Should Hlophe step down?

2008-06-05 15:00

Cape Town - Debate is raging over allegations against Cape Judge President John Hlophe.

Constitutional Court judges accused Hlophe last week of attempting to influence the court's decision over search and seizure raids carried out by the Scorpions on properties of ANC president Jacob Zuma and French arms manufacturing giant Thint.

Hlophe has denied these claims, calling them "utter rubbish" and a "ploy to damage my reputation". Zuma has also distanced himself from the controversy.

Thus far the Cape Bar Council, the South African General Council of the Bar, the IFP, the DA, the ID and the ACDP have called for Hlophe to step down pending the outcome of a meeting of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to discuss the complaint.

The Black Lawyers Association, as well as UCT deputy registrar Paul Ngobeni have slammed the allegations, saying there is no need for Hlophe to step down as he is "guilty of no crime".

The JSC is set to meet on Friday to urgently discuss the complaint.

Commentators have pointed out the seriousness of the allegations coming from the highest court in the land, the Constitutional Court. Other's have said the Constitutional Court acted improperly by going to the media before referring the matter to the JSC.

Should Hlophe step down ahead of an investigation? Does this seem like a smear campaign, or do you feel there are legitimate grounds for concern here? Will you lose faith in the judiciary should this controversy not be resolved appropriately?

Let us know!

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  • Stryker - 2008-06-05 14:45

    Of course Not - this is Africa, he should be praised for trying to influence judges. Africans enjoy being ruled by this type of fellow - perhaps we should make him president - oh wait I forgot, we already have a crook in waiting for that position.

  • Equal - 2008-06-05 15:00

    Some are more equal than others. Eventually nothing will happen to him. The sooner we realize that certain people in the country are untouchable, the better. If you can not beat them, join them!

  • Equal - 2008-06-05 15:01

    Some are more equal than others. Eventually nothing will happen to him. The sooner we realize that certain people in the country are untouchable, the better. If you can not beat them, join them!

  • Sinudeity - 2008-06-05 15:01

    Yeah, he should step down! Will he? Hell no! Corruption is embedded in EVERY SINGLE crevice of our government. Its their right as politicians. Mind you, not that they even ARE politicians. Just a bunch of apartheid struggle buddies. A conspiracy? Didn't Zuma use that angle already? Is that the new "Apartheid" excuse? "ploy to damage my reputation". DISGUSTING!!!

  • Dries - 2008-06-05 15:03

    He should not be given the opportunity to resign with any form of dignity. If found guilty he should be charged and hopefully do jail time for his illegal actions.

  • GeorgeA - 2008-06-05 15:12

    Uyaba Uyidonki, spokesperson for the ANC commenting on the furore around Justice Hlope, had this to say. The vilification of Justice Hlope is another attempt by members of the judiciary that have their roots firmly planted in the apartheid era. These are people that have not moved forward on the path of democracy over the past fourteen years. Critics of Justice Hlope must realise he is a true son of Africa and understand the principles of a typical, mature, one-party Africa democracy and is therefore destined for greater things now that South Africa are becoming a true African democracy under the God chosen ANC. To accuse Justice Hlope of trying to influence courts in order to favour our President (Jacob Zuma) is laughable. We all know that the ANC and its partners will be able to protect comrade JZ him even if he is found with a bloody knife standing over the body of Mbeki. As far as the previous corruption and improper payment accusations leveled at Justice Hlope, I can assure you that it was all proper and above board. The value of the favours never exceeded the value of the bribe. As far as protection of the independence of the judiciary is concerned, it must be realized that our constitution was written as a transitional document and is not typical African. After fourteen years we now need to Africanise our constitution and will be one of Justice Hlope?s briefs to amend the constitution in the first term of the new government so as to reflect a true African flavour

  • Chris Leah - 2008-06-05 15:14

    Although the allegations are serious, he has not yet had an official hearing. He shouldn't resign, but rather stand down from the Bench until the allegations have been proved or disproved.

