The President of the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa (SCA) Justice Mandisa Maya has been appointed as the Chancellor of the University of Mpumalanga (UMP). Her nomination to serve as the Chancellor of the University was approved at a Special meeting of UMP Council held on 29 June 2021. Justice Maya is the first woman in South Africa to hold the position as President of SCA since her appointment in 2017. She succeeds His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa as the Chancellor of the University.
In selecting and appointing a new Chancellor, UMP took into consideration the attributes of a person who is suitable to occupy the office of Chancellor, which among others includes:
- The Chancellor acts as a role model and reflects the University’s values to its students and staff and is a focal point to ensure the high standing of the University in the wider community.
- A candidate for the office of Chancellor should be a person of public honour, which implies, inter alia, a person of national stature and prestige whose integrity is beyond question and should have an outstanding record in his or her profession and/or service to the community;
- The Chancellor is greatly respected for his/her statesmanship and wisdom in helping to guide the University to meet its goals. The position brings with it an expectation of commitment to the University’s mission and strategic direction, a passion for education, and unwavering dedication to lead in a way that is inclusive and enabling.
More about Justice Mandisa Maya
Justice Mandisa Maya is also the first woman in South Africa to hold the position of Deputy President of the SCA. Maya is a member of the South African Judicial Service Commission which manages the appointment of Judges and all matters relating to the judiciary and the administration of justice. She is also a member and adjudicator of the National Bar Examination Board and as well as the chairperson of its Appeal Tribunal.
Her contribution to the country’s democratic institutions and jurisprudence dates back from 1994 when she served as a case investigator for the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) during the first democratic South African elections. Subsequently, she practiced as an advocate until she was appointed as a judge in 1999.
Justice Maya is the current President of South African Chapter of the International Association of Women Judges and has been awarded three Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) degrees by Nelson Mandela University, Walter Sisulu University and University of Fort Hare for her contribution to the development of South Africa’s jurisprudence, as well as the empowerment of women in the legal profession and in the judiciary. Her educational qualifications are: a B.Proc degree from the University of Transkei (now Walter Sisulu University); an LLB degree from the University of Natal, Durban; and an LLM degree from Duke University, USA.
“As the titular head of the University, the Chancellor symbolises and embodies the mission of the UMP to provide high quality education to a diverse student body. The expertise and experience of Justice Mandisa Maya will undoubtedly be of utmost importance and add value to the University. We are grateful that Justice Maya has accepted to serve as the Chancellor of the University,” said UMP Chairperson of Council, Professor David Mabunda.