The African National Congress (ANC) has issued an apology for the unauthorized use of Deputy Chief Justice Mandisa Maya’s image in a campaign poster shared on its social media platforms.
The poster, which featured Justice Maya with the tagline “The future is transformation – Justice Mandisa Maya (first female deputy chief justice),” was posted on the ANC’s official X (formerly Twitter) account.
Following the ANC’s social media post, the Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ) released a statement expressing its disapproval of the use of Justice Maya’s image in an election campaign poster without her authorization or that of the OCJ.
The statement clarified that Justice Maya is not a member of the ANC or any other political party. The OCJ emphasized that the unauthorized use of the Deputy Chief Justice’s image has the potential to bring the Judiciary into disrepute and undermine its integrity.
The Constitution, in section 165(2), clearly states that the courts are independent and subject only to the Constitution and the law, which they must apply without fear, favour, or prejudice.
The OCJ called for the immediate removal of the campaign poster from all online platforms where it had been published and demanded a public and unreserved apology to Justice Maya for this unfortunate incident.
The ANC, in response, expressed regret for any offence caused to Justice Maya and acknowledged that the use of her image without authorization was an oversight.
The ANC stated that its intention was to celebrate the significant progress and transformation achieved in various sectors of society, including the judiciary, where Justice Maya is widely respected. The party unreservedly apologized to the Deputy Chief Justice for the incident.
This incident points out the importance of respecting the independence and integrity of the judiciary.
The judiciary plays a crucial role in upholding the rule of law and ensuring justice for all. It is essential for political parties and individuals to refrain from using the images or names of judges for political purposes without their consent.
Justice Maya’s achievements as the first female deputy chief justice are undoubtedly commendable, and her contributions to the judiciary should be recognized and celebrated. However, it is crucial to do so in a manner that respects her position and the principles of judicial independence.
The ANC’s prompt apology and acknowledgement of the oversight demonstrate a commitment to rectifying the situation and maintaining a respectful relationship with the judiciary.
As South Africa prepares for upcoming elections, it is essential for political parties to focus on presenting their policies and engaging with voters on substantive issues.
The ANC regrets any offence caused to Deputy Chief Justice Mandisa Maya when a poster with her image was posted on our X page without her consent.
We intended to celebrate the significant progress and transformation made in all areas of society, including the judiciary, where…
— African National Congress (@MYANC) November 18, 2023