HEROES 1: DCJ Raymond Zondo – restoring the rule of law

Toby Shapshak

South Africa has a lot to thank Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo for.

It is fitting that his name will be forever associated with the return of the rule of law after the state capture years.

His Commission will be honoured for its attempts to uncover the true extent of corruption under former President Jacob Zuma.

He will also be remembered for his determination to hold Zuma to account by testifying at the commission he chairs, which Zuma was instructed to set up by former public protector Thuli Madonsela.

Officially called the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, it is known by most people as the Zondo Commission.

To his credit, the deputy chief justice (whose DCJ acronym might be a South African RBG) has never boasted about himself in this important process of unpacking the extent of corruption.

A reserved and thoughtful man, he has held a strictly legal line in the commission’s work, including a full-frontal attack by Zuma’s lawyers to get him to recuse himself.

Although Zondo fathered a child with the sister of one of Zuma’s wives (long before the Zumas met and married), and the former president claimed they were friendly, Zondo knocked him back by saying: “The statement that we are friends is not accurate … Mr Zuma and I do not socialise together and have never socialised together.”

Take a bow, DCJ Zondo!