Judge Dhaya Pillay is “biased” against former president Jacob Zuma because she is “good friends” with Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and ANC national executive committee member Derek Hanekom and their families.
This is according to Zuma’s son, Edward Zuma, who made this allegation in an interview on eNCA on Thursday morning.
On Tuesday, News24 reported that the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg issued a warrant of arrest after the former president failed to appear for his fraud and corruption case.
His legal team told the court he was too ill to attend and submitted a sick note. Pillay questioned the strength of the proof presented to court by Zuma’s lawyer. Pillay said it appeared the dates on the document had been altered.
On Wednesday, Edward Zuma issued a statement saying he was disgusted and angered by the judgment on Tuesday.
“It was a decision taken out of hatred for the man, it’s being vindictive, vicious and very much abuse of the judiciary for personal reasons (sic). This they do forgetting that the old wounds have not healed and we are gradually getting tired of them abusing the system. Our patience is running out as we can see what is happening. However, we don’t want to be tested as people,” Edward said.
On Thursday, Edward said he was not attacking Pillay, but merely wanted to point out her “proximity” to people who are “enemies” of the former president.
“This leaves much to be desired, you know?”
Edward said Pillay was close to the Gordhan and Hanekom families and “many other people”.
Both Gordhan and Hanekom have been fervent critics of Zuma, who is in the midst of a fraud and corruption trial and who is being implicated in state capture.
‘Proof is an understatement’
“How close they are, I could never be able to judge on that one, but the fact that they are able to go out in public and post that they are having lunch and dinner with the Gordhan and blah blah blah…” Edward told eNCA.
Asked if he has proof of this, Edward said he had more than proof. “Proof is an understatement – we have evidence to that effect. These are family friends who’ve known each other for years.”
Edward questioned how it was possible to be close friends and not discuss “some issues” – referring to his father’s court case.
“There are people in the ANC who are hellbent to destroy the legacy of the former president.”
Xoli Mngambi then asks Edward who these people are. “Clearly one of them has shown himself by saying ‘I did not do this when the ANC told me to do this’…”
“That still doesn’t give us a name,” Mngambi says.
“It’s Hanekom,” Edward then says.
Edward also revealed that the picture of his father holding a gun, which was tweeted on Wednesday, was taken two years ago. He said he had bought his father the gun to shoot birds.
Hanekom told News24 on Thursday he did not know Pillay personally.
“I saw her in the High Court in Durban for the first time in my life when she presided over the defamation case,” Hanekom said via WhatsApp.
Last year, Hanekom successfully sued the former president for calling him a “known enemy agent” on Twitter.
Gordhan’s spokesperson could not be reached for comment.