Hlophe lawyer: Moseneke had 5 years to ‘get his act together’

2013-10-03 11:14

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The lawyers representing Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe have accused Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke of dragging his feet over a complaint of misconduct against Hlophe.

Courtenay Griffiths, who is representing Hlophe, is insisting that the judicial conduct tribunal against Hlophe proceed immediately.

This came shortly after Judge Joop Labuschagne this morning announced that the three-person tribunal had unanimously dismissed the objections by Constitutional Court justices Chris Jafta, Bess Nkabinde and Hlophe that there was no valid complaint against Hlophe.

The tribunal was immediately thrown into turmoil, with Griffiths insisting it proceed immediately.

Griffiths insisted that Gilbert Marcus, who is representing the other complainant justices of the Constitutional Court, including Moseneke, immediately make available minutes of meetings which occurred between the justices of the Constitutional Court at the time of the complaint.

“The learned deputy chief justice has had five years to get his act together,” said Griffiths.

The evidence Griffiths is referring to are minutes of meetings that took place in between two key points in the timeline back in 2008.

The first was a letter written by Nkabinde and Jafta in which they said that they did not want to proceed with a complaint against Hlophe.

Subsequently, the two justices were part of a co-complaint of the entire Constitutional Court.

The evidence Griffiths is referring to are minutes of meetings that took place between these two events.

But Selby Mbenenge, who represents Nkabinde and Jafta, says he wants the tribunal to postpone its proceedings.

He wants to confer with his clients and wants reasons for the tribunal’s decisions, which are not yet available.

Judge Joop Labuschagne has however said he will not be rushed into providing reasons, citing the inevitability of a court review of the tribunal’s findings.

Evidence leader Xolisile Khanyile has indicated that she intended to subpoena justices Jafta and Nkabinde, to which Labuschagne replied he would be “reluctant” to issue a subpoena for Constitutional Court judges.

The matter has been postponed until Tuesday.

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