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Zondo thanks retiring Justices Khampepe and Jafta for their service

Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Wednesday 13 October expressed his appreciation for Justices Sisi Khampepe and Chris Jafta upon their retirement from the apex court. 

Both had served in their positions for 12 years. 

“I wish to express our deep appreciation to Justice Khampepe for her selfless service to the people of South Africa, for her commitment to the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, for her role in strengthening our constitutional democracy during her term of office as a Justice of the Constitutional Court,” said Zondo in a statement. 

Khampepe leaves behind a legal career stretching over 40 years, with her “main area of practice, for which she was renowned, [being] the defence of workers against unjust laws and unfair employment practices”.

Highlights of Khampepe’s career include her appointment by President Nelson Mandela as one of the Commissioners of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1995. She also held an overview role in the elections in Zimbabwe and Uganda in 2004 and 2006, respectively. 

Khampepe’s tenure on the bench of the Constitutional Court “is marked and celebrated as a period during which she eloquently developed jurisprudence on the rights of women and children, and other vulnerable members of society”.

Most recently, Khampepe delivered the historical judgment sending former president Jacob Zuma to prison for 15 months for violating the authority of the court and repeatedly attacking the dignity of the judiciary. 

Ending his term of office after 12 years at the apex court, Jafta was thanked by Zondo “for his contribution to the development of our law, for the service he rendered in various courts of our country and for his contribution to the promotion and protection of the independence of the judiciary”.

Following a legal career at the high court, labour appeal court and supreme court of appeal, Jafta was appointed as a judge at the Constitutional Court in October 2009. 

“Justice Jafta has made a huge contribution to this country’s jurisprudence,” said Zondo’s statement. 

The retirement of Khampepe and Jafta comes at the same time as that of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, whose term ended in October.

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