  • Gladwin - 2008-06-05 15:15

    it is high time we need to get rid of all these rotten apples like the likes of Hlophe and all those camps of ANC that's now looking to corrupt SA because of their personal gains. all these should stop now and the stupidity of xenophobic attacks the stupid dull perpetretors need to be thought a hash lesson that SA is what it is today because of our foreign neibouring countries

  • True Blue SA - 2008-06-05 15:16

    His track record speaks for itself. He must step down immediately!! But not in this country - these guys never step down - even when found guilty of a crime...........

  • fandash - 2008-06-05 15:17

    Already there is a spin on this. It was all just a joke. Hah hah. I somehow think he may have been taken out of context even or misquoted or was being setup by some racist colleagues. Strange how some people struggle to face up to the truth, but are quick to bring colour into what is right and what is not, and this man has to judge others. Get rid of the arrogance and we may start becoming a better nation again.

  • WAM - 2008-06-05 15:21

    Can someone please give me a link to the actual statement made by the Constitutional Court? I'd like to read it myself, rather than have the media's interpretation of the complaint.

  • Sinudeity - 2008-06-05 15:21

    But, I'm a liberal pushed over the edge. But damn, "Africans" are as corrupt as Zebra's are striped. The BLACK ANC government is RUNNING the country into the ground! I have SNAPPED. I'm SICK to the CORE, our government is stabbing EVERY SINGLE CITIZEN IN THE BACK! F*** EVERY SINGLE CORRUPT PERSON IN POWER IN SA! YOU SONS OF BITCHES ARE GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER!!! And your brothers are covering up for you. I stereotype, because 99.9% of all government officials are BLACK.

  • levelheaded - 2008-06-05 15:22

  • shane - 2008-06-05 15:23

    He wont step down and nothing will happen to him as he is the Robet Mcbride, Jackie Selebi and the Alan Boesak of the justice system.The time has almost arrived where every instiution of this country will be ANC owned and controlled just like those old conservatives predicted 17 years back.

  • Bongani - 2008-06-05 15:23

    No he should not, in fact why should he? Because apparently all 11 Justices of the Constitutional Court have laid a coplaint with the JSC simultaneously as they besmirched his name in the media? Why couldnt those two allegedly approached judges lay a complaint individually with the JSC as is practice? Why a class action? Is Chief Justice a party to the signatories as he was reportedly abroad when events unfolded? Why are white members of the legal profession readily accepting Judge Hlophe's culp?

  • Bongani - 2008-06-05 15:23

    No he should not, in fact why should he? Because apparently all 11 Justices of the Constitutional Court have laid a coplaint with the JSC simultaneously as they besmirched his name in the media? Why couldnt those two allegedly approached judges lay a complaint individually with the JSC as is practice? Why a class action? Is Chief Justice a party to the signatories as he was reportedly abroad when events unfolded? Why are white members of the legal profession readily accepting Judge Hlophe's culp?

