JSC endorses Mandisa Maya as SA’s next Chief Justice

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Deputy Chief Justice Mandisa Maya. Picture: Gallo Images/Daily Maverick/Felix Dlangamandla

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo is set to retire in August.

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has resolved to support President Cyril Ramaphosa’s selection of Deputy Chief Justice Mandisa Maya as South Africa’s next Chief Justice.

Maya, born in the Eastern Cape in 1964, will be the first woman to be appointed to the position, after becoming the first woman judge to serve as the President of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

Suitable

The JSC said Maya is a suitable candidate for Chief Justice after her interview at the Capital on the Park Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg, on Tuesday.

“Following the interview for Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa, the Judicial Service Commission has resolved to advise the President, that Deputy Chief Justice M M L Maya is suitable for appointment to the position of Chief Justice.

“Following the interview for Deputy President of the Supreme Court of Appeal, the Judicial Service Commission has resolved to advise the President, that Justice D Zondi is suitable for appointment to the position of Deputy President of the SCA,” said the JSC.

Judges hurdles

During her interview on Tuesday, Maya spoke about the hurdles confronting judges in South Africa.

“The safety of our court buildings and personnel which must be prioritised. Our courts are not safe… There are many stories of judicial officers who have been attacked in the courts of law where one is supposed to be safest.

“The Judiciary needs to finally establish a functional judges wellness programme and this is one that the magistrates have got right. They have fully functional wellness programme,” Maya said.

Zondo to retire

Current Chief Justice Raymond Zondo is set to retire in August. Ramaphosa announced Maya as his pick for Zondo’s successor in February.

“Justice Maya will contribute to the ongoing transformation process of the Judiciary. Her ascendency to the apex court will serve as a beacon of hope for scores of young women and make them believe that South Africa is a country of possibilities regardless of gender, social or economic circumstances,” Ramaphosa said at the time.

Zondo was appointed as a Justice of the Constitutional Court for a 12-year term on 1 September 2012.

The Citizen/Faizel Patel