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WC Judge President John Hlophe accused of misconduct, verbally abusing deputy

In the 14-page affidavit sent to the Judicial Service Commission, Judge Patricia Goliath claims Judge President John Hlope undermined her.

FILE: Western Cape Judge President John Hlope (left) swearing-in Bongani Bongo as a minister. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape’s top two judges are not seeing eye to eye.

Deputy Judge President Patricia Goliath has laid an official complaint of verbal abuse and gross misconduct against Judge President John Hlope.

Hlope’s wife, Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe, has also been accused of wrongdoing.

In the 14-page affidavit sent to the Judicial Service Commission, Judge Patricia Goliath claims Judge President John Hlope undermined her.

Goliath was appointed deputy judge president in July 2016, but she claims her appointment was more of a figurehead position.

She's also claimed Hlope changed the rules when it suited him, undermining the effective management of the court.

Law expert Pierre de Vos: "This is about more than specific allegations of misconduct. It is really a complete breakdown of relationships between senior people in the judiciary."

The Judicial Service Commission is investigating Goliath’s complaint but nothing further has been said on the matter.