Allegations Hlope was part of plot to kill Goliath are 'malicious', says lawyer

Western Judge President John Hlope has called for a commission of inquiry into allegations he was part of a plot to kill his deputy, Patricia Goliath - claims his lawyer, Barnabas Xulu has described as 'malicious' and baseless.

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

CAPE TOWN – Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe has called for a judicial commission of inquiry to get to the bottom of allegations against him.

This after the Judicial Services Commission compiled a report following an investigation into an alleged plot to assassinate Deputy Judge President Patricia Goliath.

Judge Hlophe's lawyer, Barnabas Xulu said the timeline of events is very important.

He said the report was issued on 1 September, only a day after alleged informants were interviewed at a Pietermaritzburg prison.

Xulu said three days later questions were sent to the office of the Chief Justice, asking whether the office was aware of the allegations.

“The answer which was provided by the office of the Chief Justice says: ‘was aware of assertions of an inmate who indicated that he was hired to carry out an assassination on deputy judge president Goliath. These assertions by the inmate were referred to crime intelligence, which interviewed the inmate and found them to be false and baseless’.”

He said no formal report that was provided to the office of the Chief Justice.

“The information brought to our attention did not implicates Judge Hlope or any other judge in that baseless report. But, because we have people who are active in their campaign, they have kept this allegation alive artificially.”

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The Office of the Chief Justice on Monday said it had nothing to do with assigning security details to sitting judges.

The office released a statement in the wake of allegations of a plot to assassinate sitting Western Cape High Court Judge Patricia Goliath.

Goliath has been involved in a prolonged public spat with the Western Cape's Judge President John Hlophe, accusing him last year of gross misconduct.

Then Ministry of Justice then initiated an investigation into allegations of a plot to assassinate Goliath.

It confirmed last week that Hlophe had been named in that report and that it had been referred to police and the State Security Agency.

Hlophe's lawyer, over the weekend, demanded an investigation into why the Chief Justice had beefed up security around Goliath after he received the preliminary report.

But in a statement, the Office of the Chief Justice makes it clear that it was not Mogoeng Mogoeng who decides to employ security for judges instead it's an administrative function.

The office maintains standard protocols have been followed, the head of security has requested SAPS to conduct a threat assessment and make recommendations and in the meantime, Goliath has been provided with a security detail.

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