Bernadette Wicks
Senior court reporter
3 minute read
26 Aug 2021
6:12 pm

Hlophe could escape impeachment, despite JSC’s gross misconduct finding

Bernadette Wicks

Hlophe could try to get the courts to overturn the JSC's finding, and his supporters in parliament, could also save him from impeachment.

Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe during a meeting with Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and other senior members of the judiciary on August 27, 2015 at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa. The meeting which was requested by the Chief Justice, was to clear the air between the judiciary and executive after politicians and cabinet ministers criticised the judiciary. Picture: Gallo Images / The Times / Moeletsi Mabe

The Judicial Services Commission (JSC) has described what it’s found were Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe’s attempts to influence two constitutional court justices back in 2008 as “a serious interference with the constitutionally protected independence of the judiciary”. The JSC on Wednesday announced it had taken a decision to uphold the Judicial Conduct Tribunal’s (JCT’s) April findings of gross misconduct against Hlophe. The penultimate step in the impeachment process, this now leaves Hlophe’s fate to be finally determined by a Parliamentary vote. In its majority’s reasons, which were made available on Thursday, the commission emphasised  judicial independence was fundamental...