Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) deputy president, Floyd Shivambu claims certain judges belong in the pockets of politicians. Shivambu was speaking outside the Hillbrow Police station after laying a criminal charge of corruption against Public Enterprises Minister, Pravin Gordhan.
The charge was laid following the revelation by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng at the Judicial Service Commission interviews – claiming that Gordhan had called his office in an attempt to inquire how Judge Dhaya Pillay performed at the previous commission interviews.
The party will also take the matter to Public Protector for allegedly breaching the Executive Ethics Act.
Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan is alleged to have tried to influence Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng in appointing his friend Judge Dhaya Pillay to the Constitutional Court.
The EFF has since laid a corruption case against Gordhan, alleging that he tried to influence the process. The EFF, alongside former African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma and the Radical Economic Transformation faction, says some judges are in the pockets of politicians.
Chief Justice Mogoeng alleged that in a meeting in April 2016, Gordhan asked him how his friend Judge Pillay performed in Judicial Services Commission interviews.
“What stuck to my mind and left me puzzled was the following, he asked me a question and said how did my friend Dhaya Pillay perform and we had just asked the spokespersons to post the results and it was public knowledge that you didn’t make it and it stuck to me. Why did the minister seek an audience with me as we had never met to ask how did my friend perform and it is within that context of the concern of your relationship with Mr Gordhan.”
This allegation by an outspoken Chief Justice six years later prompted the EFF to open a corruption case against Minister Pravin Gordhan.
Shivambu says this shows that certain Judges have been captured by politicians. “There are certain judges that belong to pockets of certain politicians. That is a fact and it’s beginning to show up now where a judge is asked in an interview and she is overstating and wishy-washy. She confirmed that she is a friend of Pravin Gordhan. How do you as a Judge interact with a politician, who from time to time, will have to pass judgements on? Some sections of the judiciary are captured by politicians and all they do is abuse the judiciary for political objectives.”
ANC’s leaked audio
ANC Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte in a leaked audio recording says there are some courts and judges that her party knows whenever their cases go there, they will lose but find favourable expression with Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe.
“We must discuss as the Top Six if a transformation in the judiciary has taken place, why is it that when we go to the North Gauteng High Court we know that we will lose the case, its almost a given that if we go to Judge Mlambo we lose and if we go to Judge John Hlophe in the Western Cape the ANC will come out better but it shouldn’t be like that. There is a need for the judiciary to stand up and the Chief Justice is the greatest disappointment for me.”
Minister Pravin Gordhan has refuted claims that he met Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng in 2016 to discuss Judge Dhaya Pillay. However, he admits that he did in passing refer to Judge Pillay’s interview with the JSC. Gordhan further says that he never tried to influence the Chief Justice or the JSC in the appointment of judge