MOTATA DITCHED

Drunken driving accused Judge Nkola Motata is seen outside the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court, Monday, 16 March 2009. The case was postponed to April 24th. Motata apologised to the court for the delay in the case which has been dragging on since he crashed his Jaguar into a wall of a house in Hurlingham, Johannesburg in January 2007, allegedly while drunk.Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA
Drunken driving accused Judge Nkola Motata is seen outside the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court, Monday, 16 March 2009. The case was postponed to April 24th. Motata apologised to the court for the delay in the case which has been dragging on since he crashed his Jaguar into a wall of a house in Hurlingham, Johannesburg in January 2007, allegedly while drunk.Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Pretoria high court judge Nkola Motata's legal team has withdrawn their services in his drunken driving case.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.

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