What to know about Judge Mandisa Maya, The Next Chief Justice

What to know about Judge Mandisa Maya, The Next Chief Justice

President Cyril Ramaphosa must now decide whether to accept the Judicial Service Commission’s recommendation that Judge Mandisa Maya, the President of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), be nominated as the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court.
The post was left vacant after Former Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng retired in October 2021.
Three other prominent jurists had their eyes set on the seat: Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, Constitutional Court Judge Mbuyiseli Madlanga and Gauteng High Court Judge President Dunstan Mlambo.
Judge Maya reckons she is the perfect fit for the job and told the JSC that even the justices at the highest court in the land would agree.

“I say this without fear of contradiction that Acting Chief Justice Raymond] Zondo and the rest of the constitutional court justices would support my leadership; I have no doubt.”
Judge Mandisa Maya

SIX FACTS ABOUT JUDGE MANDISA MAYA

  • Judge Mandisa Maya was born in 1964 in Tsolo in the rural Eastern Cape
  • She holds a B.Proc from the then-University of Transkei (Unitra, now Walter Sisulu University), an LLB from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and an LLM in labour law from Duke University in the United States
  • Judge Maya used to work as a court interpreter and prosecutor before joining the Women’s Legal Defense Fund in Washington DC
  • She has acted as a judge of the Constitutional Court in 2012
  • She was appointed to the High Court in Mthatha in 2000 until 2005, after which she joined the SCA, becoming the first black woman on that court
  • According to Judges Matter, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Judge Maya reacted proactively, moving to virtual hearings and effectively clearing the SCA’s workload for that term
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