court in Pretoria.

Zondo holds a B Luris degree from the University of Zululand, an LLB degree from the University of Natal, an LLM degree from the University of South Africa in Labour Law, an LLM degree with specialisation in Commercial Law from Unisa, and an LLM degree in patent law with Unisa. - Sapa