No official complaint against John Hlophe – lawyer

There is no official complaint in the form of an affidavit against Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe, his attorney Barnabus Xulu has said.

“Five years after judges of the Constitutional Court publicly sought to humiliate and discredit (Justice) Hlophe, it now transpires that there is not even in existence an official complaint,” Xulu told reporters in Joburg yesterday.

“The tribunal does not have jurisdiction to hear the matter, because it lacks the complaint,” he said.

Hlophe is due to face a tribunal next week for alleged misconduct dating back to 2008.

The initial complaint was made by a full Bench of the Constitutional Court, but it was not carried out under oath.

The court alleged that Hlophe tried to influence two of its judges – Chris Jafta and Bess Nkabinde – to rule in favour of President Jacob Zuma in a case involving the multibillion-rand arms deal while Zuma was deputy president.

The court regarded this as an improper attempt to influence the case.

In 1994, the Judicial Services Act was amended, and it currently requires a complaint to be lodged by means of an affidavit or affirmed statement specifying the nature of the complaint and the facts on which it is based.

During a previous inquiry, both Nkabinde and Jafta reportedly distanced themselves from the complaint.

According to TV news channel eNCA, the two judges said they are “under no obligation” to attend the judicial tribunal, which is scheduled to be held on Monday.

It reported that Nkabinde and Jafta had told the tribunal there was no complaint, signed under oath, against Hlophe.

Xulu said: “According to the record furnished to the two justices, no such complaint on oath or affirmation has been availed.”

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