Judge Nkola Motata earned R14 million since drunk driving incident

01 November 2016 - 15:16 By TMG Digital

Judge Nkola Motata who was found guilty of drunken driving is still drawing his full salary and has cost taxpayers nearly R14 million since he was placed in special leave in January 2007.

FF Plus chief whip Corné Mulder said on Tuesday that this had been confirmed by Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha in reply to a parliamentary question.

  • Judge Motata still receives salary: reportWhile investigation into complaints against drink-and-drive High Court Judge Nkola Motata are on hold, he continues to stay at home and earn a monthly salary, according to a report. 

Motata was found guilty of drunk driving by the Johannesburg High Court in 2009 and was sentenced to a fine of R20 000 or 12 months imprisonment.

“It now appears that the legal process against Motata has still not been finalised and that it was extended in the past nine years with various legal actions based on technicalities by the suspended judge. The matter is currently before the Judicial Conduct Tribunal‚” said Mulder.

Masutha stated in his reply that judge Motata’s special leave was not subject to him paying back a portion of his salary should the Judicial Conduct Tribunal find him guilty of gross misconduct.

Mulder said it was a “disgrace that the process was allowed to be indefinitely protracted” while taxpayers footed the bill.

“The FF Plus will now put pressure on the Judicial Conduct Tribunal to finalise this matter without delay‚ and insists that Motata pays back a part of his salary‚” said Mulder.

PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION AND REPLY:

Dr C P Mulder (FF Plus) to ask the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services:

(1) Whether a certain judge (Judge Motata) is still on special leave with full pay; if so‚
(a) why has the hearing of the specified person not yet been concluded and
(b) what steps will be taken to conclude the hearing;

(2) whether any of the monies are repayable if the specified person is found guilty; if not‚ why not; if so‚ what are the relevant details?

(3) what is the total amount that has been paid to the specified person since being placed on special leave in 2007

DRAFT REPLY

(1) (a) Yes‚ Judge Motata is still on special leave with full pay.
(b) The complaints that were lodged against Judge Motata were referred by the Judicial Service Commission to a Judicial Conduct Tribunal to be investigated and reported on. The proceedings by the Judicial Conduct Tribunal were kept in abeyance following a series of legal challenges relating to the constitutionality of section 24 of the JSC Act which empowers the Tribunal President to appoint a member of the National Prosecuting Authority to collect and adduce evidence on behalf of the Tribunal. Following the conclusion of the legal challenges at the Constitutional Court‚ Judge Motata launched his own application challenging the constitutionality of the amendments passed by Parliament in 2008 which brought about the complaints handling mechanism against Judges. This application has resulted in the proceedings at the Judicial Conduct Tribunal being postponed until the finalisation of Judge Motata’s application.

(2) The matter is to be determined by the Judicial Conduct Tribunal however Judge Motata’s special leave is not subject to a condition that Judge would have to repay the moneys earned if he is found guilty of gross misconduct by the Judicial Conduct Tribunal.

(3) The total amount that has been paid to Judge Motata for the period 01 January 2007 to 31 October 2016 is R13,919,622.36

- TMG Digital

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