Parliament Must Decide Judge Hlophe’s Fate

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on Wednesday voted to impeach Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe over a decade-old complaint by Justices of the Constitutional Court.

Thirteen years ago Justices Chris Jafta and Bess Nkabinde laid a complaint against Judge Hlophe for trying to influence them on a matter involving former president Jacob Zuma.

All 11 justices of the constitutional court instituted a complaint against Judge Hlophe in May 2008.

Judge Hlophe hit back with a counter-complaint in which he accused them of breaching the constitution and violating his rights.

The matter dragged on for more than a decade.

But on Wednesday, the JSC finally decided at its meeting to uphold the report and recommendations of the Judicial Conduct Tribunal handed down on 9 April 2021 to impeach Judge Hlophe.

The JSC will now approach Parliament to decide on Judge Hlophe’s fate.

“In pursuance thereof and in terms of the provisions of the constitution the matter will be referred to the National Assembly for its decision,” said the JSC.

“The National Assembly and the parties will be furnished with copies of both the majority and minority views.

“In line with the principles of natural justice the JSC has invited the parties to show cause why it should or should not advise the President to suspend Judge President Hlophe pending the finalisation of the matter by the National Assembly.”

Judge Hlophe denies that he ever tried to influence the two judges on Zuma’s matter.