Project Description

Sandile Ngcobo born 1 March 1953, is former justice in the Constitutional Court of South Africa. He served as Chief Justice from 2009 to 2011.

Ngcobo was the beneficiary of a scholarship from Barclays Bank between 1973 and 1976. In 1975 Ngcobo graduated from the University of Zululand with a B Proc (Bachelor of Law), earning distinctions in constitutional law, mercantile law and accounting and was admitted as an attorney in 1981.

in 1985 he received a Fullbright scholarship and he holds an LLM degree from Harvard Law School. He was appointed to the Constitutional Court in 1999 by Nelson Mandela. Prior to this he was a judge in the Cape High Court  and the Labour Appeal Court.

On 6 August 2009, President Jacob Zuma nominated Ngcobo to succeed Pius Langa as Chief Justice of South Africa in October 2009.

Legal Experience

  • Admitted as an attorney in 1981
  • Law Clerk to the late The Hon. A. Leon Higginbotham Jr., former Chief Judge of the Third Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, USA, 1986-1987
  • Admitted as an Advocate in 1988
  • Judge, Industrial Court, 1993
  • IMSSA Mediator in Community Conflict
  • IMSSA Labour Arbitrator and Mediator
  • Part-time lecturer on Constitutional Litigation, University of Natal, Durban
  • Judge of the Western Cape High Court ,1996 -1999
  • Judge of the Labour Appeal Court, 1997-1999
  • Judge on the Amnesty Committee of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission,1998-1999
  • Member and later Chairperson of Rules Board for Courts of Law, 1998 – 2004
  • Acting Judge President of Labour Court and Labour Appeal Court, 1999
  • Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, 1999 – Present


Events of this nature are the source of inspiration to others. I hope that this initiative will inspire others to be Living Legends of eThekwini” Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo