John Hlophe Will Unite the Progressive Opposition

John Hlophe Will Unite the Progressive Opposition

Former Western Cape judge president and uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party leader, John Hlophe, has advocated for a comprehensive reform of South Africa’s legal system.

Addressing the African Legal Professionals Association’s launch in Durban on Saturday, Hlophe emphasized that the current legal system fails to embody the traditions, values, and ethos of South Africa’s diverse population.

Hlophe, recently appointed by the MK Party as its leader in the National Assembly, disclosed that he has been in discussions with Jacob Zuma. He underscored the importance of unifying South Africans, a goal he intends to pursue in his new role as leader of the opposition in Parliament.

“No, I am not hiding it. I have just had a meeting with uBaba (president Zuma). I was here to meet him because the MK Party is currently not represented in Parliament and told him I agree that we should go to Parliament. I am happy to say, this coming on Tuesday, I will be sworn in among 58 of us who will represent the MK Party as leader of the opposition in Parliament.”

He added,

“Our task is to unite black people. That would be my job in the National Assembly. Our leader has already been engaging with other political parties, including EFF leader Julius Malema,”

he said.

Hlophe’s new role follows his impeachment earlier this year. Parliament voted overwhelmingly for his removal as the judge president of the Western Cape, with 305 members supporting the motion and only 25 opposing it.

In his address, Hlophe called for unity among South Africans, stressing the need for solidarity among different tribes to build on the nation’s historical foundations.

“We used to live in harmony. We intermarried and lived in harmony. Zulus and Xhosa used to intermarry which is why we have amaBhaca in parts of Mount Frere, Mount Ayliff and other parts of the country, yet today we are fighting for positions.

He continued,

“As a result of colonisation, the white man came to impose his own culture and legal system on us. Result of which, our legal system reflects the white men and what he imposed and forced down our throats. Now we need to Africanise our legal system,”

he said.

Hlophe’s appointment has sparked debate, with some calling for him to be barred from serving as an MP due to his impeachment. However, legal experts argue that no law prevents him from assuming his new position in the National Assembly.

Independent elections analyst Michael Atkins, explained that a constitutional amendment would be required to prevent Hlophe from becoming a Member of Parliament.

“There will be no direct barrier to Mr Hlophe being a Member of Parliament. This would require a constitutional amendment.

“This process would require a two-thirds majority to approve such a decision. It seems unlikely that a new Government of National Unity would be able to pull that off. It is a subjective matter and as the law stands, there is no reason from a constitutional point of view why Hlophe should not be a Member of Parliament,”

Atkins said.

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