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Hlophe wants state to pay his legal fees

WC Judge President John Hlophe insists that the state must pay his legal fees.

Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe

JOHANNESBURG - Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe's lawyers on Wednesday said Freedom Under Law (FUL) chair Johann Kriegler is being selective.

This after Kriegler claimed it was indefensible for the Justice Ministry to pay for Hlophe's legal costs.

Earlier this week, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe told Parliament he was not going to retrieve Hlophe's costs from him even though he had lost two Supreme Court of Appeal cases.

Hlophe is now due to face a Judicial Service Commission inquiry on Friday into claims he tried to interfere in the Constitutional Court case relating to President Jacob Zuma.

The judge's lawyers Barnabus Xulu said Kriegler was not being fair.

"The state has been paying fees for the judges and Premier Helen Zille."

Justice Ministry spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga denies suggestions the Radebe may be trying to protect Hlophe.

"The minister will never stop that low. It is a matter of principle. That issue is of constitutional importance."

However, it is understood it would have been very difficult for the hearing on Friday to proceed if Hlophe's bills had not been paid.