Premier Winde welcomes suspension of Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe
Media release: Premier Winde welcomes the suspension of Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe.
Last night, Premier Alan Winde virtually attended a meeting of the Judicial Service Commission where he and other commissioners voted to recommend that the Judge President of the Western Cape High Court, John Hlophe, who had previously been found guilty of impeachable gross misconduct, be suspended.
Premier Winde made it clear: “Given the serious nature of the finding of gross misconduct, I voted in favour of suspending him. This recommendation will now go to President Cyril Ramaphosa.”
This matter dates back to early 2008, when Hlophe was alleged to have approached two Constitutional Court Justices to try to convince them to make rulings in favour of then aspirant President, Jacob Zuma, in corruption cases in which he was implicated.
Subsequently, last year the Judicial Conduct Tribunal unanimously found Hlophe guilty of gross misconduct. Said the Premier: Hlophe tried in vain to challenge his conviction, needlessly further drawing out this debacle. In May this year, the Gauteng High Court – which heard his unsuccessful review application – ruled that the protracted litigation was “probably unique in the history of our judiciary”.
“This offence is very serious,” the Premier emphasised, “and given how long this saga has been dragging on, I believe it must now be concluded.”
He hopes the President will act swiftly in suspending Hlophe.
Premier Winde concluded: “The Western Cape Government deeply respects the integrity of the country’s judicial system, and by recommending to suspend the Judge President of the Western Cape High Court, we are sending a clear message: the impartiality and integrity of the justice system must be upheld at all costs because this is what is in the best interests of our country.”