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Supreme Court of Appeal (South Africa)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Supreme Court of Appeal
  • 10 other official names:
  • Hoogste Hof van Appèl  (Afrikaans)
  • iKhotho ePhakemeko yezokuBuyekezwa  (Southern Ndebele)
  • iNkundla ePhakamileyo yeziBheno  (Xhosa)
  • Inkantolo ephakeme yokwedluliswa kwamacala  (Zulu)
  • iNkantolo lePhakeme yekweNdlulisela emacala  (Swazi)
  • Kgorokgolo ya Tsheko ya Boipiletšo  (Northern Sotho)
  • Lekgotla le Phahameng la Boipiletso  (Sotho)
  • Kgotlatshekelokgolo ya Boikuelo  (Tswana)
  • Khotonkulu yo Endla Xikombelo  (Tsonga)
  • Khothe Khulwane ya Khaṱhululo  (Venda)
High Court, Bloemfontein, South Africa.JPG
Building of the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein
Established1910 (Appellate Division)
Coordinates29°06′55″S 26°12′59″E / 29.1154°S 26.2163°E / -29.1154; 26.2163
Composition methodPresidential appointment on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission
Authorized byChapter 8 of the Constitution; Superior Courts Act, 2013
Appeals toConstitutional Court
Number of positions22
CurrentlyMandisa Maya
Since26 May 2017
Deputy President
CurrentlyXola Petse
Since21 June 2019

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), formerly known as the Appellate Division, is an appellate court in South Africa. It is located in Bloemfontein, the judicial capital of South Africa.[1]


On the creation of the Union of South Africa from four British colonies in 1910, the supreme courts of the colonies became provincial divisions of the new Supreme Court of South Africa, and the Appellate Division was created as a purely appellate court superior to the provincial divisions. It was the seat of some of the country's most outstanding judges including Innes CJ, Watermeyer CJ, Galgut JA, Wessels CJ and Schreiner JA.

In 1994 the Constitutional Court of South Africa was created with jurisdiction superior to the Appellate Division, but it could hear only in constitutional matters. The Appellate Division, therefore, remained the highest court in non-constitutional matters. In 1997 the Appellate Division became the Supreme Court of Appeal and was given constitutional jurisdiction, though the system of two apex courts remained: the Constitutional Court was the country's highest court in constitutional matters, but the SCA was the highest court in non-constitutional matters. However, the Constitutional Court took a broad reading of its jurisdiction, and in August 2013 the position was regularised by an amendment to the South African Constitution which gave the Constitutional Court general jurisdiction.


The court is composed of a President, a Deputy President, and the number of ordinary Judges of Appeal determined in terms of an Act of Parliament; at present there are 23 ordinary positions on the court .[2] Cases before the court are generally heard by panels of five judges.

Judges are appointed by the President of South Africa on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission. Judges of Appeal are cited in judgments with the surname of the judge followed by "JA". (The President and Deputy President are cited with a "P" and "DP" respectively, and acting judges are cited with "AJA".)

As of 21 June 2019 the Judges of Appeal are:[3]

List of Presidents of the Supreme Court of Appeal

Presidents of the Supreme Court of Appeal
Incumbent Tenure Notes
1. J. J. F. Hefer 2002 – 2003 (Acting President)
2. C. T. Howie 2003 – 2008 (Judge of Appeal from 1993)
3. L. Mpati 2008 – 2016 (Judge of Appeal from 2000)
4. M. M. L. Maya 2016 – present (Judge of Appeal from 2005)

List of Deputy Presidents of the Supreme Court of Appeal

Deputy Presidents of the Supreme Court of Appeal
Incumbent Tenure Notes
1. L. Mpati 2003 – 2008 (subsequently President of the Court)
2. L. T. C. Harms 2008 – 2011 (Judge of Appeal from 1993)
3. K. K. Mthiyane 2012 – 2014 (Judge of Appeal from 2001)
4. M. S. Navsa 2015 (acting)
5. M. M. L. Maya 2015 – 2017 (subsequently President of the Court)
6. J. B. Z. Shongwe 2017 – 2018 (acting)
7. X. M. Petse 2019 – present (Judge of Appeal from 2012)

See also


  1. ^ "South Africa at a glance". South African Government. Retrieved 20 June 2020. Capitals...Bloemfontein (judicial)
  2. ^ "About us". Supreme Court of Appeal. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  3. ^ "Current Judges of the Supreme Court of Appeal". Supreme Court of Appeal. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  4. ^ "Cyril Ramaphosa announces appointment of five Supreme Court of Appeal judges | IOL News". Retrieved 21 June 2019.

External links

This page was last edited on 29 March 2021, at 19:56
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