Julius Malema and John Hlophe: EFF says it’s a combination of ‘the most intelligent’ people in JSC

Former Western Cape judge president, Dr John Hlophe. File Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Former Western Cape judge president, Dr John Hlophe. File Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Published Jul 10, 2024


The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has welcomed the appointment of Umkhonto weSizwe’s parliamentary chief whip to represent the National Assembly in the Judicial Service Commission - the primary body which serves as a watchdog for judges in South Africa.

IOL reported on Tuesday that the National Assembly passed the motion during a sitting of the House in Cape Town, Western Cape. Despite the Democratic Alliance’s strong objections, impeached judge Hlophe’s nomination succeeded after he was nominated by his party.

Parties including the African National Congress (ANC), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Al Jama-ah, African Transformation Movement (ATM), as well as the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) supported Hlophe's nomination.

In an interview with broadcaster Newzroom Afrika, EFF Member of Parliament and national chairperson of the red berets, Veronica Mente said Hlophe will join forces with Malema who is a serving commissioner in the JSC.

EFF national chairperson Veronica Mente. File Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers

“We are in full support of Judge Hlophe being elected to the JSC. He is the most qualified person, and it is very much interesting because now we are going to have a combination of the most intelligent people in the JSC, the likes of president of the EFF, Julius Malema and Judge Hlophe going into the JSC.

EFF leader Julius Malema. File Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers

“Now we need to have South Africa bracing itself for the real people who are going to be qualifying in terms of their own interviews and getting a nod from the best of this country that they can send to the JSC,” said Mente.

She dismissed the objections from the DA which insisted that it was unethical and immoral to send an impeached judge to the JSC.

“All these other arguments the DA is raising, of morality, if we were to talk of morality in the simplest - how do you talk of morality when you have people in Khayelitsha, where the DA is governing, are living with the toilets overflowing on a daily basis? How do you live with the farm workers that are evicted every day and then you come and scream morality here in Parliament?” said Mente.

She argued that Hlophe’s impeachment does not matter because it was wrong and politically motivated.

“As the EFF, we rejected the issue of impeaching Judge Hlophe because it had no basis, neither legally nor politically. All the facts that were being placed by the JSC and any other body that came to say Judge Hlophe is guilty of this or that, those facts were arguable and they were very flawed.

“We still hold the view that Judge Hlophe is the best judge we could have in this country, and he was deserving of being our next chief justice. He believes in an African child, he believes in South Africa, he believes in a black child therefore we cannot agree, especially with white supremacy and the politicians that had impeached Judge Hlophe for their own political reasons and their own insecurities,” said Mente.

On Tuesday, IOL reported that the DA, Freedom Front Plus (FF+), the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and Judges Matter were among organisations who came out guns blazing, insisting that the National Assembly made a flop by electing Hlophe to serve in the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

Impeached Western Cape Judge President, Dr John Hlophe. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / Independent Newspapers

Judges Matter research and advocacy officer Mbekezeli Benjamin said they were disappointed by the National Assembly’s choice to appoint MPs with a history of misconduct as members of the Judicial Service Commission and Magistrates Commission.

According to Benjamin, the decision to appoint the likes of Hlophe and Faith Muthambi undermined the credibility of the commissions and the integrity of the judiciary.

Hlophe was impeached earlier this year, after Parliament voted in favour of the motion. About 305 members voted in support, while 25 voted against his removal.