Heinrich Wyngaard | Kaapse Forum opposes Hlophe’s JSC nomination

The Cape community organisation says the former Western Cape Judge-President disgraced the province when he tried to influence colleagues in favour of Zuma





Jul 4, 2024

Heinrich Wyngaard | Kaapse Forum opposes Hlophe’s JSC nomination

The civil rights organisation Cape Forum says it will be an absolute shame and a dishonour to the country’s legal system if John Hlophe, impeached Judge President of the Western Cape, is appointed to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

Heindrich Wyngaard, Executive Chairperson of Cape Forum, says it was bad enough that Hlophe was just sworn in as an MP of the Jacob Zuma-led MK party. “Obviously, one cannot do anything about it if questionable characters are appointed by a party to act as a parliamentary representative of such party,” he says. “However, civil society has an obligation to make its voice heard clearly when nominations for appointment to a critical institution, such as the JSC, are made.”

Cape Forum welcomes the fact that a number of other organisations, such as Freedom Under Law, Casac, Judges Matter, Defend our Democracy and the Helen Suzman and Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, have also already in a letter to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Thoko Didiza objected to Hlophe’s JSC nomination. Cape Forum is also writing their own complaint about this to the Speaker.

Wyngaard says Hlophe would never have ended up in parliament if it was not for the fact that he was placed in a state of accusation as Judge President of the Western Cape and by pres. Cyril Ramaphosa was removed from the judiciary after his conviction for improper conduct.

“Under normal circumstances, the residents of the Western Cape should look with pride at its former judge-president. However, Hlophe disgraced the province when he tried to influence colleagues in favour of Zuma. Rather than removing himself from public view, he is now being rewarded by Zuma with his appointment as MK chief whip in the National Assembly.”

Cape Forum believes that Hlophe’s possible presence in the JSC, together with that of the EFF nominee, Julius Malema, poses an ideological danger to the judiciary. Both MK and the EFF are campaigning for a so-called Africanized judiciary. What they want to achieve is the removal of the Roman-Dutch legal system and a type of ethnic cleansing that will place the appointment of black judges over those of candidates from minority groups.

“This kind of attitude will be catastrophic for South Africa as a non-racial, constitutional democracy – specifically in this era of a new political order of cooperative government by many parties,” says Wyngaard.

Cape Forum is also reminded that Hlophe has been accused of incriminating himself as chief justice of racist and sexist bullying behaviour against colleagues. This is a further reason why we are completely opposed to his possible membership of the JSC.

Issued by Heindrich Wyngaard, Executive Chairperson, Cape Forum, 3 July 2024

more articles by this author