South Africa: Cape High Court Faces Credibility Crisis Over Hlophe Allegations

analysis

Last week Western Cape Deputy Judge President Patricia Goliath lodged a complaint with the Judicial Service Commission, containing explosive allegations against Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe. Judge Hlophe has been dogged by controversy, and over the past 15 years no fewer than three different complaints of gross misconduct have been lodged against him at the JSC. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the JSC will deal quickly and effectively with the most recent allegations against Hlophe, not least because Hlophe may use the same Stalingrad approach he has used to delay the finalisation of a previous complaint against him.

If even half of the allegations contained in Deputy Judge President Goliath's complaint against Judge President John Hlophe are true, a reasonable observer would have to conclude that the Western Cape High Court is a cesspit of bigotry, violence, nepotism, political bias, juvenile sexual shenanigans and disrespect for the rule of law.

Whether some or all of the allegations are true or not, urgent intervention is needed to prevent further damage to the credibility of the Western Cape High Court. When it comes to courts, negative perceptions can be just as damaging as the proven facts, which is why the allegations...

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