Hlophe’s team fume for minutes of meeting judges held in 2008

2013-10-04 00:00

MINUTES from a meeting that may shed some light on the discord in the camp of Constitutional Court judges who laid a charge of serious misconduct against by Judge John Hlophe will form a focus point in the investigation against him.

Hlophe, judge president of the Western Cape, is accused of trying to influence Constitutional Court judges Bess Nkabinde and Chris Jafta on a judgment relating to President Jacob Zuma in his corruption case involving the multi-billion-rand arms deal.

British lawyer Courtney Griffiths QC, for Hlophe, put deputy chief judge Dikgang Moseneke firmly in his sights after the Judicial Service Commission tribunal that is investigating the charge, yesterday found that the case must continue.

Griffiths and advocate Selby Mbe­nenge, for Jafta and Nkabinde, had initially tried to stop the investigation with arguments on the legality of the charge and tribunal.

All the arguments were dismissed and the tribunal will on Tuesday continue with its investigations into the merits of the case.

Chair of the tribunal, former judge Joop Labuschagne, reassured Mbe­nenge that the tribunal would be independent and objective.

Griffiths repeatedly asked if and when Moseneke will testify to the tribunal — because he said Moseneke is tardy in providing minutes of meetings.

Advocate Gilbert Marcus SC, for the other 11 judges of the Constitutional Court, said Moseneke was willing to supply the minutes, but had not yet found time to do so.

Griffiths said this was unacceptable, adding Moseneke must get his act together to avoid more delays.

The minutes are from a meeting that the judges held in 2008 when the charge was laid against Hlophe.

Hlophe had for the past five years fought the charge in several courts, but yesterday his court team said the tribunal’s decision to go ahead would end the tainting of Hlophe’s name.

“It is high time that everyone who accuses our client of improper conduct, must appear before the tribunal … our client will be shown to be innocent.”

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