Last week Judge John Hlophe filed the latest in a long line of cases related to his possible impeachment. He is asking the Johannesburg High Court to set aside the Judicial Service Commission’s recommendation that President Ramaphosa suspend him pending the National Assembly’s decision on his fate.
In his affidavit Judge Hlophe makes far-reaching allegations not only concerning Freedom Under Law and its chairperson, but also aimed at the members of the JSC. FUL is said to have conspired with others and carried out “an insidious effort to usurp the power of the JSC, and possibly other constitutional institutions”, while “the JSC seems to have ultimately succumbed to these extra-legal and factional pressures” and “should not allow itself to be the incubator of illegality and political campaigns”.
Freedom Under Law will in its response to the application deal appropriately with this assault on its integrity, as well as that of the members of the JSC. It maintains that Judge Hlophe’s suspension is an urgent necessity, demanded not only by the Constitutional Court case but also by the charges of gross misconduct levelled against him by his Deputy Judge President more than two-and-a-half years ago.