Mandisa Maya gets nod from Ramaphosa to become chief justice

President Cyril Ramaphosa has proposed Mandisa Maya, the current deputy chief justice of South Africa, as the nation’s next chief justice.

According to Vincent Magwenya, a spokesman for Ramaphosa, the chief justice post will become vacant on August 31, when Raymond Zondo’s tenure ends.

“President Cyril Ramaphosa has, in terms of Section 174[3] of the constitution, embarked on a process of consultation with the leaders of political parties represented in parliament and the Judicial Service Commission to convey his nomination of judge Mandisa Muriel Lindelwa Maya as chief justice of the Republic of South Africa,” said Magwenya.


“Judge Maya currently serves as deputy chief justice and has held the positions of deputy president and president of the Supreme Court of Appeal.”

“The position of chief justice will become vacant on August 31 2024, when the term of office of Justice Raymond Zondo comes to an end.

“The chief justice was appointed as a justice of the Constitutional Court for a 12-year term with effect from September 1 2012.”

Tenure comes to an end on August 31

He explained further: “The chief justice will therefore complete his term as a justice of the Constitutional Court with effect from August 31 2024.

“President Ramaphosa has invited the leaders of political parties represented in the National Assembly to make submissions on the suitability or otherwise of Deputy Chief Justice Maya to hold the office of chief justice.”

Maya was appointed deputy chief justice on September 1 2022.


According to Magwenya, the president has nominated Justice Dumisani Hamilton Zondi as the next deputy president of the Supreme Court of Appeal.

“President Ramaphosa has also, in terms of Section 174[3] of the constitution, consulted the Judicial Service Commission, chaired by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, on the president’s nomination of Justice Dumisani Hamilton Zondi as deputy president of the Supreme Court of Appeal,” said Magwenya.

At present, Zondi holds the position of justice on the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Magwenya said the term of office of the current deputy president of the Supreme Court of Appeal, Justice Xola Petse, will come to an end on July 10, when he reaches 70 and will be automatically discharged from office.

A decorated career

Justice Zondi holds a B.Juris from the University of Fort Hare, an LLB from the University of Natal (now the University of KwaZulu-Natal), as well as an LLM from Georgetown University in the US.

Following a successful career, Zondi was appointed to the Western Cape bench in 2007. In 2011, he became a judge of the Competition Appeal Court.

He was elevated to the Supreme Court of Appeal in June 2014. In 2022, Zondi was appointed chairperson of the Electoral Court.

“President Ramaphosa has invited the Judicial Service Commission to make submissions on Justice Zondi’s suitability for the position for which he has been nominated.”

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