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Hlophe: Tribunal to explain continuation of probe

Hlophe is accused of trying to interfere in cases involving Jacob Zuma in 2008.

Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Judicial Conduct Tribunal investigating Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe will explain on Friday morning why it believes it is right to continue its probe.

Two Constitutional Court judges are taking the tribunal to court saying it isn't properly constituted and doesn't have the power to force them to testify.

This will be a crucial step on the road to what could be a proper hearing into Hlophe's conduct.

In 2008, the Constitutional Court said Hlophe tried to interfere with cases relating to President Jacob Zuma.

The tribunal's chairman, Judge Joop Labuschagne, will explain why they believe they have the necessary legal power to continue investigating Hlophe.

Bess Nkabinde and Chris Jafta first said they were happy to be part of a complaint against him.

But they then said they did not want to lodge a formal complaint.

Nkabinde and Jafta have both denied backtracking, but said they would they testify in front of a properly legal tribunal.

Hlophe's denied trying to influence the cases when he spoke to Jafta and Nkabinde in 2008.

Nkabinde and Jafta are going to court to challenge the legality of this tribunal.

That means that these reasons will be crucial to their case as they'll claim they are not properly legal and that it would be unconstitutional for this tribunal to continue.

This means retired Labushagne will have taken great care to ensure that these reasons will stand up to judicial scrutiny.

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