In powerful Hlophe 'we put our trust' – MKP

Former Western Cape judge president John Hlophe. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane Independent Newspapers

Former Western Cape judge president John Hlophe. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 23, 2024


Former Western Cape judge president John Hlophe is ready to lead uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) MPs in the National Assembly.

Amid the confirmation that Hlophe will be the MKP’s Chief Whip in the House, members and supporters expressed excitement and trust in him.

Attending an African Legal Professional Association event in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, on Saturday, Hlophe confirmed that he will lead the MKP in the National Assembly. He said his task was to unite black people in Parliament.

“In all honesty, I only went to visit ubaba (Zuma) in his homestead in Nkandla because I noticed that the party is not in Parliament. I told him that let us go to Parliament. I am happy to confirm that on Tuesday, all 58 of us are going to be sworn in and I will lead the opposition. I regard my task to unite black people that is my taste,” said Hlophe.

He said Jacob Zuma has been in talks with political parties such as the EFF, PAC and others.

Parliament announced that the swearing-in of original nominees from the MKP list will be presided over by the chief justice, or a judge designated by him, as this is the inaugural swearing-in of these members following the elections.

National Assembly spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said the Speaker, on the other hand, will administer the oath to members who are nominated after the first sitting.

“In accordance with the provisions of the act, political parties may supplement or fill any vacancies that may occur on their candidates’ lists prior to the first swearing-in after elections.

“This ensures that all designated seats are filled and that parties are fully represented. Parliament has received an indication from the MKP regarding the supplementation of their candidates list with a total of 21 members. All required travel and accommodation logistics are being arranged in preparation for the swearing-in ceremony,” Mothapo said.

It is known that Hlophe is close to MKP leader Zuma. Some in the know say President Cyril Ramaphosa destroyed Hlophe and all those that are known to be Zuma’s allies.

Earlier this year, Hlophe was impeached with Parliament voting in favour of the motion.

Hlophe is the first judge since democracy to be impeached.

In 2008, Hlophe faced accusations of trying to sway the Constitutional Court’s ruling regarding the Scorpions’ search and seizure operations on the assets of French arms manufacturer Thint and Zuma.

Last week, MKP said Hlophe’s distinguished career and unwavering Pan-African outlook have established him as a formidable force against systemic racism, particularly in the Western Cape.

MKP spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela said Hlophe’s reputation as an impeccable jurist and seasoned activist, who believes an African-based judicial system, makes him an ideal leader for the party and South Africa at this crucial time.

“The MK Party is honoured by Hlophe’s willingness to join us in our mission. We aim to unite progressive activists to build a formidable party capable of defeating the DA-ANC coalition, expropriating land without compensation, and nationalising strategic industries, thus ensuring that all South Africans, especially Africans, share in the wealth of their ancestors. His wisdom and activism, along with that of other progressive activists, will be instrumental in achieving the true and total freedom that has eluded our people for the last 30 years.

“Welcome aboard, judge Hlophe,” MKP spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela said.

Hlophe is not the only legal mind to take a fall through an impeachment. Former public protector and EFF MP Busisiwe Mkhwebane was impeached by the National Assembly last year.

Ironically, the then-chairperson of the Section 194 Committee, Richard Dyantyi, who led a committee to get rid of Mkhwebane, is nowhere to be found.

“Despite enduring 15 years of harassment and facing unlawful removal by the DA-ANC coalition, Hlophe has remained steadfast in his fight for justice for the disenfranchised. We are humbled by his legal expertise, which will prove invaluable as we navigate any legal challenges the DA-ANC coalition may attempt to orchestrate,” Ndhlela said.