Raymond Zondo Biography: Age, Education, Legal Career, Offices, Wife, Children, Net Worth

Raymond Zondo biography

Raymond Zondo Biography

Raymond Zondo is the current Chief Justice of South Africa, appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2022. He is also known for chairing the Zondo Commission, which investigated allegations of state capture and corruption during the previous administration of Jacob Zuma.

He was born in Ixopo, KwaZulu-Natal, and studied law at various universities. He has served as a judge of the Labour Court, the High Court, and the Constitutional Court, as well as the Deputy Chief Justice before becoming the Chief Justice.

In this post, you’ll find everything you need to know about Raymond Zondo, his early life, educational background, career, wife, family, met worth and more.

Raymond Zondo Age

Raymond Zondo is 64 years old as of 2024.

Raymond Zondo Early Life and Education

Raymond Zondo was born in 1960 in Ixopo, a rural town in KwaZulu-Natal. He was the third of nine children in his family. His father worked as a labourer in Johannesburg, while his mother was a nurse’s aide who later knitted jerseys to earn extra income.


Zondo grew up in poverty and faced many challenges in his childhood. He once revealed that he almost dropped out of school because he could not afford to buy a uniform. However, he was helped by a local shopkeeper who gave him credit to buy the clothes he needed.

Zondo attended St. Mary’s Seminary in Ixopo, where he completed his matriculation. He then pursued his law studies at various universities, thanks to the bursaries and scholarships he received.

He obtained his B. Iuris degree from the University of Zululand, his LLB degree from the University of Natal (now the University of KwaZulu-Natal), and three LLM degrees (cum laude) in labour law, commercial law, and patent law from the University of South Africa.

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Raymond Zondo began his legal career as a law clerk in the Supreme Court of South Africa in 1984. He then worked as an attorney in Durban, where he specialized in labour law, commercial law, and constitutional law. He was admitted to the bar in 1989 and practiced as an advocate until 1997. He also served as a mediator and arbitrator on a part-time basis.


In 1997, Zondo was appointed as a judge of the Labour Court, where he dealt with various labour disputes and cases. He was elevated to the Judge President of the Labour Court in 2000, a post he held for ten years. He also served as the Judge President of the Labour Appeal Court from 2006 to 2010. He was praised for his leadership and management skills, as well as his expertise and fairness in labour matters.

In 1999, Zondo was also appointed as a judge of the North Gauteng High Court (formerly the Transvaal Provincial Division), where he presided over civil and criminal cases. He returned to the High Court in 2010, after his term as the Judge President of the Labour Court ended. He also acted as a judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal from November 2009 to May 2010.

In 2011, Zondo was nominated by the Judicial Service Commission to fill a vacancy in the Constitutional Court, the highest court in the land. He was appointed by President Jacob Zuma in September 2012, after a public interview and consultation process. He joined the Constitutional Court as one of its 11 judges, who are responsible for upholding and interpreting the Constitution and protecting human rights.

In 2017, Zuma appointed Zondo as the Deputy Chief Justice of South Africa, succeeding Dikgang Moseneke, who retired in 2016. Zondo became the second-in-command of the judiciary and the leader of the Superior Courts. He also assumed the role of the chairperson of the Judicial Service Commission, the body that appoints and disciplines judges.

In 2018, Zondo was appointed by Zuma as the chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, also known as the Zondo Commission. The commission was established to investigate allegations of corruption, fraud, and undue influence by the Gupta family and their associates on the state and its organs. The commission heard testimonies from more than 300 witnesses, including former and current ministers, officials, executives, whistleblowers, and journalists. The commission also faced legal challenges and attacks from Zuma and his allies, who accused Zondo of bias and conflict of interest. Zondo stood firm and defended the integrity and independence of the commission.


In 2021, Zondo delivered a landmark judgment in the Constitutional Court, which found Zuma guilty of contempt of court for defying the court’s order to appear before the commission. Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in prison, which sparked protests and violence in some parts of the country. Zuma later applied for rescission and medical parole, but Zondo dismissed both applications. Zondo’s judgment was hailed as a historic victory for the rule of law and accountability.

In 2022, President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed Zondo as the new Chief Justice of South Africa. Zondo succeeded Mogoeng Mogoeng, who retired in October 2021. Zondo became the head of the judiciary and the president of the Constitutional Court. He also released the final report of the commission, which made several recommendations to combat corruption and reform the state.

Raymond Zondo Wife and Children

Raymond Zondo is married to Sithembile Zondo, whom he met in the 1980s at a post office when he was a young lawyer. They have four children, one of them being Khaya Zondo, a South African cricketer who plays for the Dolphins and the national team.

Raymond Zondo Net Worth

Raymond Zondo’s net worth is estimated to be around $1.9 million. He has earned his wealth from his successful career as a lawyer and a judge.

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