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'He's a danger on the bench' - Kriegler after Hlophe acquits Bongo of corruption

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Jacob Zuma, Bruno Ben Moubamba, John Hlophe standing next to a man in a suit and tie © Provided by CapeTalk

Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe dismissed the corruption case against ANC MP Bongani Bongo on Friday.

The former state security minister was accused of offering a bribe to former parliamentary legal advisor advocate Ntuthuzelo Vanara in an attempt to derail Parliament's Eskom inquiry back in 2017.

Last week, the embattled judge Hlophe ruled that the State had failed to produce sufficient evidence and he dismissed the case.

Jacob Zuma, Bruno Ben Moubamba, John Hlophe standing next to a person in a suit and tie: Bongani Bongo was sworn in as state security minister by Judge President of the Western Cape High Court, John Hlophe at Tuynhuys on Wednesday 18 October 2017. Picture: Twitter/ @SAgovnews © Provided by CapeTalk Bongani Bongo was sworn in as state security minister by Judge President of the Western Cape High Court, John Hlophe at Tuynhuys on Wednesday 18 October 2017. Picture: Twitter/ @SAgovnews

RELATED: Decade of allegations against Hlophe 'mires entire judiciary in controversy'

Former ConCourt Justice Johann Kriegler says there were various deficiencies in the "patently dishonest judgment".

Kriegler, the chairperson of Freedom Under Law (FUL), says judge Hlophe did not make an honest evaluation of the evidence when he ruled in Bongo's favour.

"He is a danger on the bench as we have now seen", he tells CapeTalk host John Maytham.

Kriegler and the FUL have reiterated their calls for Hlophe to be suspended while he faces a barrage of allegations involving incompetence, wrongdoing, and abuse of power.

RELATED: Johann Kriegler: John Hlophe is not fit to be a judge, JSC hasn't dealt with him

Freedom Under Law is concerned with the fact that there is sitting on the bench in Cape Town as the judge president a person who long since should have been removed, as now evidenced by this latest aberration.

Judge Johann Kriegler, Retired Constitutional Court Justice

It's a cut-and-dry case calling quite clearly for an answer and a pretty convincing answer from the accused, but not for judge Hlophe.

Judge Johann Kriegler, Retired Constitutional Court Justice

The test in law is perfectly clear: You do not discharge a person at the end of a prosecution case if there is evidence on the record that a reasonable judge, acting carefully could find is sufficient to convict.

Judge Johann Kriegler, Retired Constitutional Court Justice

In this case, Mr Vanara told the court that he had this conversation with Mr Bongo who made this corrupt proposal to him. He rejected it.... Mr Bongo has not been asked to respond to that evidence supported by the evidence of the other three government officials of Parliament.

Judge Johann Kriegler, Retired Constitutional Court Justice

Listen to the discussion on Afternoon Drive with John Maytham:

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