EFF files papers against Judge Hlophe

2014-12-14 18:00

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Western Cape Judge President John ­Hlophe has denied the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) its constitutional right of access to the courts, says party leader Julius Malema.

Malema made the claim in an affidavit filed in the Constitutional Court on Friday after the EFF failed to secure a date in the Western Cape High Court to challenge the suspension of 20 of its MPs from Parliament.

“I submit that the inference is unavoidable, based on what the judge president said in his outburst in his chambers, that the true reason for his failure to allocate the matter was his antagonism towards the EFF and his regard for our case as being ‘rubbish’ and ‘sh*t’,” says Malema in the affidavit, referring to comments Hlophe ­allegedly made to the EFF’s lawyer, ­Luvuyo Godla.

Malema says in the affidavit that at a meeting on December 3, Hlophe chided Godla because news of their meeting had spread to the media.

“He thereafter said: ‘Mr Godla, tell your clients that we are intellectuals this side of the world.’

“Then [Hlophe] said that he is not dealing with the media and that he hates the media.”

Hlophe allegedly also said he hates “what your clients are ­doing there [presumably meaning Parliament] …?[Such behaviour] is not going to happen in this court. When a matter is being heard by the court, it should not be run through the media.”

Hlophe allegedly told Godla on December 8, two days ­before the matter was due to be heard, that he would not ­allocate a judge for the case.

“In addition, he informed Mr Godla that he could go to the public, where ‘you have started the case’.

“His language became increasingly abusive towards Mr Godla,” says ­Malema in the affidavit.

A subsequent attempt by Godla to get Deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso to intervene failed after her office ­informed the EFF the matter was with Hlophe.

Attempts to have the matter placed on the urgent roll also fell flat.

Hlophe has vehemently denied ­Godla and the EFF’s allegations.

Malema and the other suspended EFF MPs urgently want the Constitutional Court to overturn their suspensions and to declare Parliament Speaker Baleka Mbete unfit for the office ­because they say she has failed to ­ensure that President Jacob Zuma ­account to Parliament.

The EFF will also expect the Constitutional Court to give finality on the ­status of recommendations made by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela about ­upgrades at President Zuma’s Nkandla home.

Malema says in his affidavit that ­President Zuma violated the Constitution by failing to ­implement Madonsela’s recommendations.

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