Hlophe: An em­bar­rass­ing af­fair

CityPress - - Voices -

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.

John Hlophe

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