Impeached Judge John Hlophe Appointed MK Party’s Chief Whip in Parliament

Former President Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MK Party) has selected John Hlophe, a former Western Cape judge, as its chief whip in the National Assembly.

Although the party did not openly announce his appointment, an internal document revealed that he had already been selected.

In the May 29 elections, the MK party won 58 seats in parliament. The party refused to attend the National Assembly’s inaugural sitting on June 14, when members of Parliament were sworn in.

Hlophe’s appointment follows his impeachment earlier this year when Parliament approved the action.

Approximately 305 members voted in support, while 25 voted against his expulsion.

He was the first judge since democracy to face impeachment.

In 2008, Hlophe was accused of attempting to influence the Constitutional Court’s decision on the Scorpions’ search and seizure operations on the assets of French arms maker Thint and Zuma.

He was found guilty of gross misconduct by the Judicial Services Commission.

At the time, JSC spokesperson lawyer Dali Mpofu announced that the impeachment case would be presented to the National Assembly for a vote under the Constitution.

In December 2022, President Cyril Ramaphosa suspended Hlophe.

IOL obtained a copy of an MK Party paper signed by secretary-general Arthur Zwane that asked for the centralisation of critical functions 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 wrote in the notice.

“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 action was designed to maintain stability, consistency in operations, and effective resource management as we continue to strengthen the foundation of our provincial and regional organizations.

He stated that this will pave the groundwork for a full-fledged local government election.

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