By Quinton Mtyala

UCT's law faculty is beset by a racist "group of gangsters" on its staff bent on entrenching white domination of the bench, says its deputy registrar of legal services Paul Ngobeni.

This follows a spat between UCT's newly appointed chair of constitutional governance Pierre de Vos and Ngobeni following a recent radio debate on SAFM.

They are accusing the other of being liars after debating the merits of a possible nomination to head the Constitutional Court of embattled Cape Judge President John Hlophe.

Hlophe is facing an inquiry by the Judicial Services Commission into a complaint against him by justices of the Constitutional Court that he tried to unduly influence two if its members to rule in favour of Jacob Zuma in his fraud trial, since withdrawn.

This over allegations Hlophe had tried to influence two of them in the fraud and corruption case against Jacob Zuma which had come before the Constitutional Court.

On his blog, constitutionalyspeaking.co.za, De Vos denied Ngobeni's claim that he "hated" Hlophe insisting that his words, published on the website, had been selectively quoted.

Of the charge against him, De Vos said although he welcomed debate, Ngobeni had failed "to stick to the facts" and had instead made (personal attacks against him.

"Some of the issues I have raised are based on incontrovertible facts. I don't want to make it personal, I want to debate these issues, that's how democracy works" said De Vos of his public debates with Ngobeni.

For his part, Ngobeni said De Vos' claims that he did not "hate" Hlophe was lie confirmed by his own writing.

"An objective analyst does not get very, very angry. That will cloud your vision and your objectivity," said Ngobeni.

He accused De Vos of being a racist who hated Hlophe "with a passion, even when the man was sick" referring to an incident when the judge president had failed to turn up at the JSC for the case against him.

Saying that he would continue to engage him and expose him as a phony, Ngobeni added De Vos would be joining a special group at UCT's law faculty.

"This guy will be joining a group of gangsters who make (John) Hlophe their do-or-die issue. Whites want to entrench themselves in the last unelected branch of government - the judiciary," said Ngobeni.

Ngobeni has been the subject of a disciplinary hearing by the university, started in October last year, which has been shrouded in secrecy.

He said for all UCT's claims of being liberal the university was no different from other institutions in South Africa falling short in dealing with transformation.