The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is steadfast on proposing to President Cyril Ramaphosa to suspend the Judge President of the Western Cape High Court John Hlophe, pending a vote by the National Assembly on whether he should be impeached. In a ruling made almost a year ago the JSC found Hlophe guilty of gross misconduct for attempting to influence two Constitutional Court justices to rule in favour of former ANC president Jacob Zuma in 2008, as per IOL.
The embattled Judge Hlophe challenged the legality of the JSC investigation and the vote which found him guilty, but that was dismissed by the Gauteng High Court. The same court recently granted Hlophe leave to appeal its ruling. It indicated that his application lacked merit, but that it was of public importance that Hlophe be granted leave to appeal, as he could become the first judge in South African history to be removed from office.
Participating in a meeting held virtually last night by the JSC, Premier of the Western Cape Alan Winde welcomed the suspension of Judge John Hlophe stating that the saga had dragged on for years and should be concluded. He also highlighted the Western Cape government respects the integrity of the country’s judicial system, and by recommending to suspend the Judge President of the Western Cape High Court, it is sending a clear message that impartiality and integrity of the justice system must be upheld at all costs because of its best interests of the country.
Leading to the meeting held today, the Judges Matter Judge Mbekezeli Benjamin also welcomed the suspension, as he said: “It is an important move to protect the integrity of the judiciary, particularly the Western Cape High Court, which has been under severe stress. However, the decision solely lies with President Ramaphosa, as we see no reason for him to delay the suspension but to act soon.”
Picture: Judges Matter