IN QUOTES: ‘Insulted’ ACJ Zondo fires back against Lindiwe Sisulu

Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has unleashed his own fire and fury on Lindiwe Sisulu, after the Tourism Minister penned a scathing article about the South African judiciary.

What did Lindiwe Sisulu say about the courts and the Constitution?

Sisulu, who has been a senior politician in the ANC ranks for almost 30 years, has questioned the validity of Mzansi’s Constitution, arguing that it only really protects the elite and the well-connected.

“What we have witnessed under a Supreme Constitution and the rule of law since 1994 has been the co-option and invitation of political power brokers to the dinner table, whose job is to keep the masses quiet in their sufferance while they dine caviar with colonised capital.”

“Today, in the high echelons of our judicial system are these mentally colonised Africans, who have settled with the worldview and mindset of those who have dispossessed their ancestors. They are only too happy to lick the spittle of those who falsely claim superiority.”

Lindiwe Sisulu

Why Zondo elected to hold a press conference…

The fiery critique then pushed ACJ Zondo to call a press conference on Wednesday, as the insults allegedly ‘crossed the line’, and ‘failed to provide any facts’ to support her ramblings.

Although he didn’t directly call for Lindiwe Sisulu’s dismissal, Zondo did state that the next move ‘is up to President Ramaphosa’. The senior judicial figure is also asking for the minister to withdraw her article.

IN QUOTES: Zondo rips into Sisulu over court criticism

Sisulu blasted for ‘writing like a young person with no facts’

“Criticism must be fair, and should be based on a factual basis. There are no facts put up by Ms Sisulu. It’s just accusations. This is an unsubstantiated insult. It’s something a young person, with no access to facts, would write.”

The judiciary ‘has been insulted’, Zondo claims

“It is most regrettable that these insults came from a senior member of the ANC, Parliament and the executive. That such a senior member should see fit to insult the judiciary, particularly African judges, is also regrettable.”

Sisulu ‘crossed a line’ with ‘unacceptable comments’

“It should not be acceptable that a member of Parliament and the executive should – without any facts – chose 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.”

Ramaphosa ‘must choose course of action’ against Sisulu

“Sisulu is a member of the Executive and Parliament. It would be a pity if it was allowed to stand just like that… her utterances are an insult to all African judges. What President Ramaphosa does next is up to him…”

Zondo demands ‘withdrawal’ from minister

“We hope she has the decency to withdraw the attack on the judiciary. There is no plan from us to engage with Lindiwe Sisulu, unless she initiates contact.”