'There should be prompt justice': Moseneke on 12-year-old complaint against Judge Hlophe

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Former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke.
Former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke.
Tebogo Letsi
  • Former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke said there has been no outcome on the complaint he laid.
  • Moseneke is one of 11 judges who laid a complaint at the Judicial Service Commission against Western Cape Judge John Hlophe.
  • Hlophe is alleged to have attempted to influence two Constitutional Court justices in a ruling against former President Jacob Zuma and the Scorpios.

It has been 12 years and counting but the complaint laid against Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe has still not been resolved. 

In his second book titled All Rise, former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke has set out exactly what happened during that time. 

Speaking exclusively to Newzroom Afrika's Cathy Mohlahlana, Moseneke said they were yet to get an outcome on the complaint he laid. 

"To judges, all I can say is this: we have to be seen to submit promptly and timeously to the discipline of our own structures as judges, as should all other professions and all other areas of integrity. It is quite important.

"It is important within the nation broadly that wrongdoing ought to be tested and pronounced on early and timeously. It is no different when a judge or judges are accused of one or other misdemeanor. There should be prompt justice and it is something that we must all the time talk about."

In 2008, the Judicial Service Commission received a complaint that Hlophe had allegedly attempted to influence Constitutional Court justices Chris Jafta and Bess Nkabinde to rule in then-president Jacob Zuma's favour in a case involving the legality of the erstwhile Scorpions' search warrants for documents that would form the basis of the State's corruption case against him, News24 reported.

Zuma subsequently lost the case. 

READ | John Hlophe misconduct case still to be heard 12 years and R3.5m later - report

"I have signed an affidavit in which I set out exactly what I heard and what it meant to me and what kind of invasion I thought it was and with one of 11 judges who laid a complaint and we are yet to get an outcome on the complaint we laid," Moseneke said. 

"I refused to traverse the merits of that particular complaint. It is important to show you that institutions can run into conundrums and we were a young institution and we had to learn how to deal with discomfort with one of our own or how to deal with one of our own having discomfort with us." 

He added it was a difficult time.

"The institutions that were important in protecting all of us actually faded quite a bit and I see a coincidence between that at the tenure of Minister Radebe and I invite him in the book and say sometime he may want to write something. He may want to ponder over his role at the time and its implications for where we are now."

Moseneke also told Newzroom Afrika in his second book, he wanted to record history and also talk about the Constitutional Court which was started in 1994. 

He said it was important for him to say what had happened during his tenure. 

Moseneke wanted to raise important themes about the country's democratic project and in particular, the time of transition.

He added he wanted to locate the importance of the just society that South Africans have dreamt about. 

The interview would air on Thursday night.

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