Court supports appeal on Hlophe

The Supreme Court of Appeal upheld an appeal by judges of the Constitutional Court relating to a dispute with Cape Judge President John Hlophe.

The Supreme Court of Appeal upheld an appeal by judges of the Constitutional Court relating to a dispute with Cape Judge President John Hlophe.

The SCA replaced an order of the high court with an order dismissing Judge Hlophe's application.

In yesterday's judgment by a panel of nine judges of the SCA, it held that the justices of the Constitutional Court did not act unlawfully when they made a complaint to the JSC against Judge Hlophe without affording him a chance to be heard.

The SCA also held that Constitutional Court judges did not act unlawfully by issuing a media statement announcing that they had made the complaint.

The case relates to a complaint of judicial misconduct laid by the Constitutional Court judges against Judge Hlophe with the Judicial Services Commission on May 30 last year.

They said Judge Hlophe allegedly made what they regarded as inappropriate approaches to judges about a pending judgment on ANC president Jacob Zuma, who was facing graft charges related to arms deal.

Judge Hlophe laid a counter-complaint against the judges on June 10, 2008.

Earlier, the high court had found that although the justices were not performing judicial functions as a court when they made their decision, they were nonetheless obliged to afford Judge Hlophe a hearing before they did so - Sapa

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