Hlophe files papers to stop JSC probe of his actions

2008-07-23 00:00

Johannesburg — In a surprise move, Cape Judge President John Hlophe submitted an application to the Rand High Court yesterday asking that the Judicial Service Committee (JSC) be forbidden from continuing an investigation against him.

The court documents were issued by the court registrar yesterday and delivered to the JSC.

All the JSC commissioners have already received copies of the submission.

The content of the documents was veiled in secrecy on Tuesday night and Beeld was told that the file in the registrar’s office was empty on Tuesday.

Beeld was told by a reliable source close to the JSC that the hearing of Hlophe’s application had been placed on the high court’s roll for August 7.

The reason that Hlophe asked that the JSC be forbidden from continuing to hear oral testimonies against him is because he feels that the case against him, submitted by the entire Constitutional Court bench, “did not reveal any charge” and that there was therefore no reason why he should be tried by the JSC.

The development in the saga follows Hlophe and judges from the Constitutional Court handing in allegations against each other since May.

Appeal Court Judge Craig Howie, the acting chairman of the JSC, confirmed yesterday that interdict documents had been submitted to the JSC.

He did not wish to give any further comment.

Marinus Wiechers, a former law professor at Unisa and constitutional expert, said that Hlophe “is fishing on dry ground”.

“The application he is submitting is completely premature … the JSC acts strictly according to the requirements of the Constitution,” Wiechers said, adding that it seems as if the ploy of the application is only to attempt to “put the JSC in a bad light”.

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