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Deputy Chief Justice says ignorance of rule of law and courts contributes to solving social problems – SABC News


Deputy Chief Justice and Chancellor of the University of Mpumalanga Mandisa Maya delivered the keynote address on 7thousand Archbishop Tab Makgoba Annual Lecture on Ethical and Moral Leadership.

The Deputy Chief Justice cited lack of knowledge about the rule of law and the importance of courts as contributing factors to most of the social problems facing the country.

Maya also urged leaders to always act ethically. She emphasized the importance of understanding the rule of law and the courts – especially now.

Maya goes on to say that courts have no meaning unless they protect people’s rights.

“It is not enough to have just laws, but they must provide equal justice and protection for all. There should be a control body over the law, this body is located in the court – the courts are the bodies of the rule of law, and in the performance of their duties they must be impartial and free from any external influences.”

Deputy Chief Justice Mandisa Maia addresses Archbishop Thabo Makgoba’s annual lecture:


Maya’s speech at the annual lecture comes amid a backlash over two recent high-profile court rulings. Earlier this month, the Constitutional Court granted Janusz Walus parole. Walus, a Polish citizen, was sentenced to life in prison for the 1993 murder of famed wrestler and South African Communist Party (SACP) leader Chris Hani.

In another high-profile issue, the Supreme Court of Appeal has upheld a ruling that declared former president Jacob Zuma’s release from prison on parole illegal and unconstitutional. The court further ruled that Zuma must return to prison to serve his sentence, but it left it to the National Correctional Services Commissioner to determine how much of the 15-month sentence Zuma still has to serve. The Department of Corrections says it will appeal the ruling.

While Maya did not cite cases, she said all government agencies have a role to play in society and that Section 9 agencies should be supported and held accountable.

“Under our constitution, no arm of government bears a greater burden in fulfilling this constitutional duty than the other. The Judiciary, the Executive and the Legislature and the institutions established to protect constitutional democracy must work hard together and individually as intended to create the prosperous South Africa that the constitution envisions so that no hand is overstretched,” says the Deputy Chief judge.

Maya says that the democracy achieved in 1994 must be accessible to all and that leaders must act ethically to strengthen confidence in the rule of law.

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