More than 10 years after two judges complained about his conduct, questions about Western Cape Judge President John Mandlakayise Hlophe remain unanswered, as Justice Edwin Cameron noted in his farewell speech, GroundUp reports.
In 2008 he was accused of improperly approaching Constitutional Court Justices Bess Nkabinde and Chris Jafta to influence the court's judgment in several cases relating to former President Jacob Zuma, and French arms company Thint.
Justice Nkabinde and then Acting Justice Jafta were among those who presided in four cases in the Constitutional Court, involving Thint, Zuma and the National Director of Public Prosecutions.
Chief Justice Langa and Deputy Chief Justice Moseneke decided that in light of the seriousness of the issue, the Constitutional Court Judges should be informed of Judge President Hlophe's conduct.
Meanwhile, a Judicial Conduct Tribunal was set up to hear the complaint by the Constitutional Court judges.
The chairperson of the tribunal, retired Judge Joop Labuschagne, dismissed their objections, and Justices Nkabinde and Jafta then approached the high court to challenge Judge Labuschagne's ruling.
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