The deputy president of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Floyd Shivambu has said that Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s remarks about Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan do indeed prove that some judges are tainted.
Shivambu spoke outside the Hillbrow Police Station on Wednesday, 14 April 2021, where he laid a criminal charge against Gordhan.
“It is not the judiciary that is captured, there are judges that belong to pockets of politicians. That is a fact and it’s beginning to show up now. Like when a judge goes to an interview. First a question was asked about her proximity to Pravin Gordhan and she was obfuscating, she was not clear in terms of her response,” Shivambu said.
Shivambu laid the complaint a day after Mogoeng revealed that Gordhan once attempted to find out how his friend Judge Dhaya Pillay had done in a 2016 interview for a post at the Supreme Court of Appeal, which was unsuccessful.
Pillay was being interviewed the Judicial Service Commission, this time for a post on the Constitutional Court. Questions raised by EFF leader Julius Malema, who was also interviewing her, prompted Mogoeng to touch on the encounter with Gordhan. He claimed he met with Gordhan, during a previous round of interviews for the apex court.
“He came, I took a break. I don’t really know what the purpose of the meeting was. I don’t have a clear recollection. I think something about the tax ombudsman. But what stuck in my mind was he asked me a question: ‘How did my friend Dhaya Pillay perform?’,” Mogoeng said at the time.
“We had just announced the results, it was public knowledge that you did not make it. This thing has stayed with me. It got renewed as Malema engaged you”
Floyd Shivambu says Pravin Gordhan violated the Constitution
Some, including the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Solly Malatsi had wondered why Mogoeng waited until now to talk about the encounter, however Floyd Shivambu said given his standing in the judiciary, the CJ made the right move.
“The chief justice can’t go around lodging complaints against judges underneath him because he will appear as if he is in pursuit of a political programme. He can’t be a complainant who later on has to adjudicate on the same case”
EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu
“So, there is nothing wrong that the chief justice did. He was waiting for an opportunity to expose this,” Shivambu said.
Shivambu added that as the EFF, they would also write to the parliamentary ethics committee to ensure the minister faces a disciplinary hearing.
“Here’s a clear violation of the Constitution and the principle on the separation of powers. We are going to make sure that Parliament follows up in this particular regard,” he said.