Motata fails to stop misconduct probe

2012-09-07 21:23

Pretoria - High Court Judge Nkