Freedom Under Law welcomes the dismissal by a full bench of the Gauteng High Court of Judge President Hlophe\’s application to review the Judicial Service Commission finding against him of gross misconduct.
The court rejected each of the Judge President\’s numerous contentions aimed at delaying his impeachment, concluding that the JSC had correctly found him guilty.
We also welcome the court\’s clear statement that there is no scope for Parliament to decide afresh on the judge\’s guilt. It is bound by the JSC finding of fact and must now decide whether this senior judge, guilty of gross misconduct, should be allowed to continue in office.
It is clearly in the interests of justice and the rule of law that this impeachment process be undertaken without any further delay. Nearly fourteen years have passed since Judge Hlophe\’s furtive attempts to pervert the course of criminal justice against Mr Zuma. For far too long the Western Cape Division of the High Court has had to contend with Judge Hlophe as its head.
Over the years Freedom Under Law urged unsuccessfully that, as the Constitution permits, the Judge President be suspended while the process against him dragged on. We will oppose any further attempts by or on behalf of Judge Hlophe to frustrate or retard the impeachment proceedings against him.