[Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro] possesses, however, few of his predecessor’s resources, lacking not just oil revenue but Chávez’s surplus of charisma, humour and political skill. Maduro, unable to end the crisis, has increasingly sided with the privileged classes against the masses; his security forces are regularly dispatched into barrios to repress militants under the guise of fighting crime. Having lost its majority in Congress, the government, fearing it can’t win at the polls the way Chávez did, cancelled gubernatorial elections that had been set for December last year (though they now appear to be on again). Maduro has convened an assembly to write a new constitution, supposedly with the objective of institutionalising the power of social movements, though it is unlikely to lessen the country’s polarisation.
This story has just been posted on the web by Independent Newspapers.
Cape Judge President John Hlophe no longer faces the threat of impeachment.
Hours before the Judicial Service Commission is expected to announce its decision on the much-publicised dispute between Hlophe and the Constitutional Court, The Star has learnt that the JSC’s complaints committee has decided not to proceed with the gross misconduct complaint against Hlophe.
They have found that there is no prima facie case against Hlophe. The Judge President is expected to return to work on Monday, days before he will again face the JSC – this time as a nominee for a Constitutional Court position.
It is understood that the JSC complaints committee was closely split on its decision about the Hlophe matter, which is expected to be conveyed to Hlophe and the Constitutional Court at noon. It remains unclear whether Hlophe or the Concourt will be reprimanded over the conduct that led to the dispute.
Delays in the announcement of the decision, which was made nearly two weeks ago, are believed to have been the result of the minority’s insistence that its reasons for wanting the complaint against Hlophe to continue should be publicised.
The Constitutional Court had accused Hlophe of attempting to lobby two of its judges for pro-President Jacob Zuma rulings. He in turn accused the Concourt of violating his constitutional rights by publicising their complaint against him.
The complaints resulted in what Hlophe’s legal team referred to as a “”constitutional crisis”, although one of the Supreme Court of Appeal judges who sat on a Hlophe-related case referred to the debacle as no more than a “constitutional curiousity”.
Hlophe’s lawyer Barnabas Xulu this morning told The Star that his client was still waiting to hear the result of the JSC’s preliminary inquiry into the Concourt complaint against him, but stressed that the Concourt was also in the firing line over its conduct.
“People must not forget that there are two complaints here,” he said. It is understood that Hlophe’s complaint against the Concourt will also not be proceeding.
I will wait to comment until the official announcement.BACK TO TOP