Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke this week told Zimbabwean judges "to resist any attempts to trample on the judiciary".
Speaking at his inauguration as Chancellor of Wits University on Wednesday, Moseneke said: "We trust that judges in that country will find it helpful to count on our judiciary for the kind of solidarity and support that might facilitate the restoration of truly democratic processes in that country."
He said it would be improper for him not to mention the troubled Zimbabwe in his speech.
"I have little or no doubt that one of the adverse consequences of the colonial experience is land dispossession followed by land hunger. In this country, as in yours, it is a matter that deserves attention. That much our constitution recognises.
"As a court, we have times without count observed that land rights and related occupational injustice are matters that must be tackled, but only within the context of the law.
"In my view, it must follow clearly that whatever legitimate policy objectives the president of Zimbabwe might believe he is entitled to pursue, this he may not do in near total disregard of the rule of law.
"It is entirely appropriate to call on fellow judges in Zimbabwe to take to heart their bounden duty to make rulings without fear or favour, to uphold within the limits the law permits the rights of citizens, and to rein in excesses of executive and legislative power where the constitution permits."