Cases against judges delayed by new disciplinary mechanisms - Chief Justice

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng says he inherited the cases of Judge Nkola Motata and Judge Mandlakayise Hlophe that have been dragging for over 10 years.

FILE: Retired High Court Judge Nkola Motata. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG – Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng says the reason the cases against judges accused of wrongdoing have taken so long is because the mechanisms of disciplining them is new.

The Chief Justice was responding to allegations of corruption and capture of the judiciary.

Both retired judge Nkola Motata and Judge Mandlakayise Hlophe are facing serious charges before the judicial service commission for drunk driving and interference, respectively.

Their cases have dragged for over 10 years.

Mogoeng says he inherited the cases of both Judge Motata and Judge Hlophe, and he has not been doing nothing.

“The substantial part of the delays has been occasioned by one challenge after the other in the courts of law. The mechanism for disciplining judges is new, so everybody was testing the system.”

He insisted there was nothing he could have done to deal with these matters quicker.

“I challenge any lawyer to tell us what it is that the commission could have done, to accelerate the finalisation of the matter.”

Mogoeng said they were able to settle other cases brought before them. But the Hlophe matter was met with many hurdles, including constitutional court judges challenging the lawfulness of a tribunal set up to address it.