South Africa

JUDICIARY IN CRISIS

Judge Hlophe slams Judicial Conduct Tribunal’s impeachment recommendation, blames ‘Judge Kriegler’s campaign’

Judge Hlophe slams Judicial Conduct Tribunal’s impeachment recommendation, blames ‘Judge Kriegler’s campaign’
Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe. (Photo: Gallo Images / Foto24 / Nelius Rademan)

Hlophe, through his legal counsel, also accused the tribunal of endorsing ‘the views of a political party that engaged in political campaigns, labelling Judge President Hlophe an ANC deployee and now a blight in [sic] the judiciary’.

Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe, through his beleaguered legal representative, Barnabas Xulu, has challenged the findings of a Judicial Conduct Tribunal which pronounced him guilty of gross misconduct. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Hlophe said he “fundamentally disagreed with the factual and legal findings” of the tribunal.

Xulu slammed the tribunal for having “endorsed the partisan views of a retired Mr justice of the Constitutional Court Mr. Kriegler [sic] and his organisation, FUL [Freedom Under Law], who engaged in a spirited campaign against Judge President Hlophe”.

Xulu also accused the tribunal of endorsing “the views of a political party that engaged in political campaigns, labelling Judge President Hlophe ‘an ANC deployee’ and now a blight in [sic] the judiciary.

“While these outfits celebrate the ruling of the Tribunal, [the] Judge President is determined to vindicate his name and in so doing, will demonstrate how this findings does [sic] not correctly reflect the law and is not based on the facts presented to it.”

Interestingly, Hlophe’s statement through Xulu comes on the day a taped conversation of ANC Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte praising Hlophe for ANC “wins” in the Western Cape High Court was leaked.

On Saturday the tribunal panel, led by retired Judge Joop Labuschagne, found Hlophe guilty of misconduct and recommended that he face impeachment for approaching two Constitutional Court judges, Chris Jafta and Bess Nkabinde, in 2008 in order to influence their thinking in a matter involving former president Jacob Zuma.

Hlophe, in a media release on Tuesday, through Xulu, who himself lost an appeal to prevent the state from attaching his assets on 30 March, said the tribunal had “misdirected” itself.

While Xulu said that Hlophe “respects that the Judicial Conduct Tribunal has made its decision”, he fundamentally disagreed with “the factual and legal findings” of the tribunal.

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Hlophe would, “in due course, address to the appropriate forum his contentions” that the tribunal had “misdirected itself on numerous procedural and substantive issues rendering its findings unjustified”. 

The statement by the tribunal that Hlophe had questioned the participation of counsel for the two Constitutional Court justices was untrue and the matter had been raised “in at least two pre-trial” occasions, said Xulu.

The tribunal had also failed, alleged Xulu, “to deal with serious contradictions in the evidence of the witnesses who testified against Judge President Hlophe”. 

It had accepted “the version of the judges who testified against Judge President Hlophe” and that the Judge President “never set out to influence or persuade any Judges of the Constitutional Court to violate their oath of office”. 

Hlophe stood by the evidence presented to the tribunal, but, “had the tribunal carefully examined that evidence, it would have endorsed the 2009 JSC [Judicial Service Commission] findings that I am not guilty of gross judicial misconduct”. DM

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  • Sergio CPT says:

    It’s so tiresome and predictable that these slimy and vile Zuma-ite individuals always slam judicial outcomes when it doesn’t go their way. It is all a WMC plot! Look in the mirror Hlophe and stop blaming others for your despicable and dishonest behavior. You are a liar and an obnoxious cheat!

  • Gerhard Pretorius says:

    How long can the public still tolerate this sick twosome’s antics? It does not even have entertaining value. Please give them the orange overalls they deserve so the world can move on with worthy causes.

  • Ediodaat For Today says:

    Is this the perfect example of “Clutching at straws”. Or is it the blind leading the blind. Fortunately, the rest of the legal world appear to have 20/20 vision currently in 20/21.

  • Darryl van Blerk says:

    Also in the news currently is Jacob Zuma having to refund the fiscus for legal fees incurred in his attempting to defend the indefensible. Hlope insisted on exorbitantly expensive QC from abroad to conduct his defence in this matter, I assume at cost to the taxpayer. Does he too have to pay back the money?

  • Kanu Sukha says:

    It is time for Xulu(has he paid back the money yet?)and Hlope to realise that everything, including their profession(if we can call it that)is ‘politics’-they just chose the wrong faction! ‘Facts’ & ‘substance’ accordingly are whatever ‘they’ claim it to be! Dream on…at our expense unfortunately.

  • Jon Quirk says:

    Even now, in his approach, Hlope is abusing his position. If he wants to appeal he has the same, no more no less, power than the average citizen, so why is this being aired in this way? Disgraceful.

  • John Bestwick says:

    Sloppy and ZuluXulu. What a pair of banshees crying wolf. Zumavirus infected corrupt thieving scum. And to the tescue comes that bag of rubbish Jessewherearthou.!! Hahaha. Clown town in full flow.

  • Alley Cat says:

    “ANC Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte praising Hlophe for ANC “wins” in the Western Cape High Court.”
    That is all we needed to know. QED

  • Charles Guise-Brown says:

    A better title might have been “The slippery Hlophe goes to his financially distressed lawyer for his last (hopefully) legal lifeline.”
    I just gasp at how looooooong these legal process take.
    Justice delayed remains justice denied; the real plaintiff here is SA Inc.

  • Peter Bartlett says:

    The likes of Xulu, Mpofu and Sikhakani should be next to face sanction by the JSC! They, and those like them, are a disgrace to the Legal Profession and should be booted out with the equally despicable despots they try to defend!

  • Peter Bartlett says:

    The likes of Xulu, Mpofu and Sikhakani should be next to face sanction by the JSC! They, and those like them, are a disgrace to the Legal Profession and should be booted out with the equally dispicable despots they try to defend!

  • Jamie WHITELAW says:

    When oh when will we see the end of this long drawn out affair and get rid of this dreadful man. Wait, the defence of racism has not yet been raised??

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