The Constitutional Court in session. Picture: GCIS
The Constitutional Court in session. Picture: GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) justices Stevan Majiedt and Zukisa Tshiqi to the Constitutional Court. 

It is the first appointments the president has made to the highest court in the land since he took office in February of 2018. 

Their appointments are expected to bring stability to the bench, which has seen multiple acting appointments as a result of the two vacancies left by the promotion of Raymond Zondo as deputy chief justice, and the retirement of justice Bess Nkabinde.

Justice Edwin Cameron also retired in August, which left three vacancies at the court, which has 11 permanent members. His position has not yet been advertised.

The presidency announced the appointments, effective October 1, on Wednesday after the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) submitted a shortlist to Ramaphosa at the beginning of April 2019.

The shortlist had five candidates, which included Majiedt and Tshiqi, and three high court judges Annali Basson, Patricia Goliath and Jody Kollapen. Both Majiedt and Tshiqi have previously acted in the Constitutional Court.

Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko said on Wednesday that he had made these appointments after consulting chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and the leaders of the parties represented in the National Assembly. This was done in line with the constitution.

“President Ramaphosa has expressed his confidence that justices Tshiqi and Majiedt will further enrich jurisprudence at the apex court, which has served the nation with distinction throughout the democratic dispensation,” Diko said. 

Tshiqi holds a BProc degree and a postgraduate diploma in labour law. She started her career as a legal co-ordinator at the SA Council of Churches from 1986 to 1989. She served her articles from 1989 to 1991 and practised as an attorney until 2005 when she was appointed a judge of the Gauteng division of the Johannesburg High Court. She was appointed to the SCA in 2009.

Majiedt holds BA Law and LLB degrees from the University of the Western Cape. He was admitted as an advocate in 1984 and practised as such until 1995 when he was appointed as a chief provincial state law adviser in the Northern Cape office of the premier from 1996 to 1999.

In January 2000, Majiedt returned to private practice as an advocate and this culminated in his appointment as an acting judge of the Northern Cape division of the high court. It was during that year that he was appointed a permanent judge of the Northern Cape High Court. He was appointed to the SCA in December 2010.