John Hlophe, Judge President of the Western Cape. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)/ Archives
John Hlophe, Judge President of the Western Cape. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)/ Archives

Judge Salie-Hlophe alleges deputy judge president wants to take husband’s job

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Jan 26, 2020

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Cape Town - Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe’s wife has launched a blistering attack on the deputy judge president of the division, claiming she wanted her husband’s job.

This week, an official complaint against Judge Hlophe and his wife Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe was lodged with the Judicial Service Commission.

The complaint was laid by Deputy Judge President Patricia Goliath, who accused Judge Hlophe of nepotism and abuse of power.

She also accused Judge Salie-Hlophe of running the division without authority and taking over some key cases.

On Saturday, Judge Salie-Hlophe accused Judge Goliath of wanting to take over Judge Hlophe’s position.

“The complaint is simply a bitter spew to oust the judge president with the the ambition of succeeding him and to garner herself the entitlement she believes she is rather more suitable for,” claimed Judge Salie-Hlophe.

She denied allegations by Judge Goliath that she had appointed acting judges in the division.

“I do not allocate cases to my colleagues, I do not appoint or terminate acting appointments as that falls within the purview of the minister of justice, nor do I recommend candidates for acting appointments to the judge president... Not a single judge had to date acted upon my recommendation or was ever proposed by me,” Judge Salie-Hlophe added.

She also alleged Judge Goliath had encouraged her to leave her husband because she was older than him, and that she should drop her double-barrelled surname.

She said Judge Goliath’s complaint was intended to inflict damage on her and Judge Hlophe. She said it had no merit and was baseless.

Last week, the JSC confirmed it was investigating the matter. The complaint will undergo various stages of examination, including by a panel of three judges.

A recommendation on the next course of action will then be made to the JSC.

In her complaint Judge Goliath claimed Judge Hlophe was abusing his power and his wife had the power to appoint acting judges.

She claimed Judge Hlophe had stripped her of her power as the deputy judge president and she occupied the position in name only.

Judge Salie-Hlophe accused Judge Goliath of being obsessed with her marriage to Judge Hlophe.

She said she had been taken aback by Judge Goliath’s attempts to discourage her in her marriage.

In her complaint Judge Goliath said Judge Hlophe had appointed his wife to preside over the case of property executive Jason Rohde despite the fact that she was a junior judge.

Judge Goliath said she had wanted a senior judge to handle the case.

Rohde is out on bail pending his appeal against his sentence and conviction.

In her complaint Judge Goliath stated that Judge Hlophe had once accused her in a meeting of wanting to take over his job.

She alleged he said he said he had refused to take three months’ leave because he might have found himself without the position on his return.

Political Bureau

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