Supreme Court Justice Mandisa Maya has called for government to give women and black lawyers the experience required to become top judges.
Maya has 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 says the Judiciary does not have an anti-sexual harassment policy as if they are not part of society.
She told the JSC that some of the few reported cases of sexual harassment are not receiving the necessary attention.
Maya says, “The Judiciary has no anti-sexual harassment policy as if we live, we come from this bubble somewhere, we are not part of society. 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,” she adds.
JSC Interview | Justice Mandisa Maya
Additional reporting by Mercedes Besent.