May 18, 2021


Beyond law

Kriegler calls for Hlophe to be suspended immediately after ‘clearly wrong’ acquittal of Bongo

ANC MP Bongani Bongo outside the house the Western Cape Higher Court docket.&#13

Photo: Brenton Geach/Gallo Illustrations or photos

Previous Constitutional Court docket justice Johann Kriegler and Independence Under Legislation (FUL) are calling for Western Cape Substantial Court docket Decide John Hlophe to be suspended more than his carry out in the circumstance towards ANC MP Bongani Bongo.

Hlophe dismissed the corruption circumstance in opposition to Bongo very last 7 days, after the Condition experienced concluded its circumstance.

Kriegler claimed FUL has “maintained that Decide Hlophe is unfit to be a judge”.

“His contrived reasoning and perverse ruling past week display how hazardous it has been to allow him to continue to be on the Bench. An exemplary scenario of corruption has been frustrated, the corrupt deed has absent unpunished and first rate public servants have been defamed,” he reported in a statement on Monday.

“Freedom Underneath Law is not anxious with the political penalties of Decide John Hlophe’s dismissal of the corruption case towards former minister Bongani Bongo. Our problem is its implications for the administration of justice. This certain decision is evidently wrong and shows what damage just a person dishonest judge can do.”

Kriegler extra: “We now publicly and urgently repeat our submission to the Judicial Services Commission that Choose Hlophe be suspended pending the conclusion of the proceedings for his removing from office. His conduct in the case from Mr Bongo constitutes but one more act of gross misconduct unfitting him for judicial office.”

On Friday, Hlophe granted Bongo’s Part 174 application to have the case dismissed based mostly on proof presented and acquitted him of the prices.

Hlophe dominated that the Point out experienced unsuccessful to produce more than enough evidence to demand a defence from Bongo.

The scenario centred about testimony from Advocate Ntuthuzelo Vanara, who explained Bongo experienced approached him even though he was doing work as the evidence leader in Parliament’s Eskom inquiry. Vanara alleged that Bongo requested him to “bogus an health issues” to prevent that investigation likely ahead.

Hlophe mentioned that Vanara’s proof was not credible in some respects, and was not corroborated by other Point out witnesses, according to IOL.

The judge found that Vanara’s evidence from Bongo did not implicate him in the criminal offense of corruption, since Vanara did not reveal what just he was presented to delay or collapse the Eskom inquiry, or supply any element on how the bribe would be compensated.

Hlophe also spoke out against Vanara for not right away reporting the alleged bribery to the Hawks or law enforcement, as expected by the Act.

Bongo was recently named in testimony to the Zondo commission by witnesses from the State Stability Agency, according to Mail and Guardian. He was appointed as point out stability minister in the Zuma administration close to the time he allegedly tried out to bribe Vanara.