Hlophe withdraws recusal application at SCA

Cape Judge President John Hlophe’s legal team withdrew an application for the recusal of Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) deputy president Louis Harms in an appeal in Bloemfontein on Monday.

A panel of nine judges of the SCA are hearing an application by the judges of the Constitutional Court who are appealing against a ruling in favour of Hlophe.

The SCA panel is led by Harms, who confirmed the withdrawal in chambers with Hlophe’s legal team before the proceedings started.

The appeal relates to a dispute between Hlophe and the judges of the Constitutional Court.

The Johannesburg court also found that the publication of the allegations violated Hlophe’s right to equality.

The Constitutional Court judges want a September 26 2008 ruling by the Johannesburg High Court overturned which found that the judges had infringed on Hlophe’s right to dignity by making public an allegation that he tried to interfere in a judgement involving ruling party leader Jacob Zuma.

The Constitutional Court judges released a media statement on the allegation of interference without offering Hlophe a reasonable opportunity to respond, the high court ruled last year.

The Johannesburg court also found that the publication of the allegations violated Hlophe’s right to equality.

The Constitutional Court judges said in documents filed earlier this year that the finding of the high court was both serious and unprecedented.

It said it was in the interest of the administration of justice generally and to all the parties to the litigation that the issue be finally resolved by a court of appeal.

The case continues.—Sapa

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