Hlophe defends discussing Zuma pending matter with ConCourt judges

He was answering questions at the judicial conduct tribunal following a complaint filed by the apex court justices.

FILE: Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe. Picture: ewn.

JOHANNESBURG - Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe has defended his decision to discuss a matter pending in the Constitutional Court with its judges on the basis that he was not the only one who took interest in the matter.

He was answering questions at the judicial conduct tribunal following a complaint filed by the apex court justices.

ALSO READ: Hlophe denies he tried to persuade ConCourt judges to be lenient with Zuma

He was accused of interfering in the 2008 case against former President Jacob Zuma and arms manufacturer Thint.

Despite admitting that in his capacity as judge president of the Western Cape he would never discuss pending cases where he was not involved, Hlophe appeared not to be fazed by the testimony of Constitutional Court judges that it was unbecoming for him to have discussed the Zuma matter with them.

“At that time, there were many members of the profession, including SCA judges, who spoke to him.”

Justice Chris Jafta and Bess Nkabinde spoke of incidents where Hlophe in 2008 sought to engage them on the Zuma matter before them.

Nkabinde testified that Hlophe sought to influence her decision.

The tribunal is expected to sit on Wednesday morning until Friday to ventilate the matter further.

Hlophe could be removed from his position should it be found that he acted inappropriately.

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