  • B - 2008-06-05 15:27

    Thabo Mbeki was never liked, but was always respected. If matters had run their normal course, he would have stepped down next year with a lasting economic legacy, only slightly tainted by his stance on Aids, crime and Zimbabwe. Instead over the past two months, his presidency has been left shamed by a litany of scandal, mismanagement and deception. When Thabo Mbeki took the helm from Nelson Mandela in 1999, to SA and the world he appeared to be the urbane and intellectual African statesman. Though he lacked the popular touch of earlier ANC leaders, Mbeki was sophisticated and smart; he understood not only politics but economics and never split the infinitive. But tragically, 10 years later, Mbeki will end his term stripped of his integrity. He has protected a criminal suspect; lied about it to the nation; and interfered with the course of both law-making in parliament and the administration of justice. Put together with an unforgivable blunder on the policy front ? the failure to plan for SA?s energy needs ? and with the corruption and power-mongering that took hold of the ANC on his watch, the results on Mbeki?s final scorecard could hardly be worse. What was it that caused the unravelling of a man of such intelligence and talent? From being the one who won the ANC its first two-thirds majority in parliament, how did Mbeki become the political leader who everyone ? opposition and ANC supporters alike ? will be happy to see the back of? And curiously, how did he not see it coming? In the briefest terms, it was the combination of Mbeki?s arrogant and detached character and his particular political style of operation that explain much of what caused his demise. Crucially though, Mbeki?s presidency took place in uncharted waters. State power and the allure and risks of wielding it were new to the ANC, and irrevocably changed and corrupted it. It was this backdrop, and his character flaws, that conspired to produce the tragic end to Mbeki?s ambitious presidency. Mbeki burst into government charged with energy and drive. He refashioned and enlarged the presidency, giving it a policy capability. It set out to speed up change and transform SA faster, and corrected Mandela?s reconciliatory thrust back to where many grassroots members thought it should be, acknowledging racism and dealing out the race card. He also had a less explicit but no less significant agenda: Mbeki was the modernising president, who aimed to revolutionise both government and the ANC. His own ideas on economic policy were miles from those of his constituency and closer to the Western capitalist orthodoxy that the ANC publicly condemned. And he unashamedly set about creating a black middle class, which has been driving faster economic growth over the past five years. His ideas on government were closer to those of UK prime minister Tony Blair, whose concept of ?joined-up government? he emulated, than of the Mandela era, where ministers idealistically ambled along, hoping to be in concert with the Freedom Charter. But there were signs from the start that his character flaws influenced his judgment. Early into his presidency, in 2000, it was clear that Mbeki was out of synch with those around him on telling issues ? Aids and Zimbabwe. The first surprise came when Mbeki made startling claims that medical science had it wrong and that HIV did not cause Aids. He began a bizarre association with controversial Aids dissidents; abruptly ceased drug trials to prevent mother-to-child transmission; claimed Aids drug AZT was toxic and dangerous; and entered a fevered, almost crazy, correspondence with then DA leader Tony Leon on the subject. By the time Mbeki agreed to withdraw from the debate (though not capitulate) under pressure from close aide Joel Netshitenzhe, treatment for Aids patients had been delayed for two years and the cause of Aids prevention set back more. Mbeki?s strange stance on Aids marked him forever in the international arena. In May 2000 when he made his first state visit to the US, he was brimming with the idea of a Marshall Plan for Africa, which he hoped to sell to the Americans. The Marshall Plan would put him on the world map and make his mark. But wherever Mbeki went, he was questioned on Aids, the overriding subject of fascination for the US public and media. The Marshall Plan later became the New Partnership for Africa?s Development which, together with the Pan African parliament, are regarded by Africans as notable successes of Mbeki. However, figures in Western diplomatic and financial circles today still recall his views on Aids with incredulity and spare little thought for his African renaissance dream. Those who have known and worked with Mbeki for many years believe that it was his enormous arrogance that allowed him to believe that he, a layman, had answers to complex problems that medical science was yet to discover. At a later point, in the succession battles of the ANC, it was the same arrogance, they say, that led Mbeki to overestimate his hand, and which fed the internal resentment that had begun to build against him. However, arrogance wasn?t the only cause of his blind spot on Aids. Two other factors fed and watered it. One was Mbeki?s imagined role of himself in history ? he aspired, like the former ANC presidents, to make his own particular mark. This led him to think not just big, but grand. The second was a deep-rooted and even irrational suspicion of the West. The letters to Leon show how he interpreted Western views on Aids as a slur on Africans and their sexuality and how he believed Aids drugs to be the result of a Western conspiracy. At the height of the Aids uproar in October 2000, he astounded members of the ANC parliamentary