Disgraced judge Nkola Motata will know one week from now whether he will keep his job, over 10 years after he has been recorded swearing at spectators after he crashed his Jaguar into a wall while drunk.
Chief judge Mogoeng Mogoeng said on Thursday that Motata’s case would be concluded one week from now.
The Judicial Conduct Tribunal had in 2018 discovered that Motata’s lead at the scene of the motor vehicle accident in January 2007 – when he crashed into the wall of a house in Johannesburg – and the comments he made at the time were racist and were biased to the unprejudiced nature and pride of the courts.
Motata was convicted of drink driving. He was allowed to have a leave of absence after the accident in 2007. He has not been in court to carry out his obligations since.
In spite of the fact that Motata retired as a judge last year‚ he is still receiving all the benefits of retired judges‚ including a salary for life. Whenever expelled as judge‚ impeachment would mean he would be deprived of the advantages.
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.