Arms Deal, Bess Nkabinde, Chris Jafta, Constitutional Court, Democratic Alliance, Freedom Under Law, Jacob Zuma, John Hlophe, Judicial Service Commission, South Africa (Country)

Arms Deal, Bess Nkabinde

Hlophe cries ‘politics’ as he contests the misconduct finding against him - The Mail & Guardian

The Western Cape judge president has rejected the report by a judicial tribunal that lays the groundwork for his impeachment

2021-04-14 02:05:00 PM

The Western Cape judge president has rejected the report by a judicial tribunal that lays the groundwork for his impeachment

The Western Cape judge president has rejected the report by a judicial tribunal that lays the groundwork for his impeachment

that he committed gross misconduct as wrong in fact and in law and plans to contest it, according to a letter from his lawyer.“Judge President Hlophe respects that the Judicial Conduct Tribunal has made its decision,” the letter, released late on Tuesday night, states. “He however fundamentally disagrees with the factual and legal findings of the tribunal and will, in due course, address to the appropriate forum his contentions. The tribunal misdirected itself on numerous procedural and substantive issues rendering its findings unjustified.”

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Hlophefirmly denies in the letter that he ever set out to influence any justices of the constitutional court to violate their oath of office.But the tribunal at the weekend said he “appeared to have been on a mission” when he met justices Chris Jafta and Bess Nkabinde a month apart in the autumn of 2008 to discuss a pending case relating to the arms deal corruption charges against Thales and the then aspirant president Jacob Zuma.

Hlophe had, in conversation with Jafta, suggested that the matter should be handled properly and added a phrase to the effect that those on the bench at the apex court were “our last hope”.The tribunal recommended he be impeached, which is a decision that falls to the national assembly where a vote needs to be carried by a two-thirds majority. But the Judicial Service Commission has to first weigh the finding and if it agrees it will forward the report to parliament.

Hlophe insists in his letter that the tribunal failed to formulate a clear charge for him to answer, because there is no statutory enabling provision to make a contravention of section 165 of the Constitution an offence.The tribunal, in its 47-page report, dismissed this argument, saying that because it was not a criminal trial the requirement did not apply. Rather, the tribunal was concerned with principles of judicial probity and ethical standards.  

ButHlophemaintains that this approach is puzzling. “This approach is self-evidently wrong in that it fails to appreciate the statutory premise on which a complaint of judicial misconduct must be determined.”The tribunal found that Hlophe had violated the Constitution by attempting to influence judges to betray their oath of office, while flouting the principle that bars judges from broaching a pending matter with those seized with it.

The tribunal said it was inconceivable that he did not know the principle by the time he canvassed Jafta and Nkabinde because he had, by then, been a high court judge for 13 years. “He is expected to have been aware of it and, on the balance, he was.”

In his letter Hlophe also pointed to the delay in bringing the matter to finality. The tribunal gave its ruling nearly 13 years after the initial complaint was brought by the justices of the apex court, but said Hlophe was in no small measure responsible for the delays.

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Hlophe then goes on to claim that the tribunal was swayed by the partisan views of retired judge Johann Kriegler and the Democratic Alliance. Freedom Under Law, which Kriegler chairs, and the DA went to court separately, and ultimately successfully, to challenge a decision by the Judicial Services Commission that there was not sufficient evidence to justify a finding of gross misconduct against Hlophe.

“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 not correctly reflect the law and is not based on the facts presented to it,” according to Hlophe’s letter.

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Freedom Under Law sends letter of demand to JSC on suspending Hlophe - The Mail & GuardianThe letter from FUL, chaired by former ConCourt Justice Johann Kriegler, came after the commission confirmed that Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe would on Friday participate in the interviews of candidates to fill two vacancies in his division. had a double mind when i wanted to invest but i thank God 🙏 i have invested with the right account manager kellybrian_ i got my money back with profit just as he said, i want everyone to start investing with kellybrian_ he's the best trader. Nonsense Imagine issuing instructions to suspend a whole Judge President. Niyapaynelwa ne. Niphefumla ngenxeba FLU. Not gonna happen.

JSC won’t axe Hlophe from selection panel - The Mail & GuardianJudge Hlophe recently raised eyebrows by allocating the corruption case against ANC MP Bongani Bongo to himself and then dismissed the bribery charges after a section 174 application by the former minister. The JSC - toothless and compromised A scandal on its own ... Wow I am speechless for the moment, don't really know what to say but i really for her Goodwill over me and my familyappreciate who help me trade my bitcoin (earning R50,500 weekly) MariaNMabry

Aspirant high court judges grilled on views of Hlophe - The Mail & Guardian Democratic Alliance MP Glynnis Breytenbach systematically asked all six candidates how they felt about a judicial officer remaining on the bench after a finding of gross misconduct “based on underlying dishonesty”.

Judicial watchdog calls for speedy finalisation of JSC probe into HlopheA tribunal has found the Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe violated his oath of office by approaching two Constitutional Court justices over the case relating to former President Jacob Zuma and arms company, Thales. edwinntshidi Now that I know who sits on the Judicial committee I'm filled with dread for any outcome that is any different to the one where a sitting president was overthrown by politically motivated narcissists.

Hlophe to participate in interviews for Western Cape judges | The CitizenThe JSC has confirmed embattled Western Cape Judge President Judge John Hlophe will on Friday to participate in judge interviews.