Justice Mandisa Muriel Maya on Wednesday made history as the first female to be appointed as deputy president of the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Maya was appointed by President Jacob Zuma in terms of Section 174(3) of the Constitution.

“Justice Maya will fill the vacancy that has occurred following the discharge from active service of Mr Justice Khayelihle Kenneth Mthiyane,” said presidential spokesperson Bongani Majola.

“She will thus occupy one of the top four senior positions in the leadership echelons of the judiciary.”

Maya was reported to have almost 36 years of experience in the legal profession, starting off as an attorney’s clerk before being an interpreter, a prosecutor and then an assistant state law adviser.

After completing her pupillage at the Johannesburg Bar, she practiced as an advocate between 1993 to 1995 and went on to serve as a judge in the High Court and the Labour Court. She has also served as acting judge in both the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court before being appointed as a judge in the Supreme Court in 2006.

Maya was reported to hold three university degress, one of which is from the Duke University in the United States.

Zuma wished her luck on her new position.