- Judge President John Hlophe is under fire for his recent decision to throw a case against African National Congress Member of Parliament Bongani Bongo out of court
- Bongo's lawyers filed a section 174 application arguing that the trial did not have a reasonable chance of finding the defendant guilty
- Critics have argued that Hlophe should have allowed the trial to continue and give Bongo a chance to testify
Judge President John Hlophe is in the hot seat as people raise concerns over his conduct. He recently threw a case out of court against African National Congress Member of Parliament Bongani Bongo.
Hlophe ruled that the case would not have a reasonable chance of finding Bongo guilty after his lawyers filed a section 174 application.
The application argues that the case has no merit and if accepted then the defendant does not have to testify and the case is thrown out.
Bongo was cleared of charges after being accused of attempting to derail a parliamentary inquiry into Eskom.
He had allegedly offered a cash bribe to the evidence leader Ntuthuselo Vanara, who was part of a Public Enterprises Portfolio committee.
Professor of Public Law at the University of Pretoria Koos Malan has said that many people are concerned that Hlophe may have acted in a biased manner but it is not easy to prove that. He said that if Hlophe had allowed the case to continue and Bongo had testified it would have gone a long way to ease concerns according to an interview on SAfm’s Weekend View show.
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that Western Cape High Court judge John Hlope is set to face a tribunal after being accused of multiple 'gross misconduct' offences.
Hlophe has apparently upset staff at the court, facing accusations of both verbal and physical abuse.
Despite having served as Judge President for many years his deputy Patricia Goliath had filed another complaint with Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng confirming that a tribunal will be held.
Democratic Alliance shadow justice minister Glynnis Breytenbach is campaigning for Hlophe to be immediately suspended.
In other news, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said he would not ignore the allegations levelled against President Cyril Ramaphosa by former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe.
Reports say that evidence leader advocate Pule Seleka omitted the accusations against Ramaphosa during his recap of Molefe's testimony in January when he appeared before the Zondo commission for the first time.
The former Eskom CEO made claims that Glencore had been trying to extort R8 billion from the power utility and made Ramaphosa a shareholder at Optimum Mine (the company that supplies Eskom's coal).
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!