It’s been one of those long-running sagas: Back in 2008, Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe was accused of approaching two of SA’s top judges, Justices Chris Jafta and Bess Nkabinde, in their Constitutional Court chambers. He was allegedly trying to get them to rule in favour of then ANC President Jacob Zuma in a matter linked to the arms deal. It was a shocking revelation and would have violated their oaths of office. This week Hlophe was finally found guilty of gross misconduct by a Judicial Conduct Tribunal. 👨⚖️
The matter has taken SO LONG to conclude because, much like Zuma, Hlophe used loads of delaying tactics. He is planning on challenging the findings but for now, the tribunal has recommended that he face impeachment. This will require a two-thirds parliamentary majority vote, so it’ll be a test of the ANC’s attitude. It may be an ignoble end to what should have been a great tenure for the first black judge to be permanently appointed to the Western Cape High Court, but whose career was plagued by controversies.
This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 15 April 2021. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.