caucus when he told them that the call for drug therapy for HIV was a conspiracy by pharmaceutical companies and the CIA, which ?want Africa to buy their Aids drugs to increase its indebtedness.? Suspicion of the West links both Mbeki?s dealings with Aids and Zimbabwe. Mbeki?s first instinct in dealing with the Zimbabwean land crisis in 2000 was to use quiet diplomacy to raise funds to cover the costs of land redistribution ? as had been promised in the Lancaster House agreement. But, because he would not say anything that might be interpreted as support for Britain in the conflict, Mbeki doggedly refused to condemn the land invasions, even when they were violent and brutal. The close association that the new opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) developed with both the West and the mainly white opposition in SA cast doubt on its bona fides from Mbeki?s point of view. Though eight years have since passed, he has yet to develop a trusting relationship with Zimbabwe?s new de facto majority party. For Mbeki, and his fellow heads of state in the Southern African Development Community, reticence and reluctance in taking a hard line on Zimbabwe has too often been misinterpreted as solidarity with Robert Mugabe. In fact it is more often distrust of the MDC and its allies that motivates their stance. Just as his approach to running government differed dramatically from that of his predecessor, Mandela, so did his approach to running the ANC. Mbeki created a presidency within ANC headquarters too, from which he developed and spread his control over the movement and its structures. All appointments from premiers to chairs of portfolio committees became his preserve, and often the criteria and logic of his decisions were hard to decipher. Making sense of cabinet appointments was most perplexing of all. Mbeki didn?t abide by the ANC pecking order, often choosing people junior in status to long standing members of the movement, or even relative outsiders who had been in the party for only a few years. Nor did he choose people for their talent. ?When he became president we could see he had his own preferences,? says a senior member of the ANC executive, ?but what we couldn?t establish was why. I can only guess it was a question of character. He chose people who he thought were intellectuals like him.? This is a generous interpretation. Mbeki?s leadership choices caused great consternation in the ANC with the most popular theory being that he chose people he could influence or from whom he could expect total loyalty. Mbeki used his patronage as a bulwark against the ambitions of many. His dogged refusal to act against incompetent members of the cabinet or hold them to account frustrated everybody, including the opposition, business and the public. Says a business leader: ?There is only one fireable offence and that?s disloyalty... this is one thing that caused unease with Mbeki to grow among business leaders.? Despite a difficult relationship with Mbeki that never developed into what might be called an alliance, business has always been full of praise for Mbeki?s management of the economy. After four years of structural adjustment and fiscal discipline, which aimed to get SA?s debt problem under control, SA in 2003 was released into a new era of economic expansion when GDP growth broke out of its 4% cap. The result of Mbeki?s and his finance minister Trevor Manuel?s economic policies has been 10 years of consecutive growth, the longest period ever in SA history. But even though the economy flourished, problems in the party began to brew. They centred on what was perceived as Mbeki?s selective punishment of wrongdoers in the organisation. ?People were beginning to see there were kings and cats. There was a groundswell of people who began to complain that if they had done something wrong, they expected to be reprimanded as a member of the family ? not from the top of a mountain. This was especially so because others whom they knew had done the same or worse. But on them Mbeki was silent,? says an NEC member. One provincial MEC who was fired after Mbeki?s interventions in the province says: ?He marshalled every state institution he could to see whether I could be sent to jail, while he protected others who were close to him. The uprising (leading to Polokwane) was over his leadership style; that was the general fight, far more than an ideological one.? By the time Mbeki decided to go for his deputy president, Jacob Zuma ? (it is not unfair to call this an Mbeki decision as investigators admitted at the time that orders to proceed came from the top) ? the organs of state had become Mbeki?s political playground. Knowing what he must have about the arms procurement package, singling out Zuma was a risky move. From the Joint Investigating Team?s report commissioned by parliament, he would have known that there were both members of Armscor and of the ministry of defence who were believed to have taken kickbacks. The suspicious contracts and incidents are listed in the report but National Prosecuting Authority head at the time, Bulelani Ngcuka, admitted to journalists that he doubted he would ever be able to prove any of it. Mbeki, having chaired the subcommittee of the cabinet which approved the arms package, would also have known that he personally had held at least one meeting with bidding contractors. In 1998 he met representatives of French company Thomson (now Thint) in Paris ? the same company that partnered with Schabir Shaik to win a contract. But when asked about it, Mbeki said he ?could not recall? such a meeting. Mbeki, who was deputy president at the time, also visited Germany during the arms bidding process. At the time, the German bid for the corvettes by