Hlophe ‘allies’ resign as Kriegler pursues JSC over judge president

2009-09-08 08:03

THREE prominent members of ­retired Judge Johan Kriegler’s Freedom

Under Law (FUL) have resigned following the announcement of the organisation’s

mooted legal battle to force a hearing against Cape Judge President John

Hlophe.

ANC heavyweight and businessman Cyril Ramaphosa, ­advocate Dumisa

Ntsebeza and Acting Judge Kgomotso Moroka tendered their resignation from the

organisation of which Justice Kriegler is chairperson.

Moroka and Ntsebeza were members of FUL’s board of directors, while

Ramaphosa served on the organisation’s international advisory board.

Moroka and Ramaphosa said Kriegler’s failure to inform them of the

forthcoming legal action to force the JSC to hold a hearing on Hlophe “left us

with no choice but to resign forthwith from the FUL”.

They criticised the fact that FUL’s constituent bodies had not been

“fully and thoroughly” ­canvassed about the decision to embark on the legal

challenge.

Although the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) was not flattering

about Hlophe, they found that he had not committed any act of gross

misconduct.

Ntsebeza – who in the past ­represented Hlophe at the aborted

hearing of the JSC – said he held no brief for Hlophe.

In the past, in his capacity as head of the Black Lawyers’

­Association judicial committee and as national head of Advocates for

Transformation, Ntsebeza ­expressed reservations about the way Kriegler took

issue with JSC decisions.

Ntsebeza said in principle he had no problem with FUL’s decision to

challenge the JSC. What disturbed him were the comments to the press and the

words ­attributed to Judge Kriegler.

What he found impossible to live with was the “very distinct

patronising tone towards black people” that was a recurring theme in Kriegler’s

utterances.

Kriegler said FUL regretted the resignation of the three but was,

however, pleased to say that they had not expressed “opposition in principle” to

the application. He said the decision to bring the application was taken

unanimously by six of FUL’s 10 board members.

 

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