Hlophe lawyer pleased with tribunal decision

2013-10-03 16:07
John Hlophe (Picture: Sapa)

John Hlophe (Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The decision to proceed with the tribunal hearing into a complaint of judicial misconduct against Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe was "the best ever scenario", his lawyer said on Thursday.

"This is a best scenario ever since this matter started five years ago," Barnabas Xulu told reporters on the sidelines of the Judicial Service Commission tribunal in Johannesburg.

"Now this matter is going to be dealt with properly and this is where our client is going to be cleared."

He said those who had accused Hlophe of impropriety or trying to influence Constitutional Court judges had to come forward and testify.

The misconduct complaint against Hlophe was laid in 2008. He allegedly tried to influence Judges Chris Jafta and Bess Nkabinde to make a ruling favouring President Jacob Zuma.

The tribunal president, retired judge Joop Labuschagne, ruled on Thursday that the tribunal would go ahead.

He said it was the tribunal's view that the matter proceed without further delay.

Courtenay Griffiths, QC, for Hlophe, said he was ready to proceed on Thursday.

"Our submission is that we should proceed. We have attended this expecting that it will be concluded within the time allowed," he said.

"We are not prepared to wait till Monday, we are ready to start now."

Gilbert Marcus, SC, for the Constitutional Court judges, excluding Jafta and Nkabinde, said his clients were ready to testify.

"Our clients will be available and will be ready to testify," he told the tribunal.

"Those who are required to testify would do so without being subpoenaed."

Selby Mbenenge, for Jafta and Nkabinde, wanted the matter stood down till next week.

The hearing has been adjourned to Tuesday.

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