Facing arrest and jail time for contempt, Hlophe’s attorney Xulu turns to him for help

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Judge John Hlophe.
Judge John Hlophe.
Pauli Van Wyk/Beeld

Beleaguered attorney Baranbas Xulu has turned to one of his most trusted clients to avoid being arrested, fined and potentially jailed for contempt of court: Judge President John Hlophe. 

In an extraordinary application, Xulu has petitioned Hlophe – who is facing impeachment for trying to sway two Constitutional Court justices to rule in favour of then ANC president Jacob Zuma – for the right to appeal the contempt of court judgment given against him by Western Cape Acting Judge Mas-Udah Pangarker.  

Earlier this month, Pangarker found that the grounds which Xulu had advanced to appeal her decision that he was guilty of multiple acts of contempt of court "do not have substance or merit". She added that "there appears to me to be no reasonable prospect of success on appeal" for Xulu’s contempt challenge, which is linked to his R20-million legal fees battle with the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries. 

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