Ku­dos to Pil­lay

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

HIGH Court Judge Dhaya Pil­lay has to be lauded for up­hold­ing her con­sti­tu­tional man­date by hold­ing Judge Nkola Mo­tata ac­count­able, in the process show­ing that no one is above the law.

Ju­di­cial of­fi­cers have a con­sti­tu­tional man­date to up­hold the law, which they must ap­ply with­out fear, favour or prej­u­dice. So a mes­sage has been sent out to South Africans that no one, even if they hold an es­teemed po­si­tion like Judge Mo­tata, can sim­ply ma­nip­u­late ju­di­cial pro­cesses and get away with it.

Judge Pil­lay dis­missed a tech­ni­cal ap­pli­ca­tion by the man who has cost tax­pay­ers mil­lions of rand by con­tin­u­ing to draw a seven-digit salary, ask­ing why it had taken him years to launch his ap­pli­ca­tion, and also ques­tion­ing why he re­fused to own up to the of­fence and re­lated con­duct.

For 10 years, Judge Mo­tata has been on spe­cial leave fol­low­ing an in­ci­dent in which he drove into a gar­den wall of a north­ern Jo­han­nes­burg home while drunk. But not once has he owned up to his con­duct. In ad­di­tion, Judge Pil­lay slapped him with costs. Now we await the tri­bunal, which was halted pend­ing the con­sti­tu­tional chal­lenge, to see if the dis­hon­ourable judge will be im­peached or not.

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