DA questions Radebe's U-turn on Hlophe

2012-08-21 21:35
Jeff Radebe (File, Sapa)

Jeff Radebe (File, Sapa)

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Cape Town - The DA has taken issue with Justice Minister Jeff Radebe's decision not to seek repayment of legal bills incurred by Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe.

This was a complete contradiction of an earlier undertaking by Radebe, Democratic Alliance MP Debbie Schafer said on Tuesday.

Last year, the minister said Hlophe would have to repay the millions paid by the justice department, should he lose his legal battles.

In a written parliamentary reply this week, Radebe sang a different tune.

"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," said Radebe.

Schafer has accused Radebe of misleading the public and rewarding Hlophe for protecting President Jacob Zuma.

"While many ordinary South Africans struggle on a daily basis to afford access to justice to prosecute very meritorious cases, Hlophe has managed to take a case to the highest court in the land at the expense of the South African taxpayer, with the full support of the justice minister," Schafer said.

Earlier this year, the Constitutional Court refused Hlophe's application for leave to appeal two judgments against him.

The application arose from two Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) cases brought by Western Cape premier Helen Zille and the non-governmental organisation Freedom under Law.

The SCA set aside the decision by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to let Hlophe off the hook, citing insufficient evidence that he had tried to influence Constitutional Court judges in relation to a now abandoned corruption case involving Zuma.

- SAPA
Read more on:    da  |  debbie schafer  |  john hlophe  |  jeff radebe  |  judiciary
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