Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe
Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe

Judicial Service Commission pursues Hlophe ‘misconduct’ investigation

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Feb 9, 2020

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Cape Town - The Judicial Service Commission is to continue with its investigation into allegations of misconduct against the Judge President of the Western Cape, John Hlophe.

This was after Hlophe filed a scathing affidavit against his deputy, Judge Patricia Goliath.

JSC spokesperson JC Fourie said on Saturday the commission was still dealing with the complaint against Hlophe.

He said the Judicial Conduct Committee, comprising senior judges, was handling the probe.

“They are still seized with the matter. The matter is with the judicial conduct committee and we are waiting for the outcome of the investigation,” said Fourie.

It was reported yesterday that Hlophe filed an affidavit in which he denied the allegations against him by Goliath. In her affidavit Goliath accused Hlophe of nepotism, intimidation and attacks against colleagues.

But Hlophe hit back and accused Goliath of lying.

He said the deputy judge president wanted him removed from the Bench.

Goliath also accused Hlophe of trying to influence the appointment of judges to preside over the nuclear case against former president Jacob Zuma.

Earthlife Africa took the government to court over the procurement of nuclear power. The nuclear deal was called off after the Western Cape High Court ruled against Zuma.

But Hlophe denied the charge and said he wanted diversity and transformation on the Bench.

In the other complaint Hlophe was accused of appointing his wife, Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe, to take over matters that were high profile.

Hlophe denied the allegation saying it was unfounded.

The judge president of the division also dismissed the other claim that his wife was appointing acting judges.

Salie-Hlophe a few weeks ago sent out a strong-worded statement against Goliath. She accused her of being obsessed with her marriage to Hlophe. She described her views on her relationship as racism.

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

Goliath accused Hlophe of sidelining her in the division and stripping her of her powers as deputy judge president. Hlophe denied the allegations against him and said they were baseless and unfounded.

The JSC would not say how soon the judicial conduct committee will conclude its investigation.


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