Hlophe: An embarrassing affair
Simon Pele Western Cape The recent fiasco involving Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe is indeed a rather embarrassing affair. If the allegations are proven true, then he must be relieved of his job with immediate effect.
The recent judgment by Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) judges Visvanathan Ponnan and Azhar Cachalia is an indictment of the province’s judge president. A cursory read of the judgment demands action against Hlophe, but we are not a kangaroo court, so due process must be allowed to take its course, even if it means that Hlophe must take a leave of absence while this matter is being investigated.
The judgment by the SCA requires a full investigation if the integrity of the Western Cape High Court is to be preserved. The existence of the judgment questioning the integrity of Hlophe makes a full investigation of the matter and his exoneration from all allegations levelled against him by the SCA an absolute necessity. We must remember that the SCA is South Africa’s highest court in respect of civil matters. This matter calls for the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) under the leadership and guidance of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and SCA president Mandisa Maya to institute an urgent investigation to clear Hlophe or, the alternative, he must appear before a disciplinary hearing of the JSC. I hope the JSC takes this matter very seriously and conducts the investigation with speed.