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Judge Hlophe to face tribunal

Will probe gross misconduct claims by ConCourt.

A tribunal would be set up to investigate misconduct allegations against Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe, the Saturday Star newspaper said on Saturday.

Hlophe’s attorney, Barnabas Xulu told the paper that Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng had informed them that he would formally appoint the tribunal members which would probe gross misconduct claims brought against Hlophe by the Constitutional Court, the paper said.

The court alleged Hlophe had tried to influence two of its judges to rule in favour of Zuma in a case involving the country’s multi-billion rand arms deal. They regarded this as an improper attempt to influence the case.

Hlophe, affronted that the judges had also sent a copy of the complaint to the media before he had had time to deal with it, laid a counter-complaint. A lengthy stop-start parallel process of Judicial Service Commission (JSC) hearings and court challenges ensued.

The matter was ultimately heard in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) with rulings in favour of Western Cape premier Helen Zille and lobby group Freedom Under Law.

The SCA ruled that the JSC had to reconsider both complaints.

Xulu told the Saturday Star that the JSC was yet to announce a date for the start of the tribunal.

Hlophe would face possible impeachment if he was to be found guilty.

“He would remain in his post as judge president pending the tribunal,” Xulu was quoted as saying.

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