Last week President Cyril Ramaphosa made headlines when he appointed Justice Raymond Zondo as the country's new Chief Justice. Zondo's appointment sparked controversy as some people, EFF members were hopeful that the country was going to have a female Chief Justice. EFF Leader, Julius Malema was so convinced that Justice Mandisa Maya was going to walk away with the position.
After some days since the appointment, President of the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa, Justice Mandisa Maya, has finally broken her silence. Maya has extended warm congratulations to Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
In a statement released by her office, Maya has offered her full support to the incoming Chief Justice and she says she is committed to continue working with him in the exercise of Judicial authority. Maya says she has “full confidence” in Zondo “as a leader in the Judiciary” and has no doubt that his contribution “will strengthen and move the SA Judiciary forward”.
This is a very good and noble thing to do to quell all negative possibilities. More so because she contested the very position subsequently aspersions were cast on her name! True leadership, no bitterness; we are proud of you President Mandisa Maya.
But why a media statement though? Aren't they colleagues who can simply make a call to one another and convey congratulatory messages? I just don't get why this had to be done five days after the fact and via media statement.
In my opinion, Justice Mandisa Maya will be Chief Justice in two years time if Julius Malema doesn't ruin things again. Justice Mandisa Maya must be careful with individuals using her as a political pawn otherwise she might end up not being Chief Justice. It must be noted that Ramaphosa, however, indicated that he would nominate Maya as Zondo's deputy, subject to another JSC interview process. Given that Zondo will only serve two and a half years before his term ends, this appointment will mean that Maya will be the frontrunner to replace him.
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