The Judicial Service Commission has revealed that Judge Motata Nkola’s misconduct does not warrant his expulsion from office.
The JSC dismissed its court’s recommendation made in April a year ago that the provision of section 177(1)(a) of the Constitution ought to be summoned in the matter after the tribunal had found Motata as blameworthy of gross offense.
Rather, the JSC saw Motata guilty of misconduct. Section 177(1)(a) states that a judge might be expelled from office if the JSC finds that the judge suffers from an incapacity‚ is grossly incompetent or is guilty of gross misconduct.
The JSC said Motata should pay a fine of R1.1m toward the South African Judicial Education Institute over a period not over two years from the date of the JSC decision.
The declaration puts to bed a more than decade-long outrage that saw Motata transgress after he was recorded swearing at a homeowner after he crashed his Jaguar into a Hurlingham wall while drunk.
He was indicted for driving under the influence in 2009 by the Johannesburg High Court, which sentenced him to a fine of R20,000 or a 12 months’ detainment.
Judge Motata has not been working however has stayed on full pay while on exceptional leave since he was charged in 2007.
He resigned a year ago at 65 years old with all benefits because of a judge, including compensation for life.
A year ago, the tribunal had discovered that Motata’s behaviour at the scene of the vehicle accident‚ and the comments he made at the time‚ were racist and were biased to the unprejudiced nature and pride of the courts.
Following the court’s finding a year ago, it was dependent upon the JSC to concur or differ with the council’s recommendation, in the wake of accepting further submission from Motata on the council’s findings. Its decision was announced publicly on Thursday evening.