Chief Justice nominee Dunstan Mlambo has denied allegations of sexual harassment. He describes it as poisonous rumour. Mlambo faced the questions during his interview by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC ) for the position of Chief Justice.
The JSC Commissioner Dali Mpofu asked him to clarify the allegations and reminded him that it was an impeachable offence if it were true.
“There is no substance to the rumour. It’s a rumour and I think its a poisonous rumour. There is actually no substance to it. I was actually shocked when I heard about it. And I was actually hoping that someone would come up and say I’m one of those who sexually harassed by Judge President. So, its unfortunate that people are using people’s names willy-nilly in spreading rumours of this nature. There is completely no substance to that rumour.”
Judge President Dunstan Mlambo – Part 1:
Earlier, Mlambo was also questioned about his conflict of interest allegations brought against by Judge President of the Western Cape High Court Division John Hlophe.
In court papers, Hlophe said the JSC was not lawfully and properly constituted as provided in the constitution, when it made findings against him.
He mentioned Mlambo as one of the four JSC members who were automatically disqualified from participating at the meeting of the 25th August last year.
The meeting endorsed the finding of the Judicial Conduct Tribunal that Hlophe should be impeached. In his court papers, he also stated that there was conflict of interest or reasonable apprehension of bias.
The Hlophe matter is currently before the High Court in Johannesburg.
JSC Commissioner Griffiths Madonsela wanted to know if the Hlophe matter would not place Mlambo in a predicament if the it was challenged up to the Constitutional Court, should Mlambo become the next Chief Justice.
“Is it at all desirable and will it not put much pressure on the colleague of the Constitutional Court hearing a matter in which a Chief Justice, a sitting Chief Justice is a party against whom certain allegations of misconduct … because this is effectively (what) Judge Hlophe is saying against you.”
In response, Mlambo told Madonsela that he cannot sit in the Hlophe matter if it were to be brought to the Constitutional Court, should he become the next Chief Justice.
“The development of the matter is that now the matter has proceeded to the point where Judge President Hlophe has poignantly raised the issue that I should not have sat there. Whichever way the matter goes in the High Court, if it comes to the Constitutional Court, I can never participate in that matter.
I think that is a given, because I’m mentioned as having taken one or other sight. It will be completely improper for me to sit in that matter.”