Home South African ANC forced to apologise for using judge’s image on election poster

ANC forced to apologise for using judge’s image on election poster

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South Africans have criticised the ANC for being deliberate in using Deputy Chief Justice Mandisa Maya’s picture on their election campaign poster that was posted on their X (formerly Twitter) page without her consent.

SOUTH Africans have criticised the ANC for being deliberate in using Deputy Chief Justice Mandisa Maya’s picture on their election campaign poster that was posted on their X (formerly Twitter) page without her consent.

The poster read: “The future is transformation, Justice Mandisa Maya first female deputy chief justice. Take your future into your hands, register to vote.”

This was described as distasteful and disrespectful to Maya.

X user Mpho ZA said the party’s intention was to taint Maya as a cadre-deployed judge.

The ANC has apologised for using Deputy Chief Justice Mandisa Maya’s image on an election campaign poster. Image: MyANC/X

The Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ), in a media statement, said it was brought to their attention that there was a purported ANC election campaign poster circulating on social media bearing the image of Maya.

“The OCJ wishes to inform the public that this inappropriate use of the Deputy Chief Justice’s image in an election campaign poster was not authorised by Maya or the office. For the record, Maya is not a member of the ANC or any other political party. Article 12(1)(a) of the Code of Judicial Conduct prohibits judges from belonging to any political party,” said the office.

It further said: “This unauthorised use of the deputy chief justice’s image has the potential to unduly bring the Judiciary into disrepute, as well undermining the integrity of the Judiciary as section 165(2) of the Constitution provides 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 on Saturday asked for the poster to be removed immediately from all online platforms where it has been published, and for a public and unreserved apology to Justice Maya for this incident.

The ANC apologised to Maya on their X page, but the poster was still circulating across X on Saturday.

“The ANC regrets any offence caused to 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 Justice Maya is widely respected. The ANC unreservedly apologises to the DCJ on this oversight,” said the party.

Meanwhile, the DA has condemned the ANC’s “distasteful” poster.

It slammed the ANC for its choice in using the deputy chief justice as the face of its campaign with the DA’s spokesperson on Justice, Glynnis Breytenbach, describing the move as a “horror incident”.

“While the ANC has issued an apology for this egregious misuse of the deputy chief justice’s image, it is essential to emphasise that an apology alone cannot erase the severe damage caused by such actions. The ANC’s blatant disregard for the independence and credibility of the judiciary is a matter of great concern,” Breytenbach said.

Breytenbach commended Maya for her quick disapproval of this election campaign, which resulted in the removal of her image from the party’s campaign.

“The DA calls on the ANC to demonstrate maturity and emotional intelligence in their production of marketing material. Exploiting the image of one of the most senior office-bearers in South Africa for political gain is not only disrespectful to the deputy chief justice personally but also poses a significant threat to the overall credibility of the Judiciary.

“We commend Deputy Chief Justice Mandisa Maya for promptly disavowing any authorisation or awareness of the use of her image in this inappropriate context. It is crucial that public figures, especially those holding high judicial offices, are protected from unwarranted political exploitation,” she said.

However, the DA said it wants the ANC to be held accountable for this blunder.

“The ANC must be held accountable for this abusive use of the Deputy Chief Justice’s image and their disregard for the credibility of the Judiciary as a whole. The DA condemns this incident in the strongest possible terms and calls for a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the creation and dissemination of this offensive poster,” Breytenbach said.

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