Pretoria high court judge Nkola Motata's legal team has withdrawn their services in his drunken driving case.
Instructing attorney Marinus van Jaarsveld told the Johannesburg magistrate's court yesterday that "the contract between the accused and I has been terminated".
Motata had appointed Van Jaarsveld and advocate Danie Dorfling after he had fired the first team.
"I had a meeting with Dorfling on Thursday last week and we decided to withdraw (our services).
"We wrote to Mr Motata and informed him of our decision. He accepted the decision," said Van Jaarsveld.
He refused to divulge the reasons for the withdrawal.
Magistrate Desmond Nair questioned Van Jaarsveld onfurther details.
"Apart from conflict of interest that you have mentioned, what precludes you from disclosing the reasons for withdrawal?" Nair asked.
"The contract is between the client and the attorney. That information is confidential and I don't want to go to privileged information," Van Jaarsveld replied.
Motata is charged with driving under the influence of liquor on the night of January 6 2007. He crashed his car into the wall of a Hurlingham, Johannesburg, property, allegedly while drunk.
Nair reminded Motata about the duration of the trial which he said was out of the ordinary.
"Terminating a mandate is not a fight. It could be a misunderstanding," Motata said.
"I have a right to say I want a legal team whom I am happy with," he added.
Motata has appointed a new lawyer, Simeon Ngomane, who was in court yesterday.
The case has been postponed to April 24.