JSC recommends that President Ramaphosa appoint Mandisa Maya as Chief Justice
Just after 6pm on Saturday, as a marathon day of deliberations behind closed doors at the Judicial Service Commission, Julius Malema tweeted “It’s a girl”.
The prophetic statement was confirmed within 30 minutes when the commission announced that it recommends that President Cyril Ramaphosa appoint Supreme Court of Appeal President Mandisa Maya as the next Chief Justice as the first woman ever to head the institution.
This week the commission interviewed four candidates for the position of Chief Justice.
Maya, Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga, Judge Dunstan Mlambo, judge president of the Gauteng division of the high court and — the fourth candidate who ended the week’s proceedings with a 12-hour grilling was acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Friday.
However, before cameras were switched off on Friday night, interview chair Xola Petse read out an email that was not intended to be made public. It was from a law professor at Rhodes University who expressed concerns that the interview process had been flawed and consideration should be given to starting again from scratch to avoid the possibility of legal challenges.
Issues of concern included soft questioning of Maya and the introduction of sexual harassment “rumours” in the case of Mlambo — allegations that were scratched from the record.
At 9am on Saturday proceedings resumed when members of the JSC sat behind closed doors from 9am to deliberate on which name, out of the four candidates, they should recommend to President Cyril Ramaphosa. Ultimately though, the final decision on who will be appointed the successor to Judge Mogoeng Mogoeng lies with Ramaphosa.
Deliberations went on until just after 6pm when it was made known that an announcement was to be made. Within 30 minutes almost 2000 users were logged into the live stream.
Finally the brief announcement happened when commission spokespersons Advocate Dali Mpofu and Doris Tshepe took the podium at the Capital Hotel in Sandton and announced that Judge Maya had received their recommendation.
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