Two big losers among greats of the bench
It’s an embarrassment to have John Hlophe and Busisiwe Mkhwebane even marginally linked to the chief justice job
Giants such as Pius Langa, Sandile Ngcobo and Arthur Chaskalson have occupied the office of SA’s chief justice.
Imagine a world where the likes of public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and Western Cape judge president John Hlophe could be counted among these greats. It is a hard thing to do.
Yet the ignoble pair made it onto the list of nominees to be scrutinised for the post. The pair — and their nominations — are a stark representation of what is wrong with SA.
Mkhwebane is facing perjury charges because, well, she is a liar. She was found to have lied under oath in litigation against her by the SA Reserve Bank. Her attempt to have two charges of perjury against her dropped is under consideration by national director of public prosecutions Shamila Batohi. The matter resumes in the High Court on December 2.
She also has had no previous judicial experience and is facing a motion of no confidence in parliament and potential removal from office.
Hlophe was found guilty of gross misconduct and the Judicial Service Commission voted to impeach him after he improperly attempted to influence two Constitutional Court justices — Bess Nkabinde and Chris Jafta — to violate their oaths of office over the corruption matter linked to Jacob Zuma.
The near destruction of the country by handing it to a president, Zuma, whose integrity was in question, has taught us nothing.
That the narcissistic pair accepted the nomination is no surprise, neither is the origin of their nominations.
They were nominated by the SA Natives Forum and Democracy in Action, both linked to Zuma and the ANC’s criminal wing, the radical economic transformation faction.
But support for such compromised candidates from the likes of organisations like the Black Lawyers Association is disappointing.
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