There’s growing pressure on Judge President John Hlophe to resign. This after he threw out the corruption charges against African National Congress Member of Parliament Bongani Bongo.
The former Minister allegedly attempted to bribe a Parliamentary law advisor in an effort to derail an investigation into State Capture at Eskom.
Hlophe dismissed the case four days after lawyers for Bongo filed a section 174 application, on the basis that there was no evidence on which a court would reasonably return a finding of guilt.
He also ruled that the credibility of Parliamentary law advisor Ntuthuzelo Vanara, as the sole witness to the alleged attempted bribery, had been called into doubt by contradictory testimony from colleagues in the legislature.
Professor of Public Law at the University of Pretoria Koos Malan says Hlophe’s conduct is raising many questions.
“People are so exasperated with Hlophe because all this could have been avoided had he ordered the trial to continue and that Bongo had to testify. I agree that there might be strong question marks there, very dark question marks over the conduct of Hlophe but it is not so easy to forthrightly come to the conclusion that there was bias. There’s an indication that there might have been.”
At a Judicial Conduct Tribunal investigating charges of gross misconduct against Hlophe in 2020, he was accused of trying to influence Constitutional Court judges to rule in favour of former President Jacob Zuma in a matter before the court 12 years ago.
Source: SABC News