Hlophe and Motata impeachment process won’t face further delays, unless interdicted

Judge Nkola Motata and Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe

Judge Nkola Motata and Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe

Published Oct 19, 2023


The justice and correctional services portfolio committee on Wednesday resolved to proceed to consider whether two judges should be impeached, unless there was a court verdict.

“Anybody who would want to ask us to delay or not to proceed, I think, would have to interdict the process.

The process cannot stop now,” committee chairperson Bulelani Magwanishe said.

Magwanishe’s sentiments were echoed by DA MP Werner Horn and ANC MP Qubudile Dyantyi.

“We have no legal impediment from proceeding with our work. I would really agree to that, ” Dyantyi said.

The committee met to consider the written responses from Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe and Judge Nkola Motata, after the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) found them guilty of misconduct.

The committee had decided at its last meeting to request a presentation from the JSC and that Motata and Hlope make written representations as part of making a recommendation to the House.

On Wednesday, MPs heard that letters were received from Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and the two judges.

Magwanishe said Zondo asked in his letter that the committee make a request in writing of what it would like to get from the JSC rather than have someone sent to make a presentation.

Dyantyi said the process they were engaged in was not open-ended.

“We have an end date and our target is that when we rise in December we must be done with this,” he said.

Dyantyi noted that Zondo was not eager to send an official to make presentation before the committee as it was done when they normally dealt with the misconduct of magistrates.

“Given our deadline I would not like to pursue and engage with what he is asking for.”

However, he said they should get a response from the JSC on issues Hlophe was disputing and that the parliamentary legal services should brief them on court-related matters raised by the judge president.

ANC MPs Nomathemba Maseko-Jele and Xola Nqola said Motata should be granted a two-week extension until November.

Cape Times