Hlophe’s failure to block gross misconduct findings 'paves way for impeachment'

In August last year, the JSC found Hlophe guilty of impeachable gross misconduct for trying to sway two Constitutional Court justices back in 2008.

  • Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe has lost his High Court bid to challenge the gross misconduct findings against him

  • Hlophe was found guilty of impeachable gross misconduct for trying to sway two Constitutional Court justices

  • Judges Matter researcher Mbekezeli Benjamin says the dismissal of Hlophe's application paves the way for his impeachment

  • However, Hlophe has not yet indicated whether he will be taking the matter on appeal



Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe. Picture: www.judiciary.org.za

Judges Matter researcher Mbekezeli Benjamin says impeachment proceedings against Western Cape Judge President, John Hlophe, should now be able to proceed after his application to set aside gross misconduct findings against him dismissed.

The High Court in Johannesburg has rejected Hlophe's attempt to challenge the misconduct findings and Judicial Service Commission (JSC) process that could lead to his sacking.

In August last year, the JSC found Hlophe guilty of impeachable gross misconduct for trying to sway two Constitutional Court justices back in 2008.

Benjamin says Parliament should be able to continue with impeachment proceedings against Hlophe following the "significant" ruling.

RELATED: Court dismisses John Hlophe’s bids over gross misconduct findings against him

He says the judgment has shown that the JSC's decision-making process can stand up to legal scrutiny.

Benjamin says the ball is now in Parliament's court, however, Hlophe can still take the matter on appeal at the Supreme Court of Appeal.

RELATED: Hlophe's lawyer takes a jab at JSC in court bid to set aside misconduct findings

It's the first real comprehensive test of whether the JSC's decision to find Judge Hlophe guilty of misconduct can withstand scrutiny and it seems as if it has withstood scrutiny, and it does clear the way for now, for Parliament to move to begin the impeachment process.

Mbekezeli Benjamin, Research and advocacy officer - Judges Matter

What happens next is really [up to] Parliament... Now that the judgment is out, Parliament should be in the position to decide when the impeachment process starts and when the meetings will be held.

Mbekezeli Benjamin, Research and advocacy officer - Judges Matter

Of course, Judge Hlophe still has the option of taking this matter on appeal. We haven't gotten any indication of where he might go but I'm thinking he might take it to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Mbekezeli Benjamin, Research and advocacy officer - Judges Matter

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