More than 15 years ago, John Hlophe, the former judge president of the Western Cape bench, was accused of trying — and failing — to improperly influence two judges of the Constitutional Court in a matter involving then ANC president Jacob Zuma.

Like Zuma, who would become president of the republic in 2009, Hlophe used every trick in the book to delay his case being investigated and adjudicated. Last year, however, the judicial conduct tribunal found him guilty of improper conduct and recommended his impeachment...

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