Cri­sis en­gulfs the W Cape High Court

The Citizen (KZN) - - News -

The cred­i­bil­ity of the West­ern Cape High Court is in jeop­ardy if Judge Pres­i­dent John Hlophe re­mains at the helm pend­ing the out­come of a gross mis­con­duct com­plaint against him, ac­cord­ing to a se­nior judge in the di­vi­sion, who de­scribes vol­un­tary leave as the “hon­ourable thing to do”.

Un­ease is said to have crept into the cor­ri­dors of the prov­ince’s high­est court as Hlophe and the com­plainant, Deputy Judge Pres­i­dent Pa­tri­cia Go­liath, re­main in their po­si­tions.

The judge said there has been over­whelm­ing back­ing for Go­liath

since she wrote a scathing com­plaint to the Ju­di­cial Ser­vice Com­mis­sion (JSC) on 15 Jan­uary, ac­cus­ing Hlophe and his wife, Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe, of mis­con­duct, which could see them re­moved from of­fice.

“There have been strong feel­ings of sup­port for her,” the judge said, speak­ing anony­mously. “This has been long over­due.”

Hlophe, through his at­tor­ney Barn­abas Xulu, de­nied there was any merit to the com­plaint, dis­miss­ing it as con­tain­ing gos­sip, ru­mours and in­for­ma­tion “from the grapevine”. He said Hlophe would demon­strate at the right time be­fore the cor­rect fo­rum that the com­plaint had no merit.

Ac­cord­ing to con­sti­tu­tional law pro­fes­sor Pierre de Vos, the di­vi­sion was now in a sit­u­a­tion where ei­ther the head of the West­ern Cape High Court was guilty of mis­con­duct, or his sec­ond-in-com­mand was a liar.

“There is a se­ri­ous cred­i­bil­ity cri­sis”.

Ac­cord­ing to De Vos, it was “com­pletely un­ten­able” for them to re­main in their po­si­tions un­til the com­plaint was re­solved. – News24 Wire

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