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Decade of allegations against Hlophe 'mires entire judiciary in controversy'

15 September 2020 11:02 AM
Tags:
Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe

Freedom Under Law CEO Nicole Fritz analyses the claims against the Western Cape Judge President and suggests where to from here.

Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe, is facing an array of allegations including assault, intimidation, and in the latest twist, plotting to kill another judge, says Refilwe Moloto.

Hlophe's legal representative Barbabus Xulu, who declined an interview, denies the allegation that he is part of a plot to kill Cape judge Patricia Goliath.

Xulu, however, has stated that claims made by a KZN inmate are contained in a Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS) report handed to Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. And that the details have been leaked to cause damage to Hlophe's reputation.

Freedom Under Law's Nicole Fritz speaks to Refilwe Moloto about the allegations swirling about Judge John Hlophe, including a report that he is allegedly behind a plot to kill a fellow judge.

Fritz says the original complaints against Hlophe are now a decade in the making and have yet to be resolved.

This complaint I refer to was a complaint made by all the judges of the Constitutional Court at the time, against Judge Hlophe, that he had sort to intervene and influence some of them in order to render a decision favourable the then anticipated president Jacob Zuma.

Nicole Fritz, CEO - Freedom Under Law (FUL)

It is hard to imagine a more serious complaint than that, and it has not been resolved more than a decade later.

Nicole Fritz, CEO - Freedom Under Law (FUL)

In 2020 the complaints lodge were by Hlophe's deputy Patricia Goliath, and among those allegations were that he had assaulted a fellow judge on the Western Cape bench.

Allegations too, that he had sort to cherry-pick judges for particular controversial political cases so that they would render favourable decisions - which would obviously cut against this idea that judges must render decisions without fear or favour.

Nicole Fritz, CEO - Freedom Under Law (FUL)

She says it is hard to believe there could be further allegations but now claims are being made that Hlophe has been involved in an attempted assassination hit against this deputy.

These claims cannot be discounted and require further investigation, she adds.

Hlophe's lawyer is calling for a judicial inquiry into the allegations.

I fear we are going to see further Stalingrad-style legal tactics - so it is just delay, delay, delay.

Nicole Fritz, CEO - Freedom Under Law (FUL)

She says Freedom Under Law and many other organisations are calling for the fair but speedy resolution of all the complaints against Judge Hlophe by the Judicial Services Commission.

Pending the outcome of that determination, he must be placed on suspension. That's not terribly unfair to him...and should he be cleared he can come back and not taint the entire bench.

Nicole Fritz, CEO - Freedom Under Law (FUL)

If the outcome should warrant a prosecutable case, then it should be handled within the criminal justice system, and go to court, says Fritz.

These allegations have had a very detrimental impact and split on the entire Western Cape bench, Fritz concludes.

Listen to what Freedom Under Law's Nicole Fritz has to say in the audio below:


15 September 2020 11:02 AM
Tags:
Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe

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