Zuma’s attack on judiciary system now seems ‘ironic’

Western Cape Judge John Hlophe was found guilty of gross misconduct for trying to sway two judges to rule in favour of Zuma.


While former president Jacob Zuma recently accused the judiciary of being corrupt, the Judicial Conduct Tribunal has found Judge John Hlophe guilty of gross misconduct for trying to sway two judges to rule in favour of Zuma.

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) Tribunal found Western Cape Judge President Hlophe tried, to sway two Constitutional Court justices to rule in favour of then ANC president.

This was in relation to the validity of searches during the arms deal probe involving Zuma and Thint in 2008.

The JSC said on Saturday its tribunal unanimously concluded that Hlophe was guilty of gross misconduct in terms of section 177 of the Constitution.

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He was found to have “breached the provision of section 165 of the Constitution in that he improperly attempted to influence two justices of the Constitutional Court to violate their oaths of office”.

“His conduct seriously threatened and interfered with the independence, impartiality, dignity and effective of the Constitution and his conduct threatened public confidence in the judicial system.”

The JSC needed to make a recommendation on whether the gross misconduct was sufficient to justify removal from office, said Accountability Now director advocate Paul Hoffman.

Hoffman added: “There is great irony in the fact that this judicial conduct tribunal has come to the conclusion that Hlophe saw fit to interfere with the two judges of the Constitutional Court.

“[Meanwhile] it was [Zuma] trying to get off the hook with Hlophe’s help.”

By Rorisang Kgosana