South Africa’s two biggest opposition parties have lambasted the ANC for the party’s misjudgment, suggesting that deputy chief justice Mandisa Maya was a product of the governing party’s transformation.
This after an early morning excitement from ANC communications that posted Maya’s picture on an ANC poster in a desperate move to drum up interest from potential voters to register to vote.
The poster, which was quickly taken down after social media pushback, screamed “first female deputy chief justice” above Maya’s head, while at the bottom the picture was engrained with “register to vote ANC”.
The DA and the EFF rebuked the stunt as a desperate means by the ANC to stay relevant amidst declining support.
DA shadow minister of justice Glynnis Breytenbauch said the ANC had effectively compromised the credibility of the whole judiciary.
“This is a shocking abuse of the image of one of the most senior office bearers in South Africa. Not only does it undermine the deputy chief justice personally, but it also serves to seriously undermine the credibility of the entire judiciary and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms,” said Breytenbauch
“The the deputy chief justice has confirmed that she did not authorise the use of her image in this shockingly inappropriate fashion nor was she aware of it. The ANC should be severely censured for this abusive image and for their total disregard for the credibility of the judiciary as a whole.”
EFF spokesperson Sinawo Thambo said it was laughable that an ANC that rejected Maya’s name for chief justice in favour of controversial incumbent Raymond Zondo, was desperate to use her name for political reasons.
Thambo said the botched move by the ANC, after the post was deleted on social media and the party apologising later, was tantamount to treason.
Luthuli House was once again found wanting in its long struggle with the inability to separate party from state.
“This is pure hypocrisy and opportunism and an affront to our judiciary. Treasonous!”
The ANC yesterday apologised for “any offence caused” to Maya for using her picture without her consent but did not apologise for suggesting that the ANC decided appointments into the judiciary.
The saga is Christmas coming early for the official opposition DA, which has dragged the ANC to court over policy of cadredeployment. The DA blamed the ANC deployment committee for being involved in the appointment of judges, an accusation the Pixley-ka-Seme Street-based former liberation party denied.
The two parties are battling it out at the constitutional court over the DA’s insistence that the ANC release minutes of its deployment committee meetings.
The latest Maya saga is likely to strengthen the DA’s case at the apex court, having won at the high court level, where they were granted their wish for Luthuli House to open its deployment committee books.
The ANC cadre deployment policy came into the spotlight during the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, where several ANC high-ranking leaders were grilled about the role of the deployment committee in the appointment of people in strategic positions of the state.
Both party president Cyril Ramaphosa and national chair Gwede Mantashe defended the ANC and denied the organisation was involved in deploying its cadres into the judiciary.
They argued that cadre deployment was a normal practice across the world where the party in government deploys to the state people who have views that are aligned with its policies.