Embattled Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe has not made the cut to be shortlisted for the country’s next chief justice.
According to a News24 report which has obtained confirmation from two independent sources with direct knowledge of the process that Hlophe’s name does not appear on the final shortlist sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa.
An evaluation panel chaired by Judge Navi Pillay considered six nominations for chief justice after the withdrawal of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and lawyer Wallace Mgoqi from the process.
Hlophe is facing impeachment after a Judicial Conduct Tribunal found him guilty of gross misconduct. In 2008, Hlophe attempted to sway two Constitutional Court justices to rule in former president Jacob Zuma’s favour.
Hlophe is currently challenging the ruling in court. He was nominated for the position of chief justice by the Black Lawyers Association.
Hlophe’s failure to make the cut means the final shortlist on Ramaphosa’s desk will include all or some of these five names:
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo
Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga
President of the Supreme Court of Appeal Mandisa Maya
Judge President Dunstan Mlambo
Advocate Alan Nelson, SC
Ramaphosa will now decide which candidate or candidates are referred to the Judicial Service Commission for interviews, after which he will make a final decision. The Constitution requires the president to consult the JSC on the appointment of the chief justice.