South Africa

Judge Salie-Hlophe slams Goliath's 'scud missile' attack on her family

Judge Salie-Hlophe slams Goliath's 'scud missile' attack on her family
Cape Town - The complaint lodged by Western Cape Deputy Judge President Patricia Goliath is simply a bitter spew to oust Judge President John Hlophe because she wants to succeed him.

This is contained in a four-page reply by Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe, wife of Hlophe, to the office of the Chief Justice in response to a complaint laid against her and her husband by Goliath.

Goliath in a 14-page affidavit accused the judge president of gross misconduct, assault and mismanagement which she contends compromise the proper functioning of the Western Cape High Court.

Judge Salie-Hlophe in her four-page reply said: “For now, it must be said that the averments against me are palpably untruthful, at the best can be called eloquently stated gossip, designed and orchestrated to ridicule me in the course of pursuing an agenda of destruction.

“I have been a judge in the Western Cape bench for just under seven years which commenced in July 2013 with (judge Janet) Traverso as Deputy Judge President until her retirement in April 2016.”

She added: “I have also served whilst the deputy position was since filled by Goliath and in an acting capacity for a period of approximately 18 months.

“At no stage during this period had any complaint been made regarding the execution of my judicial functions and most certainly had it never been complained that I am involved in the administration and management of the Western Cape High Court.”

Salie-Hlophe further explains the complaint by Goliath comes at a time when she has been unsuccessful in her bid to become a Judge of the Constitutional Court.

Salie-Hlophe also said it was a complete fabrication, wrongful and unlawful to allege she was involved in the administration and management of the Division.

“Goliath is delusional in her avernment that I have liberties and working conditions which are not otherwise extended and exercised by other colleagues.

“Bizarrely and quite frankly humorously, Goliath makes malicious reports on my private life launched like a scud missile to injure, my family, my elders and my community in an attempt to destroy me and advance her career. It is rather apparent that I am the proverbial “collateral damage” in an attack targeted against the judge president, she said.

The Judiciary Service Commission is investigating the dispute between the two leading figures in the Western Cape High Court. The National Association of Democratic Lawyers (Nadel) has since called on Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng to take steps to place the Judge President on special leave.

The Freedom Under Law (FUL), an NGO established to protect and advance the rule of law across Southern Africa, has not just thrown its weight behind the call by Nadel, but also pressed for a decisive outcome of the complaint relating to the judge president.

“It is clearly right in principle that no judge should sit in judgment while himself facing serious allegations which go to his or her fitness to hold office, let alone a court.

“Meeting yesterday the FUL board unanimously said that the time for platitudes and tired clichés is past. The current head of the Western Cape is compromised. Until such time as a proper investigation is completed and all consequences processes, which may include impeachment, are completed, judge president Hlophe cannot be allowed to exercise the powers of a judge,” FUL said in a statement.

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