Gordhan denies seeking meeting with Mogoeng over appointment of judge friend

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng made the disturbing revelation to the Judicial Services Commission, which has been interviewing candidates for the Constitutional Court on Tuesday.

FILE: Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday said he did not seek a meeting with Chief Justice Mogoeng Mooeng in 2016 to discuss the appointment of close friend Judge Dhaya Pillay who was seeking a position at the Supreme Court of Appeal at the time.

This comes after Mogoeng revealed on Tuesday that then-Finance Minister Gordhan had asked him how "his close friend" had fared after she had just completed an interview for the vacancy.

At the tail end of an interview for one of two current vacancies at the Constitutional Court on Tuesday, Mogoeng raised the issue about Pillay's friendship with Gordhan.

This came after Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema, and others had questioned her relationship with him.

In response to allegations that Gordhan had sought a meeting with Mogoeng in 2016 to discuss Pillay, Gordhan has stated that the enquiry about her was purely incidental.

He said that in any event, as the chief justice had himself indicated, it was public knowledge at the time that Pillay had been unsuccessful.

He said that in no way would he ever seek to influence the chief justice or the JSC in the appointment of judges.

Meanwhile, the EFF’s deputy president Floyd Shivambu has laid a formal complaint of corruption against Gordhan following the claims.

Shivambu said Gordhan's attempt to seemly try and influence the appointment of his friend to the Constitutional Court was disgusting.

“We are also going to write to the Public Protector because the Public Protector is the only one that can enforce the ethics code. And we are going to write to the parliamentary ethics committee and demand that there must be a hearing against Gordhan.”

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