Home South African ‘We need Africanise legal system’ – axed judge president John Hlophe

‘We need Africanise legal system’ – axed judge president John Hlophe

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Impeached Western Cape judge president and uMkhonto weSizwe Party leader in Parliament, John Hlophe, has called for the country’s legal system to be overhauled.

Impeached Western Cape judge president John Hlophe. File picture: Ayanda Ndamane, Independent Newspapers

FORMER Western Cape judge president and uMkhonto weSizwe Party leader in Parliament, John Hlophe, has called for the country’s legal system to be overhauled.

Hlophe, who delivered his keynote address at the launch of the African Legal Professionals Association in Durban on Saturday, said the country’s legal system does not reflect the traditions, values and ethos of its people.

Hlophe, who revealed that he has been meeting with Jacob Zuma following his recent appointment by the MK Party to be its leader in the National Assembly, added that more needs to be done to unite South Africans; he would be doing the same when he finally takes on his new role as leader of the opposition in Parliament, he said.

“No, I am not hiding it. I have just had a meeting with uBaba (Zuma). I was here to meet him because the MK Party is currently not represented in Parliament and told him I agree that we should go to Parliament. I am happy to say, this coming Tuesday, I will be sworn in among 58 of us who will represent the MK Party as leader of the opposition in Parliament.

“Our task is to unite black people. That would be my job in the National Assembly. Our leader has already been engaging with other political parties, including EFF leader Julius Malema,” he said.

Hlophe’s appointment comes after he was impeached earlier this year, after Parliament voted in favour of the motion to remove him as the judge president of the Western Cape after 305 members voted in support of his impeachment while 25 voted against his removal.

During his address, Hlophe preached unity among South Africans, saying there has to be unity among tribes to build on the solid foundations of the past.

“We used to live in harmony. We intermarried and lived in harmony. Zulus and Xhosa used to intermarry which is why we have amaBhaca in parts of Mount Frere, Mount Ayliff and other parts of the country, yet today we are fighting for positions.

“As a result of colonisation, the white man came to impose his own culture and legal system on us. Result of which, our legal system reflects the white men and what he imposed and forced down our throats. Now we need to Africanise our legal system,” he said.

Hlophe’s address at the weekend comes just when his appointment as an impeached member of the justice system has elicited calls for him to be barred from being an MP.

However, various analysts have said there is no law preventing him from taking up his new position in the National Assembly.

Speaking on ‘Newzroom Afrika’ on Sunday, independent elections analyst Michael Atkins said there is no law that prevents Hlophe from being a Member of Parliament.

“There will be no direct barrier to Mr Hlophe being a Member of Parliament. This would require a constitutional amendment. This process would require a two-thirds majority to approve such a decision. It seems unlikely that a new government of national unity would be able to pull that off. It is a subjective matter and, as the law stands, there is no reason from a constitutional point of view why Hlophe should not be a Member of Parliament,” Atkins said.

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