Reading about Western Cape deputy judge president Patricia Goliath’s gross misconduct complaint against judge president John Hlophe, I could only surmise that she was forced to take this unprecedented action as a last resort (“John Hlophe tried to influence judicial appointments in nuclear case, deputy says”, January 21).
Hlope’s alleged attempt to improperly influence two Constitutional Court judges is still before the Judicial Services Commission after almost 12 years of legal haggling. His performance in the case of MT Mulaudzi vs Old Mutual should in itself have seen to his dismissal. Instead, with his wife, justice Gayaat Salie-Hlophe, by his side, he rules the Western Cape bench like a malevolent Macbeth, not afraid to physically assault, swear at or otherwise belittle anyone who gets in his way.
The damage Hlophe has wrought on the judicial administration of the Western Cape will only be fully understood upon his removal. He is just another example of how terribly things can go wrong when “transformation” is ideologically imposed and the beneficiaries are allowed to run riot with no checks whatever.
If chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng wants to retain dignity and respect for the Western Cape legal system, he will have to act fast and decisively.
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