No date yet for JSC meeting on Hlophe

No date has yet been fixed for the Judicial Services Commission’s (JSC) meeting to consider new allegations against Cape Judge President John Hlophe, the JSC’s secretary said late on Monday.

“Right now they are still trying to find a date,” said commission secretary Vuyelwa Masangwana.

“We were trying for this coming Friday or Saturday, but it seems like we can’t get everyone around the table.”

She said the JSC would make an announcement as soon as a date was fixed.

Constitutional Court judges last week accused Hlophe of attempting to influence the court’s decision on the Scorpions’ search-and-seizure raids on properties of Jacob Zuma and French arms giant Thint.

The judges said Hlophe had tried to influence the bench in an “improper manner”.

The complaint was referred to the JSC.

Masangwana said at the weekend that the JSC considered the situation to be “very, very serious”.

Earlier on Monday, chairperson of the Cape Bar Council Rudi van Rooyen said the body had met to discuss the allegations.

“We have made principled decisions and I am drafting a document to those who should be addressed,” he said.

Van Rooyen said he would discuss the document with the media after he had consulted his colleagues.

Opposition political parties have called for Hlophe, who has already weathered a number of judicial controversies, to step down.

Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille said at the weekend she would write to JSC chairperson Chief Justice Pius Langa, urging him to expedite the investigation.

The cases at the heart of the controversy were heard by the Constitutional Court between March 11 and March 14 and related to controversial search-and-seizure raids at properties belonging to Zuma in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, and at the Durban office of his attorney, Michael Hulley, on August 18 2005.

A ruling has yet to be made.

The raids were carried out two months after Judge Hilary Squires convicted Zuma’s former confidante and financial adviser Schabir Shaik on two counts of corruption and one count of fraud in the Durban High Court.—Sapa


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