Complaint against judges Hlophe ‘to be dealt with by Zondo’

Cape Judge President John Hlophe weds newly- appointed Judge Gayaat Salie-Samuels on April 26, 2015 in Claremont, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sunday Times / Esa Alexander)

The complaint contains allegations of verbal abuse, victimisation, preferential treatment of his wife and the physical assault of a subordinate.

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) says the complaint lodged against Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe and his wife, Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe, will be dealt with by a statuary body chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and other senior judges of the superior courts.

The complaint, lodged by Judge John Hlophe’s deputy, Patricia Goliath, contains allegations of verbal abuse, victimisation, preferential treatment of his wife and the physical assault of a subordinate.

It alleged Judge Hlophe and his wife had committed “gross misconduct” and compromised the functions of the Western Cape High Court.

In an unprecedented statement following a leak to the media, the JSC said it had been inundated with requests to issue updates and comments about the complaint.

But, it said, the complaint would be dealt with correctly, and called for space during this process.

“At this moment, the JSC is seized with the complaint and should be afforded the opportunity to deal with it in line with the processes prescribed in the Judicial Service Commission Act, 1994 [as amended].

“As judges, members of the JSC are duty bound to deal with complaints without fear, favour or prejudice and would do so as expeditiously as reasonably practicable.

“There is therefore no need for anyone to provide any unsolicited guidance on how the JSC should deal with complaints,” it said.

Once the investigation into the two is complete, the findings and recommendations would be communicated to the media and public, the JCS added.

“The media and the public at large are humbly urged to exercise patience and restraint and allow the JSC to exercise its statutory mandate without any hindrance or undue influence.”

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