Commissioner Thoko Didiza and Carel Fourie of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) announced their recommendations for two crucial judicial positions on Monday night at the office of the Chief Justice in Midrand, Johannesburg.
The interviews which were conducted by the JSC began on Monday and took just over nine hours to finalise, with the commission hearing from two potential candidates who had both been nominated by President Jacob Zuma.
The commission deliberated and finally recommended Raymond Zondo for the position of Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court. Mandisa Maya was recommended for the President of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).
Maya –- who became a judge at the age of 35 -- is also the first female deputy president of the Supreme Court of Appeals. If appointed following the recommendation, she will become the first female head of the appellate division (AD). She described herself as able and competent, experienced, independent-minded and a person who abided by the Constitution.
Zondo was described as 'well-qualified and experienced' having handed down a whopping 15 judgments in 2016. Zondo was appointed Judge President of the Labour Court and the Labour Appeal Court in 2000. He has since made efforts towards advancing gender transformation in both courts, as well advancing the rights of workers in some of his judgments.
Both candidates were described as suitable. The final decision on whether the candidates may fill the vacancies lies with Zuma.
Both nominees were quizzed on their role in transforming the legal sphere and developing the country using their judgments, their thoughts on how the legal system could be more inclusive of women, and the importance of South African languages and customary law.
Commissioner Didiza was also announced as the co-spokesperson of the Commission.
"I wish to congratulate her and wish her well," said Fourie.
Fourie also thanked Dumisa Ntsebeza SC for a "job well done".