SA public to have say on next chief justice, for the first time

Fulcrum29

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Looks like Khampepe is due to leave the court next month along with Jafta and Mogoeng as they were all appointed 12 years ago in October 2009:

The shortlisted candidates are for vacancies caused by retirement of Edwin Cameron in 2019 and Johan Froneman in 2020. This means from next month there will be 5 vacancies at the ConCourt.

From the 11 Judges, a minimum of 8 is required for a quorum. In the respect of absentee, unavailability or vacancy, Acting Judges must be appointed for meeting the quorum. If any term is to be extended, it must be by an Act of Parliament.

At this point, the JSC will only appoint two new Constitutional Court judges in October, if any term is to be extended, also given that the normal interview schedule was already a postponed processed which was overruled due to questionable 'antics' of a political nature, and rescheduled for a rerun, an Act of Parliament may extend the term of a Judge or two for the interim until some normalcy is acquired.

Given what I have said above, the conditions being special, it may very well be the reason why Ramaphosa has decided to make this in the interest of the public and enabling the public with the nomination. The question is more who the legal fraternity and human rights associated NGOs will be pushing for Chief Justice?

At the end of the day, it is not who I or you want as Chief Justice, but who is the most 'endorsed' by groups of associations, of which there are shared ideas and ideals, and I can guarantee you that there will be a debate amongst them for a preferential nomination or rather said, candidate.
 

ponder

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Does Mkhwebane even qualify? I thought you needed to be on the bench to even be considered.

It's not a requirement as long as 4 of the current judges were on the bench when appointed. So 4/11 need to be judges prior to appointment to the concourt, the rest can can be any idiot technically.
 

Fulcrum29

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Htf did those two cretins even make it onto the list, it's a disgrace.

Simple, really,

A nomination should be accompanied by an endorsement and support of at least one professional body of legal practitioners or NGOs working in the field of human rights or other legal areas.

but I am curious who made the nomination and by whom it was endorsed, this now being a public process and all?
 

Fulcrum29

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This being a public process, I did expect more nominations,
  • Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo,
  • Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) President Mandisa Maya
  • Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo
  • Constitutional Court Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga
  • Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe, who faces a possible impeachment hearing
  • Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane who faces perjury charges related to the Sassa crisis of 2017. She also faces impeachment by parliament
 

Hemi300c

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This being a public process, I did expect more nominations,
Just show how fvck the system is when 33.333 % of the candidates are either useless, criminals or corrupt and bought.

The others, still untested, are probably the same.

Zondo has no balls

This country is fvcked
 

Cosmik Debris

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It's a popular vote and the RET are loud and obviously participate in these things. Does Mkhwebane even qualify? I thought you needed to be on the bench to even be considered.

Mkhwebane is not even qualified to represent a client in any court. Same as Judge Tshiqi, who is on the ConCourt bench. Yet here she is. Now people wonder why there is no trust in the decolonised justice system?
 

R13...

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Mkhwebane is not even qualified to represent a client in any court. Same as Judge Tshiqi, who is on the ConCourt bench. Yet here she is. Now people wonder why there is no trust in the decolonised justice system?
Is the justice system being decolonised? What does the even mean?
 

Cosmik Debris

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Is the justice system being decolonised? What does the even mean?

Yes, Latin, a cornerstone of law, has been done away with. Would John Hlophe have ever had a chance in a non Africanised justice system? And the PP? And Judge Tshiqi? see what is meant by decolonised? The standards have visibly dropped.
 

R13...

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Yes, Latin, a cornerstone of law, has been done away with. Would John Hlophe have ever had a chance in a non Africanised justice system? And the PP? And Judge Tshiqi? see what is meant by decolonised? The standards have visibly dropped.
How's latin dropped from SA law? And Hlophe's nomination would be the same whether or not the system as Africanised (whatever that is). Suppose you're right in that he wouldn't get a look in at the highest court under the old system that selected on race.
 

Cosmik Debris

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How's latin dropped from SA law?

Latin is no longer a requirement for South African law:

There are no statutory language requirements for the practice of law, and the completion of courses in Latin is no longer a requirement for the LLB degree at this University. Language proficiency in South African languages is, however, very important for the study and practice of law in South Africa.


Serious concern has also been expressed at the spelling, grammar and reading comprehension of law students.

As I said. Decolonised.
 

R13...

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Latin is no longer a requirement for South African law:

There are no statutory language requirements for the practice of law, and the completion of courses in Latin is no longer a requirement for the LLB degree at this University. Language proficiency in South African languages is, however, very important for the study and practice of law in South Africa.


Serious concern has also been expressed at the spelling, grammar and reading comprehension of law students.

As I said. Decolonised.
SA law is still 100% colonial. and Latin doesn't change application of law.
 

Cosmik Debris

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And Hlophe's nomination would be the same whether or not the system as Africanised (whatever that is). Suppose you're right in that he wouldn't get a look in at the highest court under the old system that selected on race.

No, he wouldn't get a chance based on his past behaviour. Stop trying to deflect to skin colour when his problem is character:

  • In a 2004 case between Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang and elements of the pharmaceutical industry, Hlophe was accused of "unreasonably" delaying his judgement on leave to appeal. In an unprecedented step the unsuccessful party in the matter had been forced by Hlophe's failure to either grant or refuse leave to appeal and had applied directly to the Supreme Court of Appeal for leave to appeal. Having been informed that the application would be made directly to the Supreme Court of Appeal, he refused leave to appeal days before the Supreme Court of Appeal considered the matter. His ruling was summarily overturned by the Supreme Court of Appeal in a judgment that was harshly critical of him. Hlophe was reported to have said with regard to the ruling that he "... couldn’t care less." A complaint about his conduct was laid with the Judicial Service Commission.

