Open main menu

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

The Honourable

Sandile Ngcobo
Chief Justice of South Africa
In office
12 October 2009 – 12 August 2011
Appointed byPresident Jacob Zuma
DeputyDikgang Moseneke
Preceded byPius Langa
Succeeded byMogoeng Mogoeng
Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa
In office
1999 – 12 August 2011
Appointed byPresident Nelson Mandela
Personal details
Born (1953-03-01) March 1, 1953 (age 66)
Durban, South Africa
Spouse(s)Zandile ngcobo
ChildrenNokwanda; Ayanda; Manqoba Ngcobo
Alma materUniversity of Zululand,
University of Natal,
Harvard Law School
ProfessionLawyer; Retired Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa

In 2017, the Southern African Public Law journal published a special issue in volume 32 of the journal under the title: "Twenty-First Century Constitutional Jurisprudence of South Africa: the Contribution of Former Chief Justice S. Sandile Ngcobo" in which academics, judges and practitioners examined Justice Ngcobo's jurisprudence during his ternure at the bench. The special issue was edited by Professor Ntombizozuko Dyani-Mhango, a former clerk of the Justice Ngcobo. See, [2]


Justice Ngcobo received a Fulbright scholarship and he holds an LLM degree from Harvard Law School,[1] where he is a visiting professor of law. He is also a visiting professor of law at Columbia Law School and an adjunct professor of law at Cornell Law School.


From 1986 to 1987, Ngcobo clerked for A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., a United States federal judge.

Ngcobo was made an honorary professor of law by the University of Cape Town.

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.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Justice Sandile Ngcobo". Constitutional Court of South Africa. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Zuma looks to Ngcobo as new chief justice". Mail & Guardian. 2009-08-06.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Pius Langa
Chief Justice of South Africa
Succeeded by
Mogoeng Mogoeng