President describes newly appointed SCA Judge President as an outstanding jurist

June 27th, 2023

Justice Mahube Betty Molemela has been appointed as the new Judge President of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA). The Presidency announced her appointment in May 2023. In a statement released by the Presidency it stated that President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed Justice Molema in terms of s 174(3) of the Constitution, after consulting the Judicial Service Commission and leaders of parties represented in the National Assembly. The position of the Judge President of the SCA became vacant after Justice Mandisa Maya was appointed as the Deputy Chief Justice of South Africa. Justice Molemela is the second woman to be appointed as the Judge President of the SCA, after Deputy Chief Justice Maya was the first woman to hold the position as the Judge President of the SCA.

During her time on the Bench, Justice Molemela has served as a Judge President of the Free State Division of the High Court. She has also served as a judge of the Labour Court and Labour Appeal Court, Acting Judge of the Competition Appeal Court, and Acting Judge of the Constitutional Court for two terms.

The press release stated that President Ramaphosa expressed his appreciation to the incoming Judge President of the SCA for her service to date in the judiciary and the legal profession and wished her well in her new role.

The President said: ‘Justice Molemela’s appointment adds impetus to the continuing transformation of key institutions of our democracy, including the judiciary. Justice Molemela is an outstanding jurist who will play a critical role in entrenching justice for all South Africans.’

The National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL) congratulated Justice Molemela on her appointment in a press statement they released. The organisation said that Justice Molemela has earned her title through grace, and her ability to remain calm under pressure and her highly developed intellectual, analytical, and decision-making skills as demonstrated in her sound and well-reasoned judgments. NADEL added that the organisation is inspired by Justice Molemela’s intellect and her warmth. NADEL said that it is confident that Justice Molemela’s appointment lends credence to the importance of creating spaces in the legal profession that ensure women are given the well-deserved opportunity to lead in the higher courts.

Justice Molemela holds a BProc degree from the University of Fort Hare, an LLB, LLM and LLD from the University of the Free State.

Kgomotso Ramotsho Cert Journ (Boston) Cert Photography (Vega) is the news reporter at De Rebus.