ThyssenKrupp had been knocked off the shortlist. But after Mbeki?s visit ThyssenKrupp was reinstated and went on to win the whole bid. What transpired regarding the German case is now the subject of an investigation by the German authorities who suspect that R130m in bribes was paid to secure the bid for ThyssenKrupp. Another investigation, this time into the British Aerospace contract, is being conducted by the British Serious Fraud Office, which is looking at whether bribes of more than R1bn may have been paid to win the contract. The decision to investigate Zuma and Ngcuka?s statement that a prima facie case existed against him gave events a momentum of their own. However, by the time Mbeki took the much-lauded decision to fire Zuma from cabinet in 2005, he was no longer the unassailable president he had been a few years earlier. The coalition of discontent was building against him and the disaffected Left ? angry at how Mbeki had put his own spin on economic policy and marginalised the alliance with the SACP and Cosatu ? made short of work of making Zuma a hero. Together they delivered Mbeki?s worst humiliation at the national conference at Polokwane ? 2329 votes to Mbeki?s 1505. For observers, and even ANC insiders, one of the most intriguing questions is why Mbeki never saw it coming. If the rising tide against him had not been clear already, it was certainly obvious a month before the national conference when the provinces voted on their preferences for top officials, putting Zuma ahead with 60% of the vote. But, says a source close to the cabinet: ?His ministers kept telling him he was winning. They kept saying the tide was turning.? Just a few days before the conference began, minister in the presidency Essop Pahad assured those close to Mbeki that the president?s victory was on track. And minutes before the election results were announced at Polokwane, minister of intelligence Ronnie Kasrils seized the arm of a political analyst entering the conference hall and said excitedly: ?It?s in the bag! We?ve done it.? The humiliation was brutal. Not only were the numbers crushing but the crowd cheered and jeered and couldn?t be silenced. ?Sorry, Thabo Mugabe, sorry,? said a hand-written placard. ?He was completely cut off from the ground,? says the NEC member. ?He relied on his generals and lieutenants and they were telling him everything was in order. But even they were cut off... it was a process that happened over years.? By insisting on standing for election himself ? something he is said to have done because he believed there was no-one strong enough to defeat Zuma ? Mbeki opened the way for Zuma?s ascendency. Mbeki?s arrogance and detachment from his own party are the same flaws that led him to believe he could directly instruct the 297 members of parliament of the ANC to appoint an SABC board against their will and to his liking. Whatever parliament may have been in the past and however low it may have stooped to protect the executive, by the end of 2007 a majority of the caucus was in revolt and firmly aligned with Zuma. Despite factional differences within the caucus, they had nonetheless agreed on the list of nominees for the SABC board. Though there were some outstanding questions, there was unanimity that the list should not include provocative lawyer and Mbeki praise-singer Christine Qunta. Everybody also agreed that trade unionist Randall Howard, who performed particularly well in the interview with the portfolio committee, should be nominated. Because of the outstanding questions ? whether former speaker Frene Ginwala should be nominated was one of them ? the list of nominees was referred to the ANC officials for discussion. On the day that parliament was due to vote on the board nominees, the list was returned from Luthuli House and presented to caucus. But it had been significantly altered. Ginwala was on but so were Qunta and Mbeki?s good friend Gloria Serobe, executive director of Wiphold. Howard was off. The instruction was duly accepted but MPs were furious at being railroaded, believing that this was not really the work of the ANC officials but the hidden hand of Mbeki, who wanted to secure his personal influence over the broadcaster. While those, like Zuma, who had fallen on the receiving of Mbeki?s selective justice had for years been complaining about his partiality, most outsiders felt this to be irrelevant. Those who were ?caught? ? like ANC chief whip Tony Yengeni, the only person to go to jail for the arms deal and this for taking a discount on a luxury car ? deserved that. But that was until the debacle involving police head Jackie Selebi and national director of public prosecutions Vusi Pikoli began to unfold. Revelations by investigative newspaper Mail & Guardian that Selebi was integrally involved in organised crime for which he received benefits and kickbacks from some of SA?s most wanted criminals rocked SA during 2006. But while the country and world looked on appalled, Mbeki was silent. When questioned by the media, he feigned ignorance. Meanwhile, Pikoli, who says that on several occasions he briefed Mbeki, eventually decided to act against Selebi after failing to secure Mbeki?s consent on a course of action. On the eve of Selebi?s planned arrest, Pikoli was summarily dismissed in a last ditch attempt by Mbeki to protect Selebi. With the decision to act against Pikoli and not Selebi, Mbeki?s integrity took the ultimate dive. What caused Mbeki to sacrifice his integrity and his legacy to protect Selebi ? when he must have realised it could only be temporary ? is still unanswered. But of all the gambles he has taken ? on Aids, the economy and Zimbabwe ? the Selebi decision will without doubt be his biggest and most regrettable.

