President Cyril Ramaphosa is about to appoint — on time, it seems — the next SA chief justice. He has run it close to the wind, inviting just a few weeks ago nominations from the public for a position that will become vacant when incumbent chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng retires at the end of the month.

Ramaphosa has an unhappy reputation for letting deadlines slide, something he promised at the start of his presidency he would not do. As one of the architects of our constitution, he will be acutely aware of the dangers of leaving the court more leaderless and damaged than Mogoeng’s management has already ensured...

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