Western Cape judge president John Hlophe impeached

Andisiwe Makinana Political correspondent
Former Western Cape judge president John Hlophe.
Former Western Cape judge president John Hlophe.
Image: Trevor Samson

The National Assembly has voted to impeach Western Cape judge president John Mandlakayise Hlophe.

Hlophe becomes the first judge in the history of South Africa to be impeached from judicial office.

A whopping 305 MPs voted for Hlophe’s removal, with only 27 voting against it.

The National Assembly resolution to remove Hlophe will be communicated to President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is the appointing authority.

MPs from 10 out of 14 political parties represented in the National Assembly supported the removal, with only the EFF, African Independent Congress , PAC and Al-Jamah objecting to the impeachment.

The Judicial Service Commission found Hlophe guilty of gross misconduct, saying he attempted to influence, improperly, Constitutional Court judges Bess Nkabinde and Chris Jafta to decide matters in favour of particular litigants.

Section 177 of the constitution provides for a judge to be removed from office only if the JSC finds that the judge suffers from an incapacity, is grossly incompetent or is guilty of gross misconduct.

The National Assembly would then call for that judge to be removed by a resolution adopted with a supporting vote of at least two thirds of its members, and the president has to remove the judge from office upon adoption of a resolution calling for that judge to be removed, it says.

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