Motata 'made racist slurs'

2009-11-13 11:14

Johannesburg - A translation of an audio recording shows that Judge Nkola Motata indeed made racial slurs after crashing his car while drunk, according to a newspaper report on Friday.

The Mail & Guardian newspaper examined and translated audio recordings, made on the scene of the 2007 crash, from seSotho to English.

Motata tells bystanders: "All of you, let me tell you, my brothers and sisters - these people should not catch us. Let us live, we are the majority and this is our land.

"It is not the land of the boers, even if they have big bodies. South Africa is ours, we rule it."

He later says: "I am caught by these boers, I do not care for them. I do not want to talk to them... They must not think they have caught me with something, that will not happen."

Gross racial misconduct

Motata says several times to Richard Baird, the owner of the property the perimeter wall of which the judge crashed into: "fuck him" or "fuck you".

He also says: "don't worry about whites, it is the truth that must prevail".

Civil rights group Afriforum has laid a charge of gross racial misconduct against Motata with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

Afriforum CEO Kallie Kriel told Sapa all the audio recordings had been forwarded to the JSC.

"I can confirm that the translation reported on in the Mail&Guardian is accurate," said Kriel.

"We have given the information through to the JSC and we believe there are enough grounds to act against him."

JSC spokesperson Marumo Moerane told Sapa the body met last month and decided to wait until Motata had "exhausted all his criminal remedies".

"The JSC will be meeting again in April, but in the meantime, a sub-committee of the JSC will be considering any information that is brought to it."

Moerane could not confirm if the JSC had received the audio recordings.


The DA on Friday repeated its call for Motata to resign.

"A judge found guilty of an offence cannot sit in judgement of others who are accused of breaking the law. We expect judges to behave impeccably in their personal as well as professional lives," the party said in a statement.

"The incident continues to bring the bench into disrepute and judge Motata owes it to the rest of the judiciary and the country to remove himself, even before proceedings contemplated by Afriforum reach the Judicial Service Commission."

In September the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court sentenced Motata, a judge in the North Gauteng High Court, to a R20 000 fine or one year in jail after convicting him of drunken driving. His application for leave to appeal his sentence and conviction was dismissed in the same court last month.

The Mail & Guardian reported that his lawyers had since indicated they were planning to approach Gauteng Judge Bernard Ngoepe in another appeal attempt.