Crisis engulfs the W Cape High Court
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