WATCH | Malema grills judge Dhaya Pillay on her 'friendship' with Pravin Gordhan

15 April 2021 - 11:26
By unathi nkanjeni AND Unathi Nkanjeni
EFF leader Julius Malema claims judge Dhaya Pillay is
Image: ALON SKUY EFF leader Julius Malema claims judge Dhaya Pillay is "part of Gordhan’s faction" and “nothing but a political activist”.

A video of EFF leader Julius Malema questioning judge Dhaya Pillay about her friendship with public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan has gone viral.

The KwaZulu-Natal high court judge was grilled about her friendship with Gordhan during her interview with the Judicial Services Commission (JSC). 

Malema, who is a member of the JSC representing his party, made various claims about Pillay, claiming she was “part of Gordhan’s faction” and “nothing but a political activist”. 

The veteran judge, who has served on the labour court and has acted in the Supreme Court of Appeal, was vying for one of two positions on the Constitutional Court.

However, after the grilling session, she did not make the cut, along with Gauteng judge David Unterhalter and senior counsel Alan Dodson.

On Wednesday, the JSC announced the names of the five judges who survived the grilling and were still in the running to be appointed to the two positions.

Supreme Court of Appeal justices Mahube Molemela, Rammaka Mathopo and Gauteng High Court judges Fayeeza Kathree-Setiloane, Jody Kollapen and Bashier Vally made the cut.

In the viral video, Malema asked Pillay if her relationship with Gordhan enhances the image of the judiciary.

“Do you think it enhances the good image of the judiciary to have judges befriending politicians?” asked Malema.

In her response, Pillay said Gordhan was someone she had “known for a long time” and they were both “activists from Durban”. 

“My association with him has never affected my work and will not, going forward. I have made judgments against the Treasury and against Sars and it has never been a problem,” she said

Watch the video below:

In his closing argument, Malema said Pillay was not deserving of a position in the country's highest court.

“Judge, I am going to argue in a closed session that you are nothing but a political activist. You are no judge, and you deserve no high office. If anything, you are also factional and belong to Pravin’s faction and you are pursuing factional battles using the bench.”