Judges ready to testify against Hlophe

2013-10-03 12:44
Judge John Hlophe (File, Sapa)

Judge John Hlophe (File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court judges who laid a misconduct complaint against Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe were ready to testify against him, a tribunal heard on Thursday.

Gilbert Marcus, SC, for the judges, excluding Judges Chris Jafta and Bess Nkabinde, said his clients were ready to come and testify.

"Our clients will be available and will be ready to testify," he told the Judicial Service Commission tribunal hearing in Johannesburg.

"Those who are required to testify would do so without being subpoenaed."

The tribunal ruled on Thursday that the misconduct hearing should proceed, despite objections from Nkabinde, Jafta, and Hlophe.

Proceed without delay

After the ruling, Hlophe's lawyer, Courtenay Griffiths, QC, said his client was also ready to go ahead with the matter which had been dragging on for five years.

"Our submission is that we should proceed, we have attended this expecting that it will be concluded within the time allowed," said Griffiths.

"We are not prepared to wait till Monday. We are ready to start now."

But Selby Mbenenge, SC, for Jafta and Nkabinde wanted the matter stood down until next week.

Tribunal president, retired judge Joop Labuschagne, ruled on Thursday that the hearing should proceed without further delay.

Complaint laid in 2008

"The main objection, jointly raised on behalf of Nkabinde J, Jafta J and Judge President Hlophe on the basis that there is no valid complaint before us which can be investigated, is dismissed," Labuschagne said.

"Full reasons for this decision will be set out in this tribunal's report to the Judicial Service Commission."

The misconduct complaint against Hlophe was laid in 2008. He allegedly tried to influence Jafta and Nkabinde to make a ruling favouring President Jacob Zuma.

The two Constitutional Court judges were considering a judgment in the corruption case relating to Zuma's and arms company Thint's role in the multi-billion rand arms deal.

Read more on:    jsc  |  chris jafta  |  john hlophe  |  judiciary

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