Judge Hlophe has until November 22 to file his appeal papers

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Embattled Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe has been granted an extension to file his appeal papers at the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.

Hlophe has until the 22nd of November to submit his documents to challenge a decision by the Judicial Services Commission to impeach him.

In June, the Gauteng High Court granted him leave to appeal the impeachment decision. The legal tussle of Western Cape judge president John Hlophe is headed for the SCA.

Hlophe was found guilty by the Judicial Services Commission in August 2021. The judicial conduct tribunal found that he had improperly sought to influence two of the Constitutional Court justices to violate their oaths of office concerning a 2008 complaint.

Hlophe had sought to influence the outcome of cases pending before the apex court that related to corruption charges against former president Jacob Zuma. It was found that Hlophe approached constitutional court judges Bess Nkabinde and Chris Jafta and attempted to influence their decision in favour of Zuma in the case.

The High Court granted Hlophe leave to appeal a ruling of the JSC which cleared the way for his potential impeachment.

While finding that Hlophe’s leave to appeal application lacked merit, a full bench of the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, however, granted it, saying it “raised matters of significant public importance”, largely because Hlophe may become the first judge in South African history to be impeached.

“In the event that a party or appellant fails to abide by what we call the period prescribed time limits. The appeal will lapse and essentially what then means is that the court order will stand and may be implemented,” explains legal expert Machini Motloung.

Judge Hlophe had until October 24th to file his appeal papers, but the SCA has granted him an extension on the basis of his case is a high-profile matter. He maintains his innocence.

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