Recordings admissible

Zinhle Mapumulo

Zinhle Mapumulo

Judge Nkola Motata's bid to have five cellphone recordings made on the night of his alleged drunk driving accident ruled as inadmissible, failed in the Johannesburg magistrate's court on Friday.

This concluded the trial within a trial in which Motata, pictured, was challenging the state on the authenticity and originality of the recordings.

Magistrate Desmond Nair ruled the recordings were admissible and would be treated as evidence during the trial.

Motata has been charged with drunken driving and defeating the ends of justice.

Early last year, the Pretoria high court judge allegedly crashed his Jaguar into the wall of a property belonging to businessman Richard Baird. He was allegedly under the influence of alcohol.

Baird, who arrived at the scene 30 minutes after the accident, used his cellphone to record conversations between him, Motata, the police and other people on the scene.

Handing down his ruling Nair said: "The defence failed to challenge the accuracy and authenticity of the recordings. Instead they launched their attack on Richard Baird's credibility in taking and downloading data. To my mind, the recordings were the best evidence he could produce."

The case was postponed to Wednesday for trial.