President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Justice Mandisa Maya as South Africa’s new Deputy Chief Justice.
Maya is currently the President of the Supreme Court of Appeal and was one of the interviewees to become the country’s Chief Justice earlier this year.
Then acting Chief Justice, Raymond Zondo, took over the position of Chief Justice following an interview process concluded in 2022.
She is the first woman to hold the position and will begin on 1 September 2022.
PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA APPOINTS JUDGE MAYA TO THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT
President @CyrilRamaphosa has appointed Madam Justice Mandisa Muriel Lindelwa Maya, current President of the Supreme Court of Appeal, as Deputy Chief Justice of South Africa with effect from 1 September 2022. pic.twitter.com/9M4KtgVn2S
— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) July 25, 2022
In February 2022 the JSC recommended Justice Mandisa Maya as next Chief Justice of South Africa:
Last year, the JSC came under scrutiny for how it handled its interview process and it ended up being redone.
JSC Interview | Justice Mandisa Maya interviewed for the position of Deputy Chief Justice – Part 1
JSC Interview | Justice Mandisa Maya interviewed for the position of Deputy Chief Justice – Part 2
PROFILE: Constitutional Court Chief Justice candidate Mandisa Maya
Justice Maya was born in 1964 in rural Eastern Cape. She worked as a court interpreter and prosecutor before joining the Women’s Legal Defence in Washington DC. As the country moved into democracy, Maya worked as an investigator for the Independent Electoral Commission. She then practiced as an advocate before becoming a High Court Judge.
Maya then moved through the appellate divisions and acted at the Constitutional Court as well.
At the helm of the Supreme Court of Appeal, she has turned the appellate court into one of the most efficient in the country. Some in the legal fraternity feel this makes her the best candidate for the next Chief Justice position.
“We never had a female Chief Justice. Maya has been doing a good job at the SCA some may say it’s only four years and that the court could benefit from her leadership stability but the president might want to be the first person to appoint a female chief justice,” says Dan Matora, CASAC Research Officer.
Justice Maya is set to be the second candidate to be interviewed by the Judicial Services Commission which is to be chaired by the Deputy Judge President of the SCA, Xola Petse in the first week of February.