  • shirley - 2008-06-05 15:27

    Where there's smoke there's fire and hell there's been a lot of smoke with this trouble maker.

  • Sinudeity - 2008-06-05 15:27

    When the average Joe, has had enough. We will round up ALL the crooked politicians, judges etc, and chase them off the nearest cliff. All those BASTARDS that run the country like its their own personal savings account. Im sorry, but as a post-apartheid white person, this 'apartheid' everyone keeps talking about seems pretty glorious, compared to the ANC. Back then, the politicians benefited only the white people. Nowadays the politicians only benefit themselves.

  • Shirley - 2008-06-05 15:29

    I'm afraid this whole incident has left me speechless and I must admit I don't know who we, South Africans, can trust. The Judiciary was the one body we thought we could trust, and now????? Makes me very nervous.

  • MONWA - 2008-06-05 15:29

    its only allegations that need be tested it is also ironic for somebody like him who has in the past rubbed lots of people the wrong way would do something like that.something is fishy here.

  • Azania - 2008-06-05 15:30

    No matter how serious an allegation may be, it remains an allegation and not a conviction. There is thefore no reason for Baba Hlophe to resign. Those calling for Hlophe to resign are putting the trailer before the horse. The judiciary is way bigger than Judge Hlophe such that even if he was found guilty one would still have faith in the judiciary.

  • Matrix - 2008-06-05 15:30

    Hlope is an ANC supporter and they will protect him. Another corrupt official as per his proven record. Although not found guilty yet, the general concensus by people yhat know him is that where there is smoke, there is fire. Ivote for him to leave and his fellow incompetent collegues, also to follow him.

  • Sinudeity - 2008-06-05 15:32

    He is a judge! Judges are supposed to be the moral highgrounds of our society! NOW I understand, why crime, and murder is so rampant! Because the criminals even have judges as friends. I'm sickened by this! JP doesn't DESERVE to be a cleaner in the courtrooms. Nor does Zuma DESERVE to be a driver for our future President.

  • BigBang - 2008-06-05 15:34

    Will it make a difference? If he had any dignity or pride, he would have stepped down until an outcome is reached, but he hasn't, it seems to be an African thing, like GeorgeA pointed out. Western Values, pride, laws, rules etc. do not apply in Africa. South Africa is already a joke to the outside world. Murdering/Raping foreighners, supporting Mugabe, crime, corruption.... Why should this guy be different to any other criminal in Government?

  • Kobus - 2008-06-05 15:37

    Investigate the allegations properly and if found guilty jail him and throw away the key. Then again, he will be out within a week or so considering their "connections".

  • Sizwe - 2008-06-05 15:41

    that Hlophe will be "deployed" to a more lucrative job such as an ambassador's post. If you are black and connected to the ANC's so-called "struggle" in any way, you are above the law! Finish en klaar!

  • Sizwe - 2008-06-05 15:41

    that Hlophe will be "deployed" to a more lucrative job such as an ambassador's post. If you are black and connected to the ANC's so-called "struggle" in any way, you are above the law! Finish en klaar!

  • Sizwe - 2008-06-05 15:42

    that Hlophe will be "deployed" to a more lucrative job such as an ambassador's post. If you are black and connected to the ANC's so-called "struggle" in any way, you are above the law! Finish en klaar!

  • Sizwe - 2008-06-05 15:42

    that Hlophe will be "deployed" to a more lucrative job such as an ambassador's post. If you are black and connected to the ANC's so-called "struggle" in any way, you are above the law! Finish en klaar!

  • Nyx - 2008-06-05 15:44

    . . .it's the right thing to do.

  • Sinudeity - 2008-06-05 15:45

    Using the "law" to the advantage of the criminal, once again. Its like Mbeki saying "I had no prior knowledge about it" Come on, NO believe thabo anymore. I feel the same about judges and politicians. JP's guilty. Zuma's guilty. Unfortunately, they are part of that exclusive 'boys-club' called the ANC. AKA eBroederbond. Wish I knew one of their secret handshakes. Get out of jail free card.

