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I would never seek to influence Chief Justice - Gordhan on meeting with Mogoeng

14 April 2021 5:28 PM
Tags:
Pravin Gordhan
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng
Chief justice
JSC
Concourt
Dhaya Pillay

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has written to the JSC denying any suggestion that he tried to influence Chief Justice Mogoeng in the past.

In a letter addressed to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), Gordhan has denied ever influencing Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

On Tuesday, Mogoeng revealed that Gordhan had met with him five years ago and asked about the performance of his close friend Judge Dhaya Pillay who was seeking a position at the Supreme Court of Appeal at the time.

The Chief Justice made the claim while grilling Pillay during interviews for Constitutional Court judge candidates.

However, Gordhan says the meeting with Mogoeng, which took place in April 2016, was not held to discuss judge Pillay's interview with the JSC.

Gordhan, who was Finance Minister at the time, says his reference to judge Pillay during his 2016 meeting with Mogoeng was “purely incidental”.

Lawson Naidoo, the executive secretary of Casac, says Mogoeng's comments seem spurious in the context of the interview.

According to Naidoo, there are no legitimate allegations that Gordhan tried to sway Mogoeng in any way because it was already known at that time that Pillay didn't get the job.

"One needs to be careful about making political allegations against a candidate judge without any evidence to back that up", Naidooo tells CapeTalk.

It seems to be a spurious issue to have raised in the interview of judge Pillay.

Lawson Naidoo, Executive secretary - Casac

JSC practices indicate that if such a question would be put to a candidate, they should be forewarned so that they can prepare an adequate response. The Chief Justice seems to have parted ways with the accepted practice of the JSC in posing such a question.

Lawson Naidoo, Executive secretary - Casac

The fact that Minister Gordhan made that comment was certainly unwise of him to do so but it does not evince any intention on the part of Mr Gordhan to seek to influence the outcome in any way.

Lawson Naidoo, Executive secretary - Casac

Having asked the question and received the response from the Chief Justice that judge Pillay was unsuccessful, there is no allegation that Mr. Gordhan then sought to try and influence the Chief Justice in any way.

Lawson Naidoo, Executive secretary - Casac

In his statement today, Minister Gordhan hs made it clear that this was a substantive meeting about various issues, he cannot recollect which one but he gives a list of issues that he would have engaged with the Chief Justice on at the time, including the renewal of the term of appointment of the Tax Ombudsman.

Lawson Naidoo, Executive secretary - Casac

Listen to the discussion on Afternoon Drive with John Maytham:




14 April 2021 5:28 PM
Tags:
Pravin Gordhan
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng
Chief justice
JSC
Concourt
Dhaya Pillay

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