Unity of Blacks tops Hlope’s Parly agenda

Uniting black people is the task former Western Cape judge president John Hlope.

Uniting black people is the task former Western Cape judge president John Hlope.

Published Jun 24, 2024


Uniting black people is the task former Western Cape judge president and soon-to-be-sworn-in uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party leader to Parliament, John Hlophe, said they would carry out as the country’s official opposition party.

Hlophe, who disclosed that he has been meeting with Jacob Zuma following his recent appointment by the MK Party to be its leader in the National Assembly, said that more needed to be done to unite South Africans, and that he would be doing the same when he finally takes on his new role as leader of the opposition in Parliament.

He made the remarks in his keynote address at the launch of the African Legal Professionals Association in Durban on Saturday.

“No, I am not hiding it. I have just had a meeting with uBaba (president Zuma). I was here to meet him because the MK Party is currently not represented in Parliament and I told him I agree that we should go to Parliament.

I am happy to say, this coming Tuesday, I will be sworn in among 58 of us who will represent the MK Party as leader of the opposition in Parliament.

“Our task is to unite black people. That would be my job in the National Assembly. Our leader has already been engaging with other political parties, including EFF leader Julius Malema,” he said.

Hlophe was impeached earlier this year after ANC and DA MPs joined hands and voted in favour of a motion to remove him as the judge president of the Western Cape. A total of 305 members voted in support of his impeachment, while 25 voted against his removal.

Regarded as one of South Africa’s best legal minds, Hlophe holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge, England, a BJuris degree from the University of Fort Hare, an LLB degree from the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, as well as LLM and LLD degrees from the University of Cambridge.

His impeachment relates to allegations that he attempted to influence a case involving Zuma in the Constitutional Court.

During his Saturday address, Hlophe also called for the country’s legal system to be overhauled so that it reflected the traditions, values and ethos of its people.

On unity among South Africans, he said there had to be unity among tribes to build on the solid foundations of the past.

“We used to live in harmony. We intermarried and lived in harmony.

Zulus and Xhosa used to intermarry, which is why we have amaBhaca in parts of Mount Frere, Mount Ayliff and other parts of the country, yet today we are fighting for positions.

“As a result of colonisation, the white man came to impose his own culture and legal system on us, the result of which, was that our legal system reflects the white men and what he imposed and forced down our throats.

Now we need to Africanise our legal system,” he said.

In a statement, Parliament said all the required travel and accommodation logistics were being arranged in preparation for tomorrow’s swearing-in ceremony.

“Parliament confirms that the oath of office will be administered to the 58 elected Members of the MK Party who were not available to be sworn in during the first sitting of the National Assembly on 14 June. The Constitution mandates that before Members of the National Assembly begin to perform their functions in the Assembly, they must swear or affirm faithfulness to the Republic and obedience to the Constitution. This swearing-in of original nominees will be presided over by the Chief Justice, or a judge designated by him, as this is the inaugural swearing-in of these

Members following the National and Provincial Elections. The Speaker, on the other hand, will administer the oath to Members who were nominated after the first sitting,” said Parliament.

Also to be sworn in is the ANC’s Zizi Kodwa. Earlier this month, Kodwa appeared before the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crime Court, facing corruption charges involving R1.7 million, where he was granted bail of R30 000. He later resigned from his ministerial position.

In his step-aside letter to ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula, Kodwa said he remained a committed and disciplined member of the party.

ActionSA said it condemned Kodwa’s return despite facing serious corruption charges for allegedly accepting a R1.7m bribe.

ActionSA parliamentary caucus leader Athol Trollip said: “It is unthinkable that in any nation governed by the rule of law that an individual can simultaneously juggle courtroom appearances for breaking corruption laws while sitting in Parliament, shaping the country’s laws. As we wait with bated breath the announcement of President Ramaphosa’s Cabinet, it is evident that yet another ‘new era’ promised in his inauguration speech is off to a rocky start,” Trollip said.

ANC national spokesperson Mahlengi Motsiri-Bhengu declined to comment.

Cape Times