  • dhv - 2008-06-05 15:45

    This is just another corrupt public servant. Why are we so surprised everytime these ANC people prove to be corrupt ;)

  • Mogale - 2008-06-05 15:47

    This has a lot to do with people settling cores with Judge Hlope because he blew some corruption of CERTAIN judges in the aswer is NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO and let this mogrels fail in thier attempt to use CC....

  • Nada - 2008-06-05 15:47

    news24, how come GeorgeA gets so much room to spew bile all over the web page? GeorgA if u want to present a quote can you tell us where u got it and who said it. Ppl stop creating false speeches that no one heard but you!!

  • Sinudeity - 2008-06-05 15:47

    When will politicians leave the law to run its course? The blind lady of justice is crying her heart out for South Africa.

  • CTheB - 2008-06-05 15:48

    He need not resign until found guilty, but he should at least cease active involvement in the judiciary. A company employee with serious allegations against them can often be suspended pending a disciplinary hearing, as far as I know and the ethics of a judge are a serious matter. Naturally many people are jumping on the convenient "racism" bandwagon (though I doubt they would if he were white), but those are, as usual, bandied about without any justification given.

  • Dave Robbins - 2008-06-05 15:50

    The correct and proper thing to do would be to step down until the investigation has been completed and a public report issued. I would suggest the Chief Justice, Pius Langa, be the one to carry this message to Judge Hlophe - that would restore everyone's faith in the judiciary immediately.

  • Matrix - 2008-06-05 15:50

    Yes, Unpaid leave; No, past conduct substantiates; Yes, more so if highest court in the land is shuned and if JZ is treated different to Shabir Shaick.

  • psycobabble - 2008-06-05 15:50

    Unlike a lot of your black brothers the white brothers have learnt the value gang rule and political infighting and we learnt it from you.Hey if cant join them then beat them at their own game.

  • Sgubu - 2008-06-05 15:52

    For obvious reasons, Whites will say Yes, he must step down and Blacks will say NO, investigate first ? so why are you wasting our time with such silly questions?

  • Khaukanani - 2008-06-05 15:53


  • mark - 2008-06-05 15:58

    We are finished,look north south east west.Sorry to say africa is the basket case of the universe.Be real

  • Sinudeity - 2008-06-05 16:01

    Because all the other judges are being racist? Because a third force is running a smear campaign on him? Because all the other judges are white? Or because he still owes you a 'favour'?

  • Jack - 2008-06-05 16:02

    Of course Hlophe must stand down pending the conclusion of the inquiry! Judges integrity and impartiality are sacrosanct. In any civilised country, it would be automatic for one accused by the highest court in the land of egregiously inappropriate behaviour to stand aside. However, we have to accept that SA is not a civilised country, not by a long chalk.

  • Dave - 2008-06-05 16:04

    Blacks want everything for free!!! Look at these BEE deals where WHITES are not allowed - PATHETIC!!!! Apartheid in reverse!!! Why do you think this country is in turmoil - blacks are just lining there pockets!!!! What a joke!!! You should all be ashamed!!!

  • Nkululeko - 2008-06-05 16:07


  • Nkululeko - 2008-06-05 16:11

    i think you are exposing the future leader. have a good day.

  • simple-man - 2008-06-05 16:20

    No. Is it not true that a person is innocent till proven guilty? Is it not true that no-one can be a judge in his own case? Why are jugdes who are themselves compalainants in this matter, are now judging Hlope? No-one knows the true facts, yet the media and politicians are screaming for his head? We live in a South Africa which does not respect its own Constitutional tenets. Hlope should consider suing some of those who called for his head after this saga is over and he has been exonerated.

  • Keith C. Blair - 2008-06-05 16:20

    One day South Africa will slip inexorably down the same road as Zimbabwe; unless "all the people unite" to secure our wonderful constituition. It is our incompetent and Mugabe loving President who has been a total disaster . Remember, the wonderful leadership and compassion of President Mandela a true icon for South Africa