News24

High drama at Hlophe interview

2009-09-20 21:10

Johannesburg - The Judicial Service Commission's interview of Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe took a dramatic turn on Sunday when the room was cleared of the media and public, during questioning on his dealings with the company Oasis

Independent Democrats leader Patricia De Lille had asked him to describe the terms of his retainer with the company to help her understand the matter.

But some of the commissioners objected saying that the JSC had already dealt with this matter.

But De Lille and Inkatha Freedom Party's Koos van der Merwe said it was important to be able to ask questions in public on this issue.

Advocate Isak Smuts had also wanted Hlophe to explain the apparent contradiction that his "fight" with the Constitutional Court judges was not personal.

Smuts said that during the JSC preliminary enquiry Hlophe had made certain statements about the judges.

After some debate the Supreme Court of Appeal Judge President Lex Mpati said he had wanted to avoid such arguments.

The room was then ordered cleared of the media and public.

While waiting downstairs to be called back in again, the media were then moved out of the building as raised voices could be heard.

SAPA