The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has recommended Supreme Court Justice Mandisa Maya as the next Chief Justice. This was just announced in a short statement by Commissioner Dali Mpofu, during a media briefing, which happened 5 hours later than the initially stated time(1pm).
The deliberation started at 9am on Saturday morning, following marathon interviews with the four judges tipped for the position.
During her interview by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) for the position of the country’s top judge, Justice Maya called for government to give women and black lawyers the experience required to become top judges.
She reflected on the under-representation of women at all levels of the judiciary and says the quality of future judges is dependent on giving them exposure currently.
“We must not stop doing the things we have been doing. In the meantime, agitating for women to get quality work in the professions by the state attorney, that can never be overstated. Government must give black lawyers and women lawyers quality work so that we have a pool when we look for judges and we have people who are ready, who have been exposed to niche areas like commercial law – when they go to the bench and we do not get these comments these painful comments that the quality of judgments is being eroded,” she adds.
Maya also pointed out the Judiciary did not have an anti-sexual harassment policy as if they were not part of society.
She told the JSC that some of the few reported cases of sexual harassment were not receiving the necessary attention.
“The Judiciary has no anti-sexual harassment policy as if we live … we come from this bubble somewhere, (and) we are not part of society. (As if) we don’t experience the problems that are experienced you know by society generally.”
“No anti-sexual harassment policy and the reported consequences in this gap are the few sexual harassment incidents, with the few courageous victims – because its not easy to report that kind of thing for various reasons – those few cases that have been reported to the powers that be, have not received the attention they deserve because they are treated, if treated at all, as acts of misconduct in inquiries that take forever to finalise.”
JSC Interview | Justice Mandisa Maya:
Earlier on Saturday, the Ministry of Justice and Correctional has refuted claims by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) that there was something untoward with the communication between the Justice Minister Ronald Lamola and Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
The Ministry of Justice and Correctional says it has noted what appears to be a deliberate distortion of the appointment process of acting judges, of the Constitutional Court.
The ministry says to suggest that the process as prescribed by the Constitution is judicial capture or manipulation is untruthful.
“The insinuation that the minister sought to enhance the appointment-ability of a Chief Justice candidate by suggesting that the candidate be appointed to act in a vacancy in the Constitutional Court is designed not only to malign the minister but also undermine confidence in the judiciary.”
JSC Interviews | Justice Ministry clarifies process of the appointment of acting judges:
The statement follows EFF’s accusations on the African National Congress-led government of trying to manipulate the appointment of the new Chief Justice in South Africa.
This, as the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), just wrapped up the process of conducting interviews for the next Chief Justice, as per the request by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
JSC Interviews | Justice Raymond Zondo concludes a 12-hour hot interview:
The party has described as “shocking, unethical and deplorable” the revelations in between the interviewing process, that, there was an exchange of letters and phone calls between Lamola and Acting Chief Justice Zondo.
EFF National Spokesperson, Vuyani Pambo says, Lamola revealed this exchange in which he sought to influence the appointment of acting judge for the Constitutional Court in favour of Judge Dunstan Mlambo, who is also vowing for the top job at the Constitutional Court.
Pambo says the EFF will file a complaint against Justice Zondo to the JSC, so that he can be held accountable.
Zondo’s interview for the position of Chief Justice erupted into chaos late on Friday evening when JSC Commissioner Julius Malema and Lamola engaged in a shouting match.