Path cleared for Mandisa Maya to become SA’s next chief justice

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has announced that it is backing Deputy Chief Justice Mandisa Maya to become South Africa’s next chief justice when incumbent Raymond Zondo’s non-renewal term ends on 31 August 2024.

Maya was the sole candidate interviewed for the position on Tuesday by JSC and now set to become South Africa’s first woman chief justice.

“Following the interview for chief justice of the Republic of South Africa, the JSC has resolved to advise the president [of South Africa), that Deputy Chief Justice M M L Maya is suitable for appointment to the position of chief justice,” said a statement released after the interview was concluded on Tuesday.

Following the interview for Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa, the JSC has resolved to advise the President, that Deputy Chief Justice M M L Maya is suitable for appointment to the position of Chief Justice. #JSCinterviews #ocj_rsa #JudiciaryRSA pic.twitter.com/ke6nMvBFPP

— RSAJudiciary (@OCJ_RSA) May 21, 2024

The JSC’s resolution comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in February this year that he was nominating Maya – who is also a former president of the Supreme Court of Appeal – to become chief justice.

“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,”a Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya, said in February.

Second time lucky for Deputy Chief Justice Mandisa Maya?

This is not the first time that the JSC has recommended Maya for the chief justice position.

In 2022, the commission recommended Maya for the position but Ramaphosa, empowered by law