Home South African Sisulu crossed the line by insulting the judiciary, says Zondo

Sisulu crossed the line by insulting the judiciary, says Zondo


Acting Chief Justice Raymond said it should not be acceptable that a member of Parliament and the executive should choose to ’insult’ the judiciary in the way that Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has.

Minister of Tourism Lindiwe Sisulu wrote a scathing article about the South African judiciary saying it only protected the elite and the well-connected. Siyasanga Mbambani/DoC.

PRETORIA – Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo blasted Lindiwe Sisulu’s actions saying she wrote her recent opinion piece like a young person with no facts, after the Tourism Minister penned a scathing article about the country’s judiciary.

In a briefing on Wednesday, Zondo said Sisulu’s article titled “Hi Mzansi, have we seen justice?”, which appeared on Africa News Global and IOL last week, was not based in facts but only “insults”.

Sisulu questioned black judges, saying, among other things, they were “mentally colonised Africans who have settled with the world view and mindset of those who have dispossessed their ancestors”.

Zondo said Sisulu’s article was only rich in insult but very poor in substantiation and also failed to produce any adverse judgments that judges have made in the past to support her theories.

He said the judiciary was not beyond reproach or against criticism, however, Sisulu’s article could not be classed as criticism.

“Criticism must be fair, and should be based on a factual basis. There are no facts put up by Sisulu. It’s just accusations. This is an unsubstantiated insult. It’s something a young person, with no access to facts, would write. There is no analysis of anything. It’s just accusations, insults to the judiciary… This is probably the worst insult that has been levelled against the judiciary,” said Zondo.

He added that it was regrettable that the insults came from a senior member of the ruling party, Parliament and the executive.

“It should not be acceptable that a member of Parliament and the executive should, without any facts, choose to insult the judiciary in the way that Sisulu has.

“It is very important that we draw the line about conduct… that is not acceptable.”

Zondo said he did not intend to reach out to Sisulu but hoped she had the decency to withdraw the attack on the judiciary.

The Department of Tourism, in a media WhatsApp group, said: “The minister has noted the comments made by the Acting Chief Justice Zondo and they will be engaged with at an appropriate time in an appropriate platform.”

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