Mandisa Maya Biography: Age, Wikipedia, Career, Husband, Children, Net Worth

Mandisa Maya biography

Mandisa Maya Biography

Mandisa Maya is the Deputy Chief Justice of South Africa and a prominent jurist. She was formerly the President of the Supreme Court of Appeal from 2017 to 2022, and the first woman to hold both positions.

She was born in 1964 in Tsolo, Eastern Cape, and obtained her law degrees from the University of Transkei, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and Duke University in the United States.

She has served as an acting judge of the Constitutional Court in 2012, and has been involved in various legal organisations, such as the International Association of Women Judges and the Judicial Service Commission.

Mandisa Maya Age

Mandisa Maya is 60 years old as of 2024.

Mandisa Maya Early Life and Education

Mandisa Maya was born on 20th March 1964 in St Cuthbert’s, a rural area of Tsolo in the Eastern Cape. She was the eldest of six children born to Sandile and Nombulelo Maya, who were both teachers.


Her home language was Xhosa. Her family moved to King William’s Town in 1966 after her father got a job with Radio Bantu, and she attended school there until 1977, when, due to the disruptive effects of the Soweto uprising, she was sent to attend school in Mthatha.

Maya embarked on her journey into law with a Bachelor of Procurations from the University of Transkei in 1987. She followed this with an LLB from the University of Natal in 1990.

She furthered her studies with an LLM in labour law from Duke University in the United States in 1993, where she was awarded a Fulbright scholarship. She also received a certificate in human rights from the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, in 1994.

Read Also: Thabo Mbeki Biography: Age, Date Of Birth, Wiki, Education, Career, Family, Wife, And Net Worth

Mandisa Maya Career

Mandisa Maya began her career as a court interpreter and prosecutor in the Transkei, working in various local courts from 1987 to 1990. She then joined the Women’s Legal Defence Fund in Washington DC, where she worked as a legal intern and researcher from 1992 to 1993.


She returned to South Africa and became an investigator for the Independent Electoral Commission in 1994, overseeing the country’s first democratic elections. She was admitted as an advocate in 1994 and joined the Transkei Bar, where she practiced until 2000. She also worked as a state law adviser, a law lecturer, and a legal researcher during this period.

President Thabo Mbeki appointed her to the Mthatha High Court in May 2000, making her the first black woman to serve as a judge in the Transkei Division of the High Court of South Africa. She presided over several notable cases, such as the trial of former Transkei military ruler Bantu Holomisa for treason in 2001, and the challenge to the legality of the Traditional Courts Bill in 2008. She also acted as a judge of the Labour Court and the Land Claims Court.

In June 2006, Maya was elevated to the Supreme Court of Appeal, becoming the first black woman to serve in the appellate court. She was involved in many landmark judgments, such as the ruling that the National Prosecuting Authority had unlawfully discontinued the prosecution of former President Jacob Zuma in 2009, and the ruling that the South African government had violated its constitutional obligations by failing to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in 2015. She also acted as a judge of the Constitutional Court in 2012, contributing her expertise to one of South Africa’s most vital legal institutions.

In September 2015, Maya was appointed as the Deputy President of the Supreme Court of Appeal, succeeding Kenneth Mthiyane. She was the first woman to hold this prestigious position, and she oversaw the administration and management of the court. She also continued to deliver influential judgments, such as the ruling that the South African Social Security Agency had acted unlawfully by extending its contract with Cash Paymaster Services in 2017, and the ruling that the South African Broadcasting Corporation had violated its editorial policies by censoring footage of violent protests in 2016.

In May 2017, Maya was appointed as the President of the Supreme Court of Appeal, succeeding Lex Mpati. She was the first woman to hold this esteemed position, and she became the head of the second-highest court in the country. She was responsible for the overall functioning and performance of the court, as well as the appointment and promotion of judges. She also led the court in delivering several important judgments, such as the ruling that the South African government had acted irrationally by granting diplomatic immunity to former Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe in 2017, and the ruling that the South African Reserve Bank had acted lawfully by placing VBS Mutual Bank under curatorship in 2018.


In February 2024, President Cyril Ramaphosa nominated Maya as the next Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa, making her the first woman to be nominated for this highest judicial office. However, her nomination was met with controversy and opposition from some political parties and civil society groups, who questioned her suitability and independence. Ramaphosa eventually withdrew her nomination in March 2024, citing the need for further consultation and consensus.

In September 2024, Ramaphosa will appoint Maya as the first woman Deputy Chief Justice, in which capacity she deputises Raymond Zondo, who was confirmed as the Chief Justice in August 2024. She also serves as the Chancellor of the University of Mpumalanga since July 2021, and as the president of the South African chapter of the International Association of Women Judges since 2018. She is widely respected and admired for her integrity, competence, and leadership in the legal profession.

Mandisa Maya Personal Life, Husband and Children

Mandisa Maya is married to Dabulamanzi Mlokoti, a businessman from Johannesburg. They have three children, one of whom is Wela Mlokoti, a lawyer who clerked on the Constitutional Court. Maya is also fluent in Xhosa, English, and French. She enjoys reading, gardening, and travelling. She is a devout Christian and a member of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa.

Mandisa Maya Met Worth

Mandisa Maya’s net worth is estimated to be around $1.5 million USD as of 2024.

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