Motata crash rantings will be heard

Simon Nare, Sapa

Simon Nare, Sapa

After several postponements and applications, the magistrate in the trial of Pretoria high court judge Nkola Motata yesterday finally put his foot down and ruled that recordings of his alleged rantings will be heard.

But the defence has said it will apply to the high court for a review of the ruling.

Defence advocate Danie Dorfling said the defence would now use the postponement time to apply for a high court review anyway.

He said though the defence was not yet sure exactly when it would proceed with the review application, it would try to get the review ruling completed before the trial resumed.

The defence had tried to block the court from listening to recordings of Motata's alleged drunken tirade after crashing his car into a wall.

Magistrate Desmond Nair turned down the application.

Motata is facing charges of drunken and negligent driving after he crashed his Jaguar into a wall on January 6.

On the scene, property owner of the Hurlingham home, Richard James Baird recorded the judge's alleged rantings.

Baird had on previous hearings alleged that Motata hurled racial abuse and resisted arrest.

The defence is challenging the authenticity of the recordings after Baird admitted the originals were missing, but had downloaded them on to his laptop.

The defence successfully applied for a trial-within-a-trial to deal with the authenticity, but they have now lost on that bid.

In his ruling yesterday, Nair said the case had dragged on for too long and he would not entertain any postponement.

"What we have decided is to place the matter in the manner in which matters are placed on the high court roll.

"We have now placed it for a full month of the court from July 2. There is no other way," Nair said.