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Mogoeng calls for tribunal to probe Goliath’s claims against Hlope

WC Judge President John Hlope is accused, by his deputy - Judge Patricia Goliath - of having assaulted another judge, the apparent use of abusive language towards her, and alleged abuse of power.

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

CAPE TOWN – Chief Justice Moegoeng Mogoeng has called for a tribunal to be established to look into serious allegations of gross misconduct levelled against Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe.

Mogoeng made the recommendation taking into account serious claims made by Western Cape Deputy Judge President Patricia Goliath, against Hlophe, in an affidavit.

In it she accused the Judge President of having assaulted another judge, the apparent use of abusive language towards her, and alleged abuse of power.

Hlophe's counter complaints against Goliath have been dismissed.

The row between and his deputy came to light earlier this year, and now the judicial conduct committee – headed by the Chief Justice – has recommended three serious claims made against Hlophe be investigated.

The first is the alleged assault of Judge Mushtak Parker by Hlophe in his chambers in 2019 during office hours at the Cape High Court.

The document states that parker had according to at least 15 of his colleagues consistently told the same assault story.

Mogoeng said the version of Parker changed almost a year later, in a way that accords with Hlophe's denial of an assault ever having t taken place.

But the Chief Justice has found both Hlophe and Parker's latest explanations of what happened, lack clarity.

The second complaint deals with apparent abusive language used by Hlophe in addressing his deputy.

The third is the apparent abuse of power in which the Western Cape Judge President apparently bypassed goliath and assigned to a junior judge duty that ought to be discharged by his deputy in his absence.

On Hlophe's version, he stopped allowing his deputy to discharge those functions, because he doesn't need one, doesn't trust her and accuses her of interfering with his allocation of cases.

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