Monday 31 August 2009

South Africa: Official Opposition (DA) responds to shelving of Judge Hlope impropiety investigation (Judge Hlope:a ruling party ally- accused of attempting to exert improper influence over the Constitutional Court)

(Also appeared at : Journey in a Broken World 01 / 09 | September / 2009; Kyk na hierdie artikel in Afrikaans; Voir en français)

Notation by Marc Aupiais

The Democratic Alliance, the Official Opposition party in the Republic of South Africa, has slated a choice by a divided JSC (Judicial Service [not "Services"] Commission) to drop investigations as to whether or not Judge Hlope, who as Judge President of the Western Cape High Court, was accused by the Constitutional Court- seemingly of illicitly attempting to influence Constitutional Court Justices (judges) into ruling in favour of ANC (African National Congress) and South African President Jacob Zuma- in a matter involving a corruption case against the president, is guilty or innocent of the charge against him, as a judge.

(The National Director of Public Prosecutions who attempted to Prosecute Jacob Zuma, was fired, the acting head dropped the case, leaving the public asking for details; the unit which had investigated Jacob Zuma, an anti-organised crime unit which had been known as the "Scorpions", was disbanded).

Even had the JSC found that Hlope was guilty, parliament, controlled via an ANC majority: by Jacob Zuma, would have to have been involved in any serious action against Hlope, the JSC investigation was- to the knowledge of our service- only advisory in status.

In an email dispatch sent out today: Helen Zille, the Leader of the DA (Democratic Alliance), South Africa's largest opposition party- slated the decision, saying of it:

"[The JSC's] decision is one of the most destructive early consequences of the Zuma administration's attitude towards our judiciary, and the consequences of a deferential and ANC compliant JSC. We now have a senior judge, and possible candidate for the Constitutional Court bench, who has a cloud of impropriety hanging above his head; a cloud that will not go away until the allegations are investigated and either confirmed or dismissed. Until such time as that happens, the integrity and independence of the judiciary will continue to be sullied"
In a statement the DA labled as:

"Helen Zille responds to the Judicial Service Commission's decision not to take the complaint against Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe to a full enquiry in her weekly newsletter, SA Today"

(Our two quotes of the Official Opposition and its Leader , are purely that, both speak in their own capacity. Quoting these figures does not mean that our service, or anyone associated with it in any way endorse or agree with the views we have here: quoted from a DA press release!)
Possible meaning of DA's statements involving Judicial Independence, may involve the following:

President Jacob Zuma has previously stated that the judiciary in South Africa act as though they are "God", and during his trials, his supporters threatened the public, and judiciary. Most notable among those threats which were against the public and others by Zuma supporters, were claims by the left- including trade unionists and leading ANC figures, that said persons would "Kill" for Jacob Zuma. During the rape trial against Jacob Zuma, which was said to be a weak case from the start, especially as the rape allegation was from an acquaintance of Zuma- Zuma supporters stoned a woman they incorrectly identified as Zuma's accusor. The woman who accused Jacob Zuma of raping her, has been informed by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of Jacob Zuma's ANC, that they will only guarantee her safety should she return from exile, if she withdraws the rape accusation against Jacob Zuma.

The statements in this article in no way whatsoever, in any way constitute any form of legal advice. They are provided for informative purposes, and are not legal advice.

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