Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

The South African Parliament has approved a motion to impeach suspended Western Cape High Court Judge President John Hlophe from office, with 305 members supporting the motion, while 25 voted against his removal. The decision comes after Hlophe’s attempt to interdict the process was unsuccessful in the Western Cape High Court.

House chairperson Cedric Frolick announced that the matter would be forwarded to President Cyril Ramaphosa for approval. The protracted case dates back to 2008 when Hlophe, then Western Cape Judge President, was accused of attempting to influence the Constitutional Court’s decision on search and seizure raids involving Jacob Zuma and Thint.

In 2021, the Judicial Services Commission found Hlophe guilty of gross misconduct, leading to the impeachment motion. In December 2022, President Ramaphosa suspended Hlophe. While the ANC, DA, IFP, UDM, and other parties supported the impeachment, the EFF, ATM, and PAC voted against it, deeming Hlophe’s removal unjustifiable.

House chairperson Frolick stated, “The House calls for the removal of Judge President Hlophe in terms of Section 177. This resolution will be communicated to the President.” Bulelani Magwanishe, chairperson of the Justice and Correctional Service Committee, emphasized the need for judges to uphold the rule of law, stating that the impeachment process is triggered when a judge is found guilty of gross misconduct.

EFF MP Busisiwe Mkhwebane argued that Hlophe faced a political witchhunt and contended that his discussions with colleagues were misconstrued. DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach highlighted the significance of the decision for judicial integrity, asserting that it sends a clear message that no one is above the law. IFP chief whip Narend Singh emphasized the importance of judges adhering to ethical standards and upholding the rule of law.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *