EDITORIAL | Hlophe should not be in charge of Mkhwebane’s impeachment case
He knows full well if he is booted out after his own hearing, it will besmirch any ruling on the public protector
If all goes according to plan, Western Cape judge president John Hlophe will be presiding over public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s legal bid aimed at preventing her impeachment. Whose plan? one might ask, and that would be a very relevant question.
For let us not forget who Hlophe is: the Western Cape judge president, accused in 2008 by Constitutional Court judges of trying to sway them to hand down a judgment in favour of former president Jacob Zuma, who incidentally had his own court appearance for corruption again on Monday (which was postponed because he wants the state prosecutor to recuse himself).
The second key player in this saga is Mkhwebane, the public protector appointed by Zuma, succeeding Thuli Madonsela, whose swansong was the “State of Capture” report that kick-started the Zondo commission of inquiry. Mkhwebane, since her appointment in October 2016, has suffered no fewer than eight courtroom defeats. The Constitutional Court last year used the words “bad faith”, “disturbing” and “misrepresenting under oath” to describe some of her conduct...