Judge John Hlophe

Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe has filed an urgent application with the high court in Johannesburg to stay his likely impeachment and review the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) in this regard. He argues that the JSC was not properly constituted last month when, almost 13 years after the fact, it affirmed a finding made in April that he committed gross misconduct by raising a pending ruling relating to former president Jacob Zuma’s corruption case with two constitutional court justices. It recommended that he be impeached by the National Assembly, which has set the process in motion by referring the finding to the portfolio committee on justice. In March 2008, Constitutional Court Justices Bess Nkabinde and Chris Jafta said Hlophe had personally tried to convince them to give judgments in favour of then president Jacob Zuma on two cases that implicated Zuma in corrupt activities. On April 11, the Judicial Conduct Tribunal unanimously found Hlophe guilty of gross misconduct. There are wide ranging allegations against Hlophe including attempting to influence judicial appointments, assaulting fellow judges, sexual impropriety and creating a climate of hostility and fear in chambers.