JSC recommends judge president Mandisa Maya for deputy chief justice post.
By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has recommended the appointment of Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) Judge President Mandisa Maya as Deputy Chief Justice.
Following interviews with four shortlisted candidates, the Judicial Service Commission in February recommended Maya as the country’s next Chief Justice.
President Cyril Ramaphosa ultimately decided to appoint then Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and nominated Maya as his second-in-command.
In a statement last month, the JSC confirmed that she had accepted the nomination.
Maya is the only candidate that the president has nominated for the job and in terms of the Constitution, as head of the national executive, he has the final say on who gets it.
Addressing the media on Monday, JSC commissioner Doris Tshepe indicated the commission interviewed Maya as part of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s consultation process in terms of the Constitution.
"The JSC interviewed her and has since deliberated on the matter. The JSC [has decided] to advise the president that [Justice] Maya is suitable for appointment as the Deputy Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa," Tshepe said.
During Monday’s proceedings, Maya was asked by Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema about what she would do regarding leaks in the judiciary.
She responded saying judges were shocked, especially about the recent incident involving suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
"It’s an extremely serious problem" Maya responded, adding that judges needs to put their heads together to prevent these leaks.
Maya has been described as a trailblazer in the judiciary due to her impressive track record.
The 58-year-old is regarded as "a woman of firsts" because she was one of the first women judges in the Eastern Cape High Court, the first black woman to be appointed to the SCA, the first woman deputy president of the court, and later, the first woman president of the SCA – a position she’s held since 2017.
If appointed as Deputy Chief Justice, she will be the first woman to hold the position.
Maya received three honorary doctorates and is currently the Chancellor of the University of Mpumalanga.
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