Court mulls 'undue influence' claims against Hlophe

The Constitional Court is to meet on Monday to discuss how it can back up its “undue influence” claims against Cape Judge President John Hlophe, the Star reported.

The meeting comes after two Constitutional Court judges, who Hlophe allegedly tried to lobby for pro-Jacob Zuma rulings said they never intended to complain against him and would not do so.

While not explicitly denying that Judge Hlophe attempted to influence them, Judge Bess Nkabinde and Acting Judge Chris Jafta revealed that they met Chief Justice Pius Langa and Deputy Judge President Dikgang Moseneke two days before the court made its explosive claims against Hlophe—and were clear that they would not make statements on the matter.

Nkabinde and Jafta said they would not object to the chief justice telling the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) about that discussion.

On Tuesday the court is expected to advise the JSC on whether it has any evidence supporting it serious allegations of gross misconduct against Hlophe.

On Friday, the Constitutional Court failed to submit a detailed complaint and asked for more time.

The JSC has since written to the court to ask if there is still a complaint and what the evidence is.

The judge’s complaint of impropriety against Hlophe centres on four cases—all related to applications by African National Congress president Jacob Zuma, his attorney Michael Hulley, and French arms companies Thint and Thint Holdings Southern Africa—for leave to appeal three 2007 Supreme Court of Appeal judgements.

The matters were heard by the court in March, but judgement was reserved. - Sapa


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