Hlophe defies justice ministry

Eyewitness News has learnt that Cape Judge President John Hlophe met with lawyers on Monday to set court...

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Eyewitness News has learnt that Cape Judge President John Hlophe met with lawyers on Monday to set court dates and to carry out his duties as judge president.<?xml:namespace prefix="o" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office"?>

Justice Minister Enver Surty said he must not return to work because the complaint against him was pending.

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accused Hlophe of trying to improperly influence some of its judges while they were considering cases relating to African National Congress leader Jacob Zuma.

Lawyers met with Hlophe for half an hour on Monday.

They said Hlophe had discussed a pending case with them and was setting dates as though he were the current judge president.

He also indicated that he would be in his chambers next week when he would discuss the matter with them.

Hlophe appeared to be defying the Justice Ministry as he clearly believed the Justice Minister did not have the power to keep him out of his office.