motata found guilty on drunk driving rap

"I AM WELL," said North Gauteng high court judge Nkola Motata moments after he was found guilty on a drunk driving charge by the Johannesburg magistrate's court yesterday.

Motata, 62, was acquitted on two alternate charges of resisting arrest and defeating the ends of justice.

In June Motata was acquitted on a charge of "driving with an excessive amount of alcohol in his blood".

"You will never hear anything from me. I will not say anything," Motata said after being found guilty.

Motata crashed his silver- grey Jaguar into the wall of Richard Baird's home in Hurlingham, Johannesburg, on the night of January 6 2007. No one was injured in the accident.

Handing down judgment the magistrate, Desmond Nair, said: "I accept the evidence that unfolded before me.

"It is clear that the photographs taken at the scene of the accident and the audio recordings heard in this court were not tampered with.

"I have seen the photos on more than one occasion in this court. If a picture tells a thousand words, then these tell it ten thousand times more."

Nair said after such a crash any reasonable person would have got out of the car.

"The accused before court did not do so.

"He sat in the car, slouched and slumped, appearing to be sleeping or slumbering instead of alighting from the vehicle to inspect the damage to his car.

"In the recordings the speech of the accused is slurred. He stumbled over his own words and his sentences were inaccurate. It is clear that the accused was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident," Nair said.

He said he could not find that Motata defeated the ends of justice because he was drunk. He acquitted Motata on an alternative charge of resisting arrest because he could not find criminal intent to do this.

"There was a lack of competency. The police were inconsistent about who actually read him his rights," Nair said.

Before proceedings started Motata threatened a news photographer.

"I will punch you. You have to ask for permission. I'm your brother. You do not just do your own things," he said.

Motata will be sentenced on Wednesday.