Motata did not consider himself drunk when he crashed into wall

17 January 2018 - 16:51 By Ernest Mabuza
Judge Nkola Motata explained that he crashed into Baird's wall as he was doing a three-point-turn move as the road he was driving into was closed.
Judge Nkola Motata explained that he crashed into Baird's wall as he was doing a three-point-turn move as the road he was driving into was closed.
Image: Gallo Images/Sowetan/Veli Nhlapo

Retired Judge Nkola Motata did not consider himself drunk on the night in January 2007 when his vehicle crashed into the wall of a Johannesburg home.

Motata took to the stand on Wednesday to answer complaints lodged against him.

The complaints arose from an incident that occurred when Motata crashed into the wall of a house in Hurlingham.

He was convicted of driving under the influence.

AfriForum complained that Motata allegedly made some racist remarks against Richard Baird‚ the owner of the house that Motata's vehicle crashed into.

Motata allegedly said at the scene: 'Yes‚ but you know all of you‚ let me tell you‚ most of us this is our world‚ it is not the world of the boers. Even if they can have big bodies‚ South Africa is ours."

Motata told the tribunal he did not consider himself drunk on the evening of the accident in question.

Motata explained that he spoke those words in Setswana to the traffic officers at the scene and he did not consider the word "boer" to be racist at all.

Motata explained that he crashed into Baird's wall as he was doing a three-point-turn move as the road he was driving into was closed.

"There was a car coming. I may have put too much on the accelerator to give way to the car while I was reversing‚" Motata.

Motata said he met the tenant of the house‚ and indicated he wanted to fix the damage. However the tenant indicated that it was better to wait for Baird who did not live far away.

Motata said when Baird arrived after about an hour‚ he took the keys from his vehicle.

"I said there was no reason for him to do that‚" Motata said.

The Judicial Conduct Tribunal is investigating:

• Whether the statements made by Motata at the scene of the accident can be classified as racist.

• If so‚ whether these statements made by Motata at the scene of the accident rendered him guilty of misconduct‚ and

• Whether the manner in which Motata conducted his criminal defence during his criminal trial was inconsistent with the ethics of judicial office‚ thereby rendering him guilty of gross misconduct.

Motata also denied that he misled the court in his defence during the criminal trial.

Gerrit Pretorius SC‚ the person who laid a complaint against Motata in 2O11‚ had earlier testified on Wednesday that Motata had put a version of his defence to the court in his criminal trial‚ which he knew was untrue.

"At the trial‚ (Judge) Motata told (his advocate Danie) Dorfling he would deny being drunk. Had he gone to the witness box‚ it would have proven to be false‚" Pretorius told the tribunal.

However‚ Motata said he did not consider himself drunk on the night of the incident‚ even though he had drunk two glasses of wine a few hours before the incident.

He said the prosecution could not prove that his blood level was above the legal limit.

"I did not consider myself drunk‚" Motata said.

Closing arguments in the hearing would be delivered on Friday.

Even though Motata retired last year‚ judges on retirement are paid for life and get all the benefits associated with being a judge.

If a tribunal finds that a judge should be impeached‚ it refers the finding to the National Assembly‚ which must have a two-thirds majority vote‚ to be sanctioned by the president.

A judge who has been impeached loses their salary‚ allowances and all benefits.

- TimesLive

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