Judge Mandisa Maya tipped to be first female president of the SCA
Naledi Shange | 2017-04-04 08:12:43.0
Justice Mandisa Muriel Lindelwa Maya has been nominated as the President of the Supreme Court of Appeal.
Image by: Mandisa Maya via Twitter
Mandisa Maya‚ 53‚ is well on her way to making history as the first female president of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).
The Judicial Service Commission has recommended that President Jacob Zuma appoint her to the post.
After several appearances before the JSC‚ Maya‚ who has been a judge since she was 35‚ appeared confident and composed throughout the interview held at the offices of the Chief Justice on Monday.
She successfully answered all but one question‚ which came from EFF leader Julius Malema‚ who is one of the commissioners in the interview process.
After revealing that she was working on rooting out the racial divisions which were brutally evident among the SCA judges‚ Malema asked Maya whether there was a difference between multi-racialism and non-racialism.
He argued that her team building efforts did not bring about any change because there was no common vision between the people she aimed to unite.
“Instead people would be forced by circumstance to mingle. They sit together but they don’t share anything. They still look down on each other‚” Malema said.
Besides the racial divisions‚ Maya was robustly questioned about challenges faced by women in the judiciary.
Maya said she “could write a book” about the challenges‚ revealing that in 2002‚ when she fell pregnant with her daughter‚ the justice department did not know what to do with her. She was a High Court judge. She had an induced birth in order to have some control over when she could return to work.
Constitutional Judge Raymond Zondo‚ who was interviewed yesterday for the position of Deputy Chief Justice‚ was also recommended for the post.
What was meant to be an hour-long interview for Zondo dragged out for four hours.
Commissioners mostly questioned him on his views and role in transforming the judiciary to ensure that more black lawyers and judges were seen in the courts.
Deliberations on whether to recommend Zondo were also lengthy.
During the interview‚ Malema had appeared critical of Zondo’s relationship with Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng after it was declared that they have been friends since their university days.
Malema said appointing Zondo could be tarnish the good image of the judiciary as perceptions could be raised that a pair of friends have been tasked with heading the country’s most supreme court.
But Zondo dismissed these claims‚ saying both he and Mogoeng were men of integrity.