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Judge Maya wants to be the first woman to be a head of court in South Africa and wants her successor in SCA to be a woman

Judge President of the International Association of Women Judges and of the Supreme Court of Appeal Mandisa Maya

Judge President of the International Association of Women Judges and of the Supreme Court of Appeal Mandisa Maya

Published Jun 20, 2022

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Supreme Court of Appeal President and Deputy Chief Justice Candidate, Mandisa Maya challenged the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to recommend more women heads of court.

Maya was speaking before the JSC for the Deputy Chief Justice President in Sandton today.

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“I'm the only woman head of court in the country currently and this body has an opportunity today to change this dismal picture at least so far this one vacancy is concerned. South Africa has never had a woman in its highest echelons, I am the furthest as the president of SCA that women have come close to smelling what it takes to be in charge of your institution and be given an equal opportunity as male counterparts to show your skills,” said Maya.

She further said :The JSC today has an opportunity to endorse President Cyril Ramaphosa’s nomination of me of being Deputy Chief Justice so that women are pushed even higher in the ranks of leadership in this institution and once that is done ensure that my successor at the SCA will be another woman and we do not regress or lose this momentum”.

Maya highlighted the introduction of bilingual judgements and her aim is to encourage more courts to make use of this method, she said the Apex court was the first to do so.

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“The Apex court has produced bilingual judgements with a fair degree of regularity and I am not sure what procedures were used. Our Apex court set an example of going beyond the one official language of record which the judiciary has adopted, for practical reasons nothing else,” she said.

Maya said this would benefit the society.

“This is something I will definitely explore at the right forum which is the heads of court and even at, hopefully at the judges colloquium many of us hope will be convened soon. I still feel proud that I wrote a bilingual judgement, I think it was the right thing to do and many South Africans have said so in so many words,” Maya said.

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Member of the JSC Commissioner Mvuzo Notyesi commended Maya for her judgement that she wrote in isiXhosa.

Notyesi asked Maya if there is any other judge other than herself who has written a judgement in an indigenous language.

Maya replied “Not that I am aware of”.

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