female or merit?

South Africa: Why Mandisa Maya has been recommended to be the 6th chief justice

By Farai Shawn Matiashe

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Posted on February 10, 2022 17:10

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has a tough choice on his hands to select a new chief justice of the constitutional court.

Will he go with the Judicial Service Commission’s (JSC) recommendation of Mandisa Maya? A well-qualified woman who could help him fend off criticism from the likes of tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu, who took to the press to raise problems in the judiciary in January.

Or will he opt for Raymond Zondo, the acting chief justice and head of the commission that investigated ‘state capture’ under former president Jacob Zuma? Following the court’s hierarchy, Zondo would be next in line for the chief justice spot. Ramaphosa also wants Zondo’s help in crafting the government’s brief on the state capture investigations, which has to be delivered to parliament by June.

The JSC casts its vote

On 5 February, the JSC recommended supreme court of appeal (SCA) president Mandisa Maya as the country’s next chief justice. Though some people argue that Maya’s name has surfaced because she is a woman and

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