EFF, DA welcome Justice Maya’s nomination as Chief Justice

Supreme Court of Appeal President Mandisa Maya. Picture: Timothy Bernard-African News Agency (ANA)

Supreme Court of Appeal President Mandisa Maya. Picture: Timothy Bernard-African News Agency (ANA)

Published Feb 28, 2024


Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s nomination of Justice Mandisa Maya to succeed Chief Justice Raymond Zondo as the country’s next chief justice, the EFF has welcomed the latest developments.

On Tuesday, Ramaphosa announced that he had embarked on a process of consultation with the leaders of political parties represented in Parliament and the Judicial Service Commission to convey his nomination of Judge Mandisa Muriel Lindelwa Maya as Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa.

Reacting to the news, the EFF in a statement said it welcomed the nomination as her extensive knowledge and experience and impeccable character stood her in good stead.

“Justice Maya’s remarkable journey and achievements make her a truly deserving candidate for the position of Chief Justice... Her ability to champion the rights of the marginalised while upholding the Constitution earned her respect across the legal fraternity and the admiration of the South African public.

“Notably, she authored the first judgment in IsiXhosa, a testament to her dedication to inclusivity and accessibility within the legal system,” the party said.

During the Judicial Service interviews, the EFF had recommended to the president that he appoint her as the next CJ. However, the president went with Chief Justice Zondo, resulting in widespread criticism of his decision.

The party reiterated this call, saying Justice Maya should have been chosen to occupy the highest office in the country’s justice system.

Her nomination, should it be accepted, would make her the country’s first female chief justice.

“However, the EFF believes she should have been appointed immediately upon the conclusion of former CJ Mogoeng Mogoeng’s term. The delay, coupled with the interim appointment of Judge Raymond Zondo, raises serious questions, particularly with the knowledge that his term as judge is coming to an end on 31 August 2024,” the party added.

As such, the EFF said Justice Zondo’s appointment raised many questions about the possibility of there being some sort of “political reward”.

“Zondo’s appointment, widely perceived as a ‘political reward’ for his findings against a specific ANC faction and his role in the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma, serves as a stark reminder of the dangers of political influence within the judiciary.

“While the EFF remains wary of the potential attempts by the ANC to exploit this appointment, as evidenced by the recent poster campaign where they used her image implying her allegiance to the ANC, we will submit our response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call for submissions,” it said.

Justice Maya currently serves as Deputy Chief Justice and has held the positions of deputy president and president of the Supreme Court of Appeal.

“President Ramaphosa has invited the leaders of political parties represented in the National Assembly to make submissions on the suitability or otherwise of Deputy Chief Justice Maya to hold the office of Chief Justice,” the Presidency said on Tuesday.

Justice Maya’s nomination has also been welcomed and approved by the DA, with DA MP advocate Glynnis Breytenbach saying: Justice Mandisa Maya “brings with her an incredible amount of experience”.

“Our position on Justice Maya has not changed since our position on her being nominated as deputy chief justice. She certainly meets those requirements following a long career on the bench and a strong career prior to being appointed to the bench,” Breytenbach told Newzroom Afrika.

The Star