Impeached Judge John Hlophe appointed MK Party’s chief whip in Parliament

Former president Jacob Zuma’s MK Party has appointed former Western Cape judge, John Hlophe, as the party’s chief whip in the National Assembly. File picture: Bongiwe Mchunu.

Former president Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MK Party) has appointed former Western Cape judge, John Hlophe, as the party’s chief whip in the National Assembly.

Despite the party not formally announcing his appointment, an internal document disclosed that he was already appointed.

In the May 29 elections, the MK party amassed 58 seats in Parliament. The party refused to attend the first sitting of the National Assembly on June 14 where members of Parliament were sworn-in.

Hlophe’s appointment comes after he 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.

He was the first judge since democracy to be impeached.

In 2008, Hlophe faced accusations of trying to sway the Constitutional Court’s ruling regarding the Scorpions’ search and seizure operations on the assets of French arms manufacturer Thint and Zuma.

He was then found guilty of gross misconduct by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC).

At the time, JSC spokesperson advocate Dali Mpofu stated that the impeachment case would be brought before the National Assembly for a vote by the Constitution.

In December 2022, President Cyril Ramaphosa placed Hlophe on suspension.

In a MK Party document authorised by secretary-general Arthur Zwane that IOL has seen, the party called for the centralisation of key responsibilities and financial management.

“Following recent communications from Parliament regarding the allocation of funds consequent to our representation in the National Assembly and Provincial Legislatures, we are at a critical stage in the structuring of our party’s administrative and financial operations,” Zwane said in the document.

“Given this critical stage of our party’s development and the imperative to establish a robust framework for our operations, the national office has resolved to centralise certain key responsibilities and roles temporarily.”

According to Zwane, the measure was aimed to ensure stability, uniformity in operations, and the effective management of resources as we work towards solidifying the foundation of our provincial and regional structures.

He added that this would lay out the foundation for an all-out local government elections.

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