FUL to challenge Hlope fee decision

2012-08-22 14:08
Jeff Radebe (File, Sapa)

Jeff Radebe (File, Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Judicial NGO Freedom Under Law (FUL) has vowed to challenge Justice Minister Jeff Radebe’s claim that the State will cover Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe’s legal fees – no matter what the outcome of his case before the Constitutional Court.

In a hard-hitting statement on Wednesday, the group’s chairperson, retired judge Johann Kriegler, challenged Radebe’s “belief” that he has “unfettered discretion to make such costs arrangements”, and threatened “legal steps”.

Hlophe in April lost two battles in the Supreme Court of Appeal, both cases involving attempts he allegedly made to improperly influence two Constitutional Court judges in cases involving corruption allegations against President Jacob Zuma.

The Constitutional Court has since refused Hlophe leave to appeal to it against those two rulings – one of a case brought by DA leader Helen Zille and the other by Freedom Under Law – and the Judicial Service Commission now has to properly investigate the justices’ charges against Hlophe.

About turn


Last year, Radebe said Hlophe would have to repay the millions he racked up in legal fees should he lose.

But in a parliamentary reply this week, Radebe said: “I have decided, in light of the importance of the constitutional issues raised in the case involving Judge Hlophe and the judges of the Constitutional Court, that I will not be seeking recovery of costs incurred in the case involving Judge Hlophe and the judges of the Constitutional Court.”

In his statement on Wednesday, Kriegler demanded to know why the department of justice decided to fund Hlophe’s legal fights in the first place.

His NGO also wants to see a full statement of account for Hlophe’s lawyers, and details of how much they were paid by the State and for which services.

“The statement would mean that the minister has committed the public purse to paying Judge Hlophe’s costs even if he is found guilty of the grave charges still outstanding against him,” said Kriegler in his statement.

'Gross misconduct'


“The charge which the Supreme Court of Appeal ordered the Judicial Service Commission to investigate properly is essentially one of attempting to defeat the ends of justice, and FUL’s charge is one of gross misconduct arising from Judge Hlophe’s scandalous public reaction to that charge.”

Kriegler said the decision “ascribed to” Radebe was “legally and ethically indefensible”.

“There has never been a suggestion that the judge president of the Cape court was acting in the course of his duties when on his own admission he raised with two justices in their offices in Braamfontein, the politically sensitive Zuma/Thint cases they were considering at the time,” Kriegler said in the statement.

“The minister’s alleged reliance on the Constitutional importance of the complaints is equally unsound. No constitutional issue has ever been raised in the two complaints against the judge ... The fundamental issue has at all times been Judge Hlophe’s fitness for judicial office.”

Kriegler said that Hlophe racked up the legal bills over more than four years while he, “retaining his office and its benefits, vigorously – and thus far successfully – fought to put off the final determination of the truth of his conversation with the two justices”.

“In the circumstances it is unconscionable that such costs are to be borne by the citizenry,” he said.

Read more on:    ful  |  jsc  |  jeff radebe  |  helen zille  |  jacob zuma  |  johann kriegler  |  john hlophe  |  judiciary
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
15 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

SA political parties go to church

Leaders of different political parties have attended a church service at the Tyrannus Apostolic Church in De Deur.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Canon EOS 600D

The Canon EOS 600D Digital Camera puts the widely respected...

From R5389.95

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.