LHR supports the nomination of a female to head-up the SCA #InternationalWomensDay

Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) is greatly encouraged by Justice Mandisa Maya’s presidential nomination for head of the Supreme Court of Appeal. Justice Maya would be the first woman to hold this position in South African history, thereby striking a blow indeed against the gendered glass ceiling.


Gender parity on the Bench is part and parcel of the post-apartheid transformation of the judiciary and legal profession. The nomination of Justice Maya sets an example for staying on the right track towards equal representation of women in decision-making and leadership positions in the legal profession.


“It is often suggested that not enough women are qualified to hold these types of positions, but the nomination of Judge Maya busts that myth,” said Sanja Bornman of the LHR Gender Equality Programme. “She has a long and distinguished legal career, having acted as a judge in a variety of courts over the last 18 years, including the Constitutional Court. She has already been the deputy president of the Supreme Court of Appeal for some time.”


Last year, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) began investigating a policy aimed at bringing more women to the Bench. The policy would regulate the appointment of acting judges, such positions being one of the biggest stepping stones to being appointed as a full-time judge. This, in time, would open the door to leadership positions for women, such as Judge President. More full-time women appointees means more scope for women judges to rise to the top.


The president of the Supreme Court of Appeals is always appointed by our President, after consultation with the JSC. President Zuma will now proceed with those consultations, having notified the Chief Justice of his nomination, hopefully resulting in Judge Maya’s speedy confirmation and appointment.


For more Information contact Carol Mohlala on 079 238 9826 or Sanja Bornman on 083 522 2933.