Judge John Hlophe

Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe. Photo: AFP

Judge John Hlophe: Advocacy group wants saga concluded

Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe was found guilty of misconduct by the Judicial Conduct Tribunal last year

Judge John Hlophe

Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe. Photo: AFP

Advocacy group Judges Matter is weighing in on Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe’s latest bid to avoid being removed from the bench, saying his chances of success are slim to none.

Hlophe recently approached the High Court in Johannesburg, seeking to have a decision by the Judicial Services Commission reversed. The JSC had recommended that President Cyril Ramaphosa suspend him, pending a vote by the National Assembly on whether he should be impeached.


Judges Matter says the matter between Judge John Hlophe and the JSC has been going on for way too long and has called on both parties to finalise it.

The group’s Mbekezeli Benjamin said to SABC:  “Even after the JSC had found Judge Hlophe guilty of gross misconduct in August of 2021, the JSC gave an undertaking that they will not proceed with his suspension until his high court review was heard. The high court review was heard and a decision came out in May 2022, which meant that the JSC could then proceed with the suspension.”

Here’s a recap: Justices Bess Nkabinde and Chris Jafta, had accused Hlophe of trying to persuade them into ruling in favour of former president Jacob Zuma in 2008. This was in relation to former president Jacob Zuma’s arms deal case with French weapons manufacturer Thales, which is still before the courts.

Hlophe is said to have visited them separately in their chambers to discuss pending judgments in the corruption matter, which is in breach of Section 165 of the Constitution.

When the Tribunal ruled against Hlophe in April 2021, it said his conduct seriously threatened and interfered with the independence, impartiality, dignity and effectiveness of the Constitutional Court and public confidence in the judicial system. The matter went to the JSC, which ruled that Hlophe must face impeachment.