Hlophe’s JSC appointment sparks concern over Oppenheimer, Soros influence

Published Jul 7, 2024


In a contentious development, a coalition of civil society movements has raised objections regarding the appointment of Judge John Hlophe to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

The issue has sparked a fierce debate over judicial independence, representation, and the influence of external funding in South Africa’s legal system.

The controversy stems from a letter addressed to Honourable Speaker Thoko Didiza, signed by organisations claiming to represent the interests of marginalised communities.

These groups allege that Judge Hlophe’s appointment would undermine democratic principles and serve the agenda of what they term “White Monopoly Capital”. They argue that certain NGOs, purportedly funded by international entities like Oppenheimer and Soros, are exerting undue influence to prevent Hlophe’s ascension to the JSC.

“We write as civil society movements, concerned about how Oppenheimer-and Soros-funded ‘NGOs’ have arrogated themselves as custodians of democracy while in reality they continue to undermine and subvert the will of the people in the interest of White Monopoly Capital.

“These NGOs have supposedly written to Parliament requesting honourable Thoko Didiza in her capacity as the Speaker of the national assembly to ensure judge Hlophe does not get appointed into the Judicial Service Commission,” reads the statement.

In the strongly-worded letter, the coalition, which includes the Azania Party and the Basic Rights Foundation, among others, accuses prominent NGOs such as Freedom Under Law and the Helen Suzman Foundation of acting as proxies for “Zionism and White supremacy”.

“Freedom Under Law, the Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution, Judges Matter, Helen Suzman Foundation, Defend our Democracy and the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation are nothing but lapdogs for Zionism and White supremacy,” reads the statement.

They contend that these organisations have historically neglected issues affecting the black majority while prioritising the interests of a white economic elite.

The coalition paints a stark picture of economic disparity in South Africa, asserting that the country remains a “White Colony” where the black majority is systematically excluded from economic participation.

“South Africa is still a White Colony, and the White masters that this posturing so-called NGOs propagate for, do not want the black majority to share in the value chain of the economy and its minerals wealth.

“Unlike our parents who suffered under apartheid, we are not garden boys and girls. That era is gone!,” they said.

They argue that figures like Judge Hlophe, who symbolise resistance against historical injustices, are essential to the pursuit of economic and social justice.

Highlighting Judge Hlophe’s credentials, which include advanced degrees from Cambridge University and an appointment by then President Nelson Mandela, the coalition insists that he embodies the qualifications necessary to challenge “White Monopoly Arrogance” within the judiciary.

“Judge Hlophe is a representative of our people who voted for the dismantlement of White power in South Africa and with such suitable qualifications he is best suited for the JSC role,” they said.

They criticise opposition figures like John Steenhuisen and Helen Zille, accusing them of lacking the academic and moral authority to critique Hlophe’s suitability for the JSC.

The coalition emphatically rejects any attempt by funded NGOs to dictate judicial appointments, asserting that such actions undermine the democratic will of the people.

They pledge unwavering support for Judge Hlophe, positioning him as a champion for genuine transformation within South Africa’s legal framework. “We the people want Judge Hlophe, and we cannot be dictated by Oppenheimer lapdogs”.

“No funded NGO should be allowed to undermine the will of the people especially when these NGOs don’t even have any mandate from society but represent a few elites who have managed to undermine our national agenda including the ANC which has been taken to courts by these NGOs as and when the governing party attempts to transform the socio-economy,” they said.

The controversy surrounding Judge Hlophe’s appointment is poised to intensify, with political and legal ramifications that could reverberate throughout the nation.

As the debate unfolds, stakeholders on all sides are gearing up for a protracted battle over the future direction of South Africa’s judiciary and its role in addressing historical injustices.