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By Citizen Reporter


Judge John Hlophe suspended with immediate effect

Hlophe's suspension would be valid until a decision was taken by the National Assembly.

Judge President of the Western High Court, Mandlakayise John Hlophe, has been suspended by President Cyril Ramaphosa, effective immediately.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, it was confirmed that Hlophe’s suspension would be valid until a decision was taken by the National Assembly.

“In order to ensure continuity and stability in the work of the divisional high court, the suspension which is in effect immediately, is on condition that Judge President Hlophe completes all part-heard matters and reserved judgments,” Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said.

ALSO READ: JSC votes to impeach controversial WC Judge John Hlophe

Breach of Constitution

He said the decision was made after going through the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) report in July.

It was concluded by the Judicial Conduct Tribunal (JCT) that Hlophe’s conduct “breached the provisions of section 165 of the Constitution by improperly attempting to influence the two Justices of the Constitutional Court to violate their oaths of office.”

This relates to 11 Justices of the Constitutional Court lodging complaitns in May 2008 against Hlophe for improperly attmepting to influence the outcomes of pending cases before the court in favour of former President Jacob Zuma.

Justices Chris Jafta and Bess Nkabinde claimed Hlophe approched them separately in their chambers, and tried to influence them to rule in favour of Zuma and French arms company Thales.

The JCT said Hlophe’s behaviour “seriously threatened and interfered with the independence, impartiality, dignity and effectiveness of the Constitutional Court and further undermined public confidence in the judicial system.”

The matter now rests with the National Assembly to institute proceedings against Hlophe.

Deputy Judge President of the Western Cape Division of the High Court, Judge Patricia Goliath, will step in as Acting Judge President during Hlophe’s suspension.

Compiled by Nica Richards.

ALSO READ: Judge Hlophe’s six main arguments against tribunal ruling

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