The Judicial Service Commission is reported to have failed to decide whether there is a prima facie case against Cape Judge President John Hlophe, who has been accused of trying to influence two Constitutional Court judges in relation to cases involving ANC president Jacob Zuma.
Despite the fact that it is the first time that this has happened, the commission seems constrained to deal with the motive of judges to issue a media statement accusing Hlophe of improper conduct instead of using established legal avenues before they deal with this matter.
To this end, Hlophe's constitutional rights have been infringed by the conduct of these judges by canvassing a matter that is sub judice in a court of public opinion to achieve a particular agenda. It is a material deviation from generally accepted legal practice undermining the fundamental importance of the rule of law.
Needless to say that all of this had impacted a great deal on the independence and credibility of the justice system, including the fitness of Chief Justice Pius Langa and his deputy Justice Dikgang Moseneke to hold office.
There's no doubt that the conduct of these learned judges demonstrated a clear abdication of their constitutional responsibility to provide leadership and uphold the highest standards of integrity in the judiciary.
Morgan Phaahla, Ekurhuleni