Regard must be had to the higher standard of conduct expected from public officials, and the number of falsehoods that have been put forward by the Public Protector in the course of the litigation. This conduct included the numerous “misstatements”, like misrepresenting, under oath, her reliance on evidence of economic experts in drawing up the report, failing to provide a complete record, ordered and indexed, so that the contents thereof could be determined, failing to disclose material meetings and then obfuscating the reasons for them and the reasons why they had not been previously disclosed, and generally failing to provide the court with a frank and candid account of her conduct in preparing the report. The punitive aspect of the costs order therefore stands.
It is difficult not to conclude that Judge President John Hlophe and his handlangers will go to any lengths to save his bacon – even destroy the constitutional order if necessary. How else to view the application launched in the Johannesburg High Court seeking a declaratory order that the Constitutional Court had violated his rights by making allegations against him in the media, before lodging a complaint with the JSC.
He also asked for an interim interdict against the JSC, stopping it from proceeding with the hearing, at least until such time as the high court ruled on his application. I hear the Judge President is arguing that the JSC cannot hear his complaint because it is not a court of law. They should therefore also not be allowed to hear the complaint by the Constitutional Court as this complaint violated his rights.
His application to the High Court – so I am told – is aimed at stopping the whole process before the JSC to “prevent a constitutional crisis”. If the High Court agrees to hear his case, so he argues, they will have to adjudicate on a matter involving a higher court and this will plunge the whole judicial system into crisis – unless the Constitutional Court is reconstituted to hear his appeal (something that is not possible in terms of the Constitution.)
The only way to solve this “crisis” is to order the JSC not to hear the complaint against him. Clever, huh?
I do not want to comment further before I get my hands on his papers (which will be posted on the net tonight, I am told). Just one thought: do I detect the hand of Paul Ngobeni in all of this?BACK TO TOP