Casac welcomes Maya’s appointment as SCA president

Johannesburg - The appointment of Justice Mandisa Maya as Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) president will help strengthen South Africa’s constitutional democracy, NGO Casac said on Monday.

“We think it’s an affirmation of the fact that within South Africa, we have women of the highest calibre,” the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution’s (Casac) Lawson Naidoo said.

 “It’s about time that we have women of that calibre occupy these important positions in our democracy.”

She would be an asset to the second-highest court in South Africa, he said.

Maya is the first woman to be appointed to the highest office at the SCA since the establishment of the court in 1910. She was the first female deputy president of the appellate division.

President Jacob Zuma announced last Friday that Maya, 53, would occupy the office with immediate effect. He made the decision following consultation with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

The JSC recommended her following interviews in April before a panel including Julius Malema, Faith Muthambi, and Thoko Didiza. Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng chaired the interviews. The focus centered on gender transformation in the legal system.

Maya was the only candidate for the position, which had been vacant.

The JSC convenes twice a year – in April and October – for one week to interview potential candidates for different positions in the judiciary.

The General Council of the Bar described her as an “excellent legal mind” with a “fine grasp of the law across a broad spectrum”.

Maya was awarded a Fulbright scholarship and completed her master’s degree in law (LLM) at Duke University in North Carolina, where she worked for the Women’s Legal Defense Fund. She worked as an attorney’s clerk, a court interpreter, a lecturer, and an attorney in the Mthatha High Court in the Eastern Cape.

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