When Western Cape Deputy Choose President Patricia Goliath talked about the identify of former president Jacob Zuma in her gross misconduct grievance towards Choose President John Hlophe, she was “intentionally creating hype and drama,” Hlophe mentioned.
“The reference to former president Zuma is an irresponsible and manufactured false allegation made merely to boost the gravity of the case towards me,” mentioned Hlophe.
Hlophe was responding to the shocking complaint made in January by Goliath, to the Judicial Service Fee (JSC). He has additionally made his personal counter-complaint, saying that her false allegations towards him broken the administration of justice.
“A decide looking for the elimination of one other on false allegations commits a grave offence to the integrity of the judicial workplace and brings the administration of justice into disrepute. It’s this conduct that constitutes gross judicial misconduct,” he mentioned.
In her grievance Goliath had made a number of allegations towards Hlophe. They included that he had sought — utilizing his energy to resolve which judges would hear which circumstances — to affect the end result of a case in favour of Zuma.
She additionally claimed that he had assaulted a junior colleague in chambers, that he had sidelined her and created a local weather of concern and intimidation within the division; that his spouse Gayaat Salie-Hlophe (additionally a decide of the division) wielded undue energy within the division, significantly within the appointment of acting judges. And, that in an altercation together with his spouse at his Cape City dwelling, Salie-Hlophe’s hand had been injured to a degree the place stitches have been required.
In an in depth 100-page affidavit despatched to the JSC on Friday, Hlophe mentioned Goliath’s claims have been “largely false and with out advantage”. As well as, the way in which she went about her grievance urged that “her chief nervousness was to invoke public condemnation, the lynching of the Choose President and to convey extravagant political strain on him.”
On the Earthlife case — the case about nuclear offers entered into by South Africa and which Goliath mentioned Hlophe had tried to affect — Hlophe gave a unique model of his dialog with Goliath about which judges to allocate to the case. He mentioned she had first urged two white male judges to preside, “however I believed it necessary to determine a reworked and numerous bench”. One of many two additionally had “typically very sturdy views about authorities coverage” and “routinely engaged the general public” on them.
“My remark was not that I wished to allocate a case to individuals who would favour Zuma. I merely wished to encourage her to range and take into account transformation within the allocation of circumstances,” Hlophe mentioned.
He mentioned the reference to Zuma was “a really low level” in Goliath’s grievance, as she was intentionally “perpetuat[ing] the narrative that I used to be below his management” — given the allegations in an earlier grievance by the justices of the Constitutional Court docket.
Hlophe was right here referring to the 2008 grievance by all of the then justices of the ConCourt that he had sought to affect the end result of pending circumstances associated to corruption costs towards Zuma. Almost 12 years later, the grievance stays unresolved, with a judicial conduct tribunal nonetheless to get underway.
Hlophe mentioned: “She is flawed as [are] those who have made comparable allegations. I stay an unbiased minded decide who’s guided solely by my oath of workplace and the Structure.”
The decide president additionally gave an in depth model of what had occurred between him and the junior colleague that Goliath alleged he assaulted. Additionally not naming him, Hlophe mentioned that the junior decide had at first had a confrontation together with his spouse, Salie-Hlophe, however that it had been amicably resolved — “and stay good pals even right this moment”. Just a few days later — after the unnamed decide had additionally sought to talk to the decide president in regards to the problem — Hlophe went to his chambers.
“I indicated to him that I appreciated his apology to my spouse and cautioned him towards being perceived to be inappropriate in his interactions with ladies colleagues. In our dialogue, we disagreed on a associated problem involving the truth that I’m an African, from KwaZulu and married to a Muslim woman,” Hlophe mentioned.
They didn’t communicate for just a few days after, he mentioned, however then some colleagues mediated between them. “Thereafter we shook fingers and that was the tip of the matter. Thus far, all of us stay good pals and actually the problem that we had disagreed on is one which we now share a superb chortle about.”
Hlophe mentioned that the dispute was a personal one and had nothing to do with judicial work. Later in his affidavit, he particularly says: “It’s incorrect that my disagreement with this explicit decide resulted in a bodily assault.”
Hlophe additionally strenuously denied the insinuation that he assaulted Salie-Hlophe, saying that she was “injured by chopping herself towards a glass door”.
Nonetheless he mentioned it was true that he was indignant with Goliath when she subsequent got here to see him in his chambers and that he had requested her to depart. “It’s this meddlesome, intrusive and nosy conduct by the Deputy Choose President in my personal affairs that has created a local weather of mistrust and acrimony in our skilled relationship,” mentioned Hlophe. He added that Goliath had inspired Salie-Hlophe to “file costs of a pretend assault” and “divorce this previous black man and drop the black surname.”
Goliath had betrayed him, he mentioned. “What’s worse to this betrayal is that she has made false of what occurred to my spouse when she took her to hospital. The innuendo that I assaulted my spouse is a deeply offensive untruth which has led to my public lynching,” mentioned Hlophe.
Hlophe additionally denied that Salie-Hlophe had something to do with appointing performing judges — which by legislation was the operate of the justice minister in any occasion — or the allocation of circumstances. Lots of her claims weren’t backed up with proof, he mentioned.
Setting out intimately the components he thought of when making allocations, he mentioned that this was the prerogative of the decide president. In legislation, it was the decide president who ran a division, though the JP — “at his/her discretion” — may delegate capabilities and duties to the deputy, mentioned Hlophe. “Deputy Choose President Goliath appears to have an inflated sense of self and a misguided perception that she may take over and even cherry-pick on powers assigned to the Choose President.”
Goliath declined to remark, saying the matter was within the fingers of the JSC.