  • In 2004 Hlophe wrote a report to Chief Justice Pius Langa alleging racism at the Cape Bar. He also accused his deputy, Deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso, of racism. In the aftermath of controversy as to the authorship of a majority judgment in the name of Judge NJ Yekiso in the same matter that had attracted the Supreme Court of Appeal's censure,[3] Hlophe accused certain white judges and leading members of the Cape Bar of racism in a 43-page report submitted to the Minister of Justice in November 2004.[4]

  • In 2005 Hlophe was reported to have said that he allocated an Afrikaans language rights case to senior Cape High Court Judge Wilfred Thring "because I knew he would **** up the trial and then it could be set right on appeal". He was reported to have repeated this in front of numerous witnesses, including senior advocate Norman Arendse SC, who wrote to Chief Justice Pius Langa about the incident. Denying he had made the remark, Hlophe claimed there was a smear campaign against him.[5]

  • Also in 2005, Hlophe was reported to have called a Cape Town attorney, Joshua Greeff, a "piece of white **** who is not fit to walk in the corridors of the High Court". He also suggested that Greeff should go back to Holland. Greeff is not Dutch. Hlophe denied making the remarks.[6]

  • In June 2006, the JSC was asked to investigate complaints that Hlophe's son received a bursary from a large Cape Town firm of attorneys, Smith Tabata Buchanan Boyes (STBB).[7][8] Derek Wille, former STBB partner and a university friend of Hlophe, said the payments had come from a bursary scheme "to help disadvantaged students". Hlophe had appointed Wille to the bench as an acting judge on a number of occasions. Reported to the JSC for a possible conflict of interests, he claimed he did not know who was paying for his son's education. The JSC accepted his word.
 

Cosmik Debris

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Continued:


  • In early 2006 it was reported that Hlophe had, without the necessary Ministerial consent, taken a remunerated position on the board of Oasis, an asset management company.

  • It was subsequently reported that Hlophe had, whilst on the Oasis payroll, considered a matter involving one of his colleagues, Judge Siraj Desai and given Oasis permission to sue him.

  • In July 2006 Justice Minister Brigitte Mabandla permitted Hlophe four months' leave of absence.[9]

  • In November 2007 Hlophe was reported to have written to the Department of Justice demanding that his official motor vehicle, a three-year-old Mercedes Benz, be upgraded to a Porsche Cayenne. He argued that his position as Judge President warranted this upgrade. When contacted by members of the press, Hlophe is reported to have asked "What has this got to do with you? My purchase of a vehicle has got absolutely nothing to do with you," It is reported that when reminded that the car would be purchased using taxpayers' money, he stated that it would "never, ever be approved". It nonetheless was.

  • On 10 March 2008, Judge Hlophe, in a Cape High Court ruling, ordered the eviction of approximately 20,000 shack dwellers residing in Joe Slovo in Langa to make way for the controversial N2 Gateway Housing Project.[10] The ruling was subsequently criticised by residents themselves, the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign,[11] and well-known legal and constitutional court experts such as Pierre de Vos.[12] In August 2008, Joe Slovo residents took their appeal to the Constituational Court which criticised the ruling by Hlophe. Concourt Justice Kate O'Regan stated that "It’s one of the things that really bothers me … I couldn’t imagine an order for eviction that didn’t set out where and how the respondents would be accommodated,"[13]

  • In March 2008 Constitutional Court Justices Bess Nkabinde and Chris Jafta stated that Hlophe had personally tried to convince them to give judgments in favour of then South African President Jacob Zuma on two cases that implicated Zuma of in corrupt activities. It was reported that ten years after the incidences no action had been yet been taken against Hlophe despite the serious nature of the accusations.[14]

  • On 30 July 2009, Judge Hlophe was served summons by US law professor Winston Nagan. Nagan was demanding R6-million in damages from Hlophe, who, he says, "insulted and defamed" him.[15] When professor Nagan's right to sue Judge Hlophe was upheld by the Western Cape High Court, Paul Ngobeni a long-standing friend and supporter of Judge Hlophe, was outraged. "It’s horrifying! It’s outrageous! Here you have a foreigner, who comes out of the United States, a country where there is an absolute prohibition against suing judges for their judgement," exclaimed Paul Ngobeni, who, like Professor Nagan, was born in South Africa and subsequently became a permanent resident of the United States. Paul Ngobeni also seems to be unaware that Judge Hlophe was not being sued for a judgement, but for derogatory statements allegedly made regarding the work habits and ethics of Professor Nagan.[16]

  • On 15 January 2020 Western Cape Deputy Judge President Patricia Goliath lodged a complaint with the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) alleging a wide range of serious incidents of misconduct by Hlophe.[17] These included allegations of "attempting to influence judicial appointments, assaulting fellow judges, sexual impropriety and creating a climate of hostility and fear in chambers."[18] One such notable incidence was in the 2017 Earthlife Africa judgment where Hlophe is accused of acting in a biased manner so as to protect then South African President Jacob Zuma. The case was involved a controversial deal to procure nuclear power plants from Russia.[19] In response to the incident the General Council of the Bar urged Hlophe and his wife to request special leave pending deliberations into the complaint.[20]
 
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