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Impeachment process 'might drag on' as Hlophe heads to court to stop proceedings

15 September 2021 1:50 PM
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Hlophe impeachment
John Jlophe

Midday Report host Mandy Wiener chats to Zikhona Ndlebe from the Judges Matter project about judge Hlophe's court challenge.
  • Cape Judge President John Hlophe has approached the courts in a bid to block his possible impeachment and suspension
  • Hlophe wants the High Court in Johannesburg to set aside the JSC recommendation that he should face an impeachment vote in Parliament
  • The Judges Matter project says Hlophe may try to delay the impeachment proceedings by dragging out his case

Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe. Picture: www.judiciary.org.za

Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe has gone to court in an urgent bid to try and stop President Cyril Ramaphosa from suspending him and Parliament from conducting impeachment proceedings against him.

Last month, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) voted that Hlophe should be removed from office after he was found guilty of misconduct by the Judicial Conduct Tribunal earlier this year.

RELATED: Hlophe's fate now in hands of National Assembly after JSC pushes for impeachment

Hlophe has maintained his innocence and wants the tribunal findings overturned.

The matter is expected to be heard in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Wednesday 22 September.

Judges Matter advocacy officer Zikhona Ndlebe says Hlophe's court action will mean that the impeachment proceedings in Parliament will be put on hold until a court decision is made.

Ndlebe says Hlophe could potentially appeal the court outcome if a judge does not rule in his favour.

She adds that the judge presiding over the matter must decide fairly, impartially, and according to law.

Because judge president Hlophe has now gone to court, the impact of that is that the court must now decide whether there is merit to his case. While the court is doing that, everything is basically brought to a halt until the court makes a decision based on the application that he has brought to the court.

Zikhona Ndlebe, Research and Advocacy Officer - Judges Matter

Part A of the application is basically an interdict that is aimed to prevent the impeachment proceedings from taking place and the suspension from taking place.

Zikhona Ndlebe, Research and Advocacy Officer - Judges Matter

The court can decide whether there is merit to the request to interdict the suspension and the impeachment. If the court decides that there is merit to that, then.... the Parliamentary process comes to a standstill.

Zikhona Ndlebe, Research and Advocacy Officer - Judges Matter

His attorney did say that they would be challenging this, so it's not a surprise.

Zikhona Ndlebe, Research and Advocacy Officer - Judges Matter



15 September 2021 1:50 PM
Tags:
JSC
Hlophe impeachment
John Jlophe

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