Praise heaped on JSC for recommending Hlophe be impeached

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The majority of the political parties represented in the National Assembly have praised the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) in its recommendations for the impeachment of Judge President of the Western Cape High Court, John Hlophe. The house has managed to obtain the required two third majority for the removal of Hlophe from office.

Parliament’s decision will now be referred to President Cyril Ramaphosa to make it a formal final binding resolution for Hlophe to be fired. DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach has described the precedence set by the removal of Hlophe as a milestone even for future impeachment processes in the democratic dispensation.

“The impeachment of Hlophe or any judge has profound implications for judiciary integrity in South Africa. It underscores the standard of upholding the highest ethical standard among the judiciary officers. It also sends a clear message that none, regardless of their position or influence, is above the law. Moreover, it affirms the principle of judiciary independency as the corner stone of democracy and boldly underlines the principle of the rule of the law. This debate highlights the need for robust debate for mechanisms to address allegations of judiciary misconduct promptly and effectively. It also emphasizes the importance of transparency and accountability in the judiciary,”

The judiciary monitoring body, Judges Matter says that Parliament’s vote to impeach Hlophe is a vindication of the country’s constitution. Hlophe is the first judge in the history of South Africa to be impeached from judicial office. Legal researcher and advocacy officer for Judges Matter is Mbekezeli Benjamin.

“Today was a vindication of the constitution, and its accountability mechanisms, that is something that we must not lose sight of, is that anyone under the constitution is subject to the constitution and the law, and that is an important point that we would wish to put forward. It is of course a sad, and historic day in that one of our most senior judges of our country has now been officially removed from office. It is not something that anyone can take pride in, because we never want to see our judges in this situation,”

Video: Discussion – MPs vote to impeach Judge Hlophe: Mbekezeli Benjamin