Judge Hlophe trial cartoon

Judge Hlophe trial cartoon

Judge Hlophe – Where is the Justice?

Michael Trapido neatly summarises the issue: The charge against Hlophe is that he approached certain judges to influence their decision in a case involving the president.

Many trees have been killed to publish Hlophe news subsequent to the charge above. Hlophe and his legal team appear to be portraying the case as one of political victimisation of some sort (sound familiar?) – they are happily highlighting every technicality and blowing each out of proportion to the core issue at hand – and sadly successfully doing so. Wonkie in this instance doesn’t give two hoots about Mr Hlophe’s case for defamation. First he needs to be found innocent of the more serious charges laid against him before he can start crying about how his reputation is being tarnished. If he is found guilty, surely there is no case for defamation? Unless you can sue someone for calling a spade a spade.

It further amazes Wonkie that the concept of due process is pathetically lacking in the South African legal system. First with the NPA in the Zuma trial and now with the whole debacle about Hlophe’s charge against the Judicial Services Commission (JSC). The JSC, who are tasked with disciplining judges, is basically charged with going public on the Hlophe matter before formally charging him. Surely someone in the JSC deserves a firm slap on the head for doing that and costing tax payers money that could have been used to create quite a few of the promised 500,000 jobs.

Last week, Western Cape Judge president John Hlophe won his court case against the Judicial Services Commission. The Johannesburg High Court ordered that proceedings against him be stopped and that new proceedings begin on a mutually suitable date. Hlophe’s team promptly asked the members of the JSC’s complaints committee to resign: “All the current members of the Complaints Commission violated the JSC’s rules so as it stands now they are accused of being biased… the easiest way out for them would be to resign and make vacancy for new people,” said Hlophe’s lawyer, Xulu. That ought to waste at least another few months.

So after all the distractions one interesting question remains: what happens to a judge who tries to influence other judges for personal gain? It will be really interesting to see President Zuma stand firm on his hard line against corruption in this particular case. Anyone care to wager that Mr Hlophe walks off scott free with a gentle pat on the bottom for bad behaviour?


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  1. At the start of the JZ/SS debacle, the SA legal system was a Circus, now its turned into a Chamber of Horrors.

  2. In south africa , we do not have a legal system that operates legally… rather we have mickey mouse type of institution which is being micro-managed by the ruling political party. people will tel you about the independence of judiciary but virtually we do not have a structure like that. there are too many cases which involves political men or women which wiil never see their days before court and be account for. the guy wanted to absolve his master who as we are talking is a president,the master knows about it but what is he doing about it[he respect independence now] . the same master is going to ensure that his sympathiser is not short-changed.who hire and pay judges or magistrates? can you bite the hand that gives? hlophe is wrong and history will judge him as such. he knows it very well but because he is hired by his relative his wrong is not very wrong. we are heading for a banana republic

  3. Eish! 🙁

  4. I think this not acceptable,I think we as people of south Africa we need to put respect infront so that we can build a good society.
    Whatever issues that might plinges any one it does not leave the fact that we must respect each other, if you are a cartoonist I personally I think morals and values must assist you before you cartoon anything.

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