Western Cape High Court Judge President John Hlophe’s application to review and set aside
the decision of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) for his impeachment by parliament has been dismissed
by the South Gauteng High Court.
The JSC resolved in August last year by a majority of eight members against four to endorse the
decision of the Judicial Conduct Tribunal that Hlophe should face impeachment by parliament for committing gross misconduct.
This follows a complaint by judges of the Constitutional Court that Hlophe had attempted to
influence Justices Chris Jafta and Bess Nkabinde in 2008 in a matter involving former president Jacob Zuma
before he became president.
However, Hlophe’s attorney Barnabas Xulu says they are studying the judgment with a view to appeal at the Supreme Court of Appeal.
Last year , National Assembly Speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said she has referred the matter to the Portfolio Committee on Justice.
Mapisa-Nqakula said she’s been informed that the National Assembly has no rules for the removal of a judge, hence the matter has been sent to the Justice Committee.
She said the committee will have to consider procedural aspects of the removal of Judge Hlophe and report back to the House after completing its work.
In 2020, Hlophe maintained that he didn’t breach judicial ethics when discussing a pending case with constitutional court judges in 2008.
The Western Cape Judge President was cross-examined, along with two judges involved in the matter. The Judicial Conduct is hearing evidence 12 years after the gross misconduct complaint was first lodged.
Western Cape Judge President Hlophe’s Tribunal’s hearing: