All disciplinary processes involving judges are now on hold until a new Constitutional Court challenge has been finalised.
According to The Times on Wednesday, Judge Nkola Motata, who drove his car into the wall of his home in 2007 while drunk, has now asked the Constitutional Court to declare unconstitutional the convening of the tribunal investigating his conduct. The tribunal is convened by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
The JSC confirmed to The Times that no conduct tribunals will sit until this latest challenge is finalised.
This includes disciplinary proceedings against Judge Mabel Jansen who made racist statements last year, and Western Cape High Court Judge President John Hlophe, who has been accused of trying to influence two Constitutional Court judges.
JSC secretary Sello Chiloane told The Times that it "goes without saying" that these cases were now on hold.
But while law experts agreed that the judicial disciplinary processes needed to be efficient, they told The Times that it was important that there was clarity on disciplinary processes.
"If [the JSC] goes ahead and Motata is successful, the other disciplinary processes would have been a waste of time. It's a cautious approach but not entirely absurd," constitutional law expert Pierre De Vos told The Times.
Geo Quinot, law professor at the University of Stellenbosch, told the paper the rules for disciplining judges needed to be tested.