African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa has cautioned against dragging judges and members of the judiciary into party politics after his party was criticised for using Deputy Chief Justice Mandisa Maya’s image on one of its campaign posters.
Ramaphosa led the ANC’s voter registration campaign in Gauteng over the weekend.
The ANC along with other political parties were on the charm offensive and in intense election campaign drive as the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) holds its first voter registration weekend.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of his campaign, Ramaphosa said that judges were the arbiters of the nation.
“If you're going to be the arbiters of the nation, you have got to be given the independence to act independently because you have prestige, you have upper respect and the standing.
“We should not drag them into party political issues. They should also not allow to be dragged into party political issues and they should not drag themselves into politics just as we cannot drag ourselves into judicial matters.
“As much as I know the law to some extent, I will not drag myself into such matters,” he said.
On Saturday, the ANC apologised to Deputy Chief Justice Mandisa Maya after it shared a campaign poster with her image, with the tagline, “The future is transformation - Justice Mandisa Maya (first female deputy chief justice).”
The Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ) said it was an inappropriate use of the Justice Maya’s image in an election campaign poster which was not authorised by Justice Maya or the OCJ.
The ANC said its intention was to celebrate the significant progress and transformation made in all areas of society, including the judiciary. However it removed the poster from its social media platforms and apologised to the DCJ.