Drunk judge Nkola Motata's case to be finalised next week: Mogoeng

Judge Nkola Motata’s conduct at the scene of a car accident in January 2007 and the remarks he made at the time 'were racist and were prejudicial to the impartiality and dignity of the courts'.
Judge Nkola Motata’s conduct at the scene of a car accident in January 2007 and the remarks he made at the time 'were racist and were prejudicial to the impartiality and dignity of the courts'.
Image: Business Day

Disgraced judge Nkola Motata will know next week whether he will keep his job, over a decade after he was recorded swearing at onlookers after he crashed his Jaguar into a wall while drunk.

Chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said on Thursday that Motata’s case would be finalised next week.

The Judicial Conduct Tribunal had in 2018 found that Motata’s conduct at the scene of a car accident in January 2007 - when he drove into the wall of a house in Johannesburg - and the remarks he made at the time were racist and were prejudicial to the impartiality and dignity of the courts.

Motata was convicted of drink driving.

Motata, according to SowetanLIVE's sister publication TimesLIVE, was granted a leave of absence following the car accident in 2007. He has not been in court to perform his duties since.

Although Motata retired as a judge last year‚ he is still receiving all the benefits of retired judges‚ including a salary for life. If removed as judge‚ his impeachment would mean he would be stripped of the benefits.

Mogoeng said other misconduct cases against judges John Hlophe, Moses Mavundla, Ntsikelelo Poswa, Ferdi Preller and George Webster were yet to be finalised due to a "series" of challenges that had led to delays "that nobody could have done anything about".

"Some have argued that judges ought not to litigate in such matters … We have no power as the judiciary or the JSC [Judicial Service Commission] to deny people their constitutional rights to access courts just because they are judges," Mogoeng said.


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