FILE PHOTO: Cape Judge President John Hlophe. Picture: Dumisani Sibeko

The judicial conduct committee will make a decision within the next two weeks on allegations against Cape Judge President John Hlophe.

“A decision will be taken in the next two weeks,” Judicial Service Commission (JSC) secretariat member Sello Chiloane said on Friday.

The judicial conduct committee met on Friday at the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg to consider Hlophe's case.

“They considered the issues... and received various submissions. They will go through all that, and deliberate, and then make a decision,” Chiloane said.

The committee deals with complaints against judges. Hlophe did not appear before it.

The allegations relate to Constitutional Court judges accusing Hlophe of trying to influence their ruling in a case involving President Jacob Zuma.

Earlier this year, the Constitutional Court refused Hlophe's application for leave to appeal two judgments against him. The application arose from two Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) cases brought by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and legal advocacy group Freedom Under Law (FUL).

The SCA ordered the JSC to investigate the charges against Hlophe.

The matter began in 2008, when the Constitutional Court complained that Hlophe had tried to influence two of its judges to rule in favour of Zuma in a case involving the country's multi-billion rand arms deal.

Earlier this week, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said he would not seek repayment of Hlophe's legal fees.

FUL, trade union Solidarity and the Democratic Alliance criticised Radebe's decision.

FUL chairman Johann Kriegler said it was surprising that taxpayers had to pay the legal costs of Hlophe in the proceedings arising from the complaint against him by Constitutional Court judges.

Kriegler, himself a former Constitutional Court and SCA judge, accused Radebe of contradicting his earlier undertaking that Hlophe would be asked to repay the millions of rand in legal costs if he lost his court cases.

“There has never been a suggestion that the judge president of the Cape court was acting in the course of his duties when on his own admission he raised with two justices in their offices in Braamfontein the politically sensitive Zuma/Thint cases they were considering at the time,” Kriegler said. - Sapa