Hlophe case a public issue

NEWS coming out, or rather, not coming out of the Judicial Service Commission is quiet disconcerting.

NEWS coming out, or rather, not coming out of the Judicial Service Commission is quiet disconcerting.

We all looked forward to the JSC starting to decide on the probe against Cape Judge President John Hlophe whom two Constitutional Court judges allege he tried to improperly influence in connection with President Jacob Zuma.

We were concerned that the hearing would be held behind closed doors.

One gets a sense that the JSC would like to be as vague as possible as to what is going on. Obfuscation is an enemy of justice. Surely the men and women who constitute the JSC know it better than most that being visible is an essential element of justice.

In Hlophe's case, this necessity is more obvious given his very public and controversial encounters pertaining to his office.

If anything the decision to want to keep the deliberations away from the public's eye and ear has unified Hlophe's friends and foes.

It was to be expected.

Never since we became a democracy in 1994 has there been a jurist who inspires public passions like Hlophe.

Unless the deliberations are in public, there will always be a party that believes justice was sacrificed to satisfy a political end.

It is also important to look beyond Hlophe and do what is in the best interest of the integrity of our justice system. Without purse or sword, the courts can only rely on its integrity for unconditional acceptance.

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