Get to know JSC-endorsed chief justice candidate Judge President Mandisa Maya

Maya is the only woman amongst four shortlisted candidates interviewed by the commission to be Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s successor after his term came to an end in October last year.

FILE: Supreme Court of Appeal President Justice Mandisa Maya during her interview with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on 2 February 2022. Picture: @OCJ_RSA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Judicial Service Commission on Saturday recommended that President Cyril Ramaphosa appoint the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) Judge President Mandisa Maya as the next Chief Justice of South Africa.

Maya is the only woman amongst four shortlisted candidates interviewed by the commission to be Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s successor after his term came to an end in October last year.

The Judge President of the Supreme Court of Appeal was competing against currently acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, Constitutional Court Justice Mbuyiseni Madlanga and Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo.

GRAPHIC: MEET YOUR CANDIDATES FOR CHIEF JUSTICE

But who is Judge President Maya? Eyewitness News has put together a roundup of her qualifications, experience and some of the key judgments that she handed down in her career so far.

Born and raised in the rural Eastern Cape, Maya holds a Baccalaureus Procurationis (B.Proc) from 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.

In 1994, when South Africa was transitioning towards a democratic state, Maya worked as an investigator for the Independent Electoral Commission in the Eastern Cape, looking into allegations of white farmers who were destroying the election material of so-called “black political parties” and preventing their black workers from organising or attending political gatherings.

From 1999 up until 2000, Maya acted as a High Court judge at the Mthatha High Court and was subsequently appointed the judge of the high court.

Maya was also appointed acting judge in the Makhanda (formerly known as Grahamstown), Gqeberha (formerly known as Port Elizabeth) and the Bisho High Courts.

In 2005, Maya was appointed as acting judge at the Supreme Court of Appeal, making her the first black woman to be appointed in that court and was later appointed Judge of Appeal at the same court in 2006.

In 2011, Maya was appointed acting judge of the Constitutional Court from January up until May. Maya also occupied positions in judiciaries outside of South Africa; in 2008 she was acting judge at the Supreme Court of Namibia and acting judge at the Appeal Court in Lesotho.

Maya became deputy president of the Supreme Court of Appeal in 2015, before she was appointed to her current position of president in June 2017.

According to the Supreme Court of Appeal website, Maya has handed down close to 4,000 judgments throughout her various positions - 3,668 to be precise.

Some of her notable ones include:

Information sourced from Judges Matter and other publications.