Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has been named as the 2017 South African of the Year, according to a poll hosted by News24, in conjunction with the National Braai Day initiative as part of Heritage Day celebrations.
"Clearly Chief Justice Mogoeng's efforts in his position and his continued excellence have resonated with the South African of the Year voters in 2017!," said Jan Scannell – also known as Jan Braai – the man behind the award and National Braai Day Initiative.
Mogoeng garnered nearly two thirds of the vote – 63%. He was followed by the Blitzbokke who obtained a 21% share of the 37 427 votes cast, followed by tennis player Kevin Anderson with 16%.
Also included in the original poll were long jump World Champion Luvo Manyonga and Ndebele artist Esther Mahlangu.
"After the first round of voting, Manyonga and Mahlangu were eliminated, leaving Mogoeng, the Blitzboks and Anderson to battle it out for the honour."
A panel of journalists and other experts came up with the five names. In nominating Mogoeng, the panel declared that "he has proven to be a beacon of morality that provides a light for others to follow. He is consistent in choosing what is right and lawful, and demonstrates commitment to serving the people of South Africa above all."
The public had a week to vote in the competition, which is in its third year.
"All five of the original 2017 candidates are truly exceptional South Africans, and their achievements should make us all feel proud to be South African," said Scannell.
Mogoeng, has been at the helm of several Constitutional Court cases this year, including that which stipulated that the parliamentary speaker had the choice of whether to hold a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma via secret ballot.
He was recently voted President of the Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa (CCJA).
Mogoeng has held his position as Chief Justice since 2011.