Court to rule on witness

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

The magistrate in the drunken driving case of Judge Nkola Motata is tomorrow expected to rule once and for all if the court will hear testimony from a Mrs X.

The prosecution believes that Mrs X holds the key to their case and insist that the mystery woman should be allowed to testify.

The magistrate ruled in November last year against the state calling the woman. He again ruled against it yesterday.

The state has now compelled the magistrate to rule again on the matter, saying that her testimony was crucial.

Motata is on trial for drunken driving and defeating the ends of justice. He allegedly reversed his state vehicle into the wall of Richard Baird's Hurlingham, Johannesburg, home in January last year.

The first request for Mrs X to testify was in November last year and magistrate Desmond Nair refused, saying that calling her would prejudice Motata and infringe on his rights to a fair trial.

On Monday the same request was made but was rejected.

Prosecutor Zaais van Zyl said Mrs X's evidence was essential to the just decision of the case.

He said it was not only the accused's interest that had to be protected but that there must also be fairness to the public.

Magistrate Nair reserved his ruling to tomorrow.