Share this article:
Cape Town – National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has referred the impeachment of Western Cape Division of the High Court Judge President John Hlophe to Parliament’s portfolio committee on justice for input on the procedural aspects, and asked it to report back to the House.
Parliament will require a two-thirds majority to remove Judge Hlophe when the report is presented.
The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) found last week that Judge Hlophe was guilty of gross misconduct and should be impeached by Parliament.
The case has dragged on for more than 12 years, and the JSC sent its report to Mapisa-Nqakula last week.
The JSC found that Judge Hlophe tried to influence Justice Bess Nkabinde and Justice Chris Jafta. This related to the case against former president Jacob Zuma involving armaments company Thint.
In a meeting of the programme committee on Thursday, Mapisa-Nqakula said the ball was now in the justice committee’s court to outline the procedural aspects. It will then provide Parliament with a report on the procedural aspects of Judge Hlope’s removal.
“I have received a letter from the JSC, and the letter refers to the Judge Hlophe matter. You will recall that last week, as we were sitting here, at the time we had not received formal correspondence or communication from the JSC, but the matter was already in the media. But on Friday, we subsequently received the letter which gives us a report on the decision of the JSC in relation to Judge Hlophe,” said Mapisa-Nqakula.
“There is a proposal there that Judge Hlophe be impeached by Parliament. Having studied the letter, I then referred the letter to the parliamentary team, the team that advises us on legal matters.
“They have looked at the matter and have since come back with this advice that we refer the matter to the justice committee, and then the committee will consider procedural aspects of the matter and report to the House. If we are happy, then there will be a vote in the House, and the removal of a judge will require a two-thirds majority,” said Mapisa-Nqakula.
The Constitution requires a vote by two-thirds of the members of the National Assembly to remove a judge.