A Western Cape High Court judge has taken the unusual step of making a public statement to deny a claim made by businessman Iqbal Survé that he is a friend of the DA and Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan.
The offices of Sekunjalo, the investment holding company that Survé heads, were raided by the market regulator the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA) on Wednesday.
In a 2-minute video uploaded on Wednesday, Survé alleged the raid was as a "fishing expedition" to get information on Gordhan, President Cyril Ramaphosa and others that reporters in the Independent Media stable were going to publish.
He also alleged that, when the FSCA initially applied for a warrant for the raid, they were turned down by a judge and then had to approach another judge who was a "friend of the DA and Pravin Gordhan".
Via the Office of the Chief Justice, Judge PAL Gamble on Friday released a statement to confirm that he had issued the warrants sought by the FSCA. According to the statement, there were two judges in Chambers to attend to urgent matters – Judges NC Erasmus and PAL Gamble.
Gamble said he was the only judge dealing with the applications.
"At no stage did the applications serve before either Judge Erasmus or any other Judge of this Division. The matters were dealt with by Judge Gamble from start to finish," the statement said.
"Judge Gamble does not know Minister Pravin Gordhan and has never met him in either his official or personal capacity. Neither the Minister nor his department were, in any event, parties to the proceedings."
Survé announced on Friday that Sekunjalo intends to sue the FCSA and a number of other people for the raids. The regulator responded to say it had not received any motion from Sekunjalo, but "should the threatened legal action materialise, the authority will defend itself".
Gordhan, meanwhile, said in a statement on Thursday the Independent Media boss's attacks on him were characterised by "malicious, yet nonsensical utterances".