HETN: Revoke Hoffman's SC status

2013-10-17 17:21
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - A request has been made for President Jacob Zuma to revoke the senior council (SC) status of the director of the Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa, Paul Hoffman.

The request came from the Higher Education Transformation Network (HETN), which accused Hoffman on Thursday of unethical conduct.

Hoffman had filed false, malicious, frivolous, and unwarranted charges of judicial misconduct against Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, it said in a statement.

HETN executive director Reginald Legoabe said Hoffman had an ethical obligation as an advocate not to make statements he knew to be false, or with reckless disregard to their truth or falsity concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge, an adjudicatory officer, or public legal officer.

Hoffman said he was aware of the complaint.

"My complaint against the chief justice was made not lightly or frivolously but on the basis of advice from senior council," he said.

"I was given my silk by [former] president [Nelson] Mandela and there is no precedent for taking away silk. It is an unheard-of procedure."

Legoabe said apart from requesting Hoffman to relinquish his SC status, HETN would proceed with a professional and ethical misconduct charge lodged initially with the Cape Bar Council on 8 August.

The complaint had been recently referred to the General Council for the Bar (GCB).

The HETN was awaiting feedback from the GCB on the matter and did not rule out a formal application to have Hoffman struck off the advocates roll.

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) said on 10 September a two-member panel had dismissed Hoffman's complaint against Mogoeng.

The complaint was made about comments Mogoeng made while addressing Advocates for Transformation in Cape Town in July, and a remark Mogoeng allegedly made to Hoffman in The Hague, also in July.

Hoffman's complaint included allegations of contempt of court and of attempting to defeat the ends of justice, which could be construed as gross misconduct.

Read more on:    mogoeng mogoeng  |  jacob zuma  |  paul hoffman  |  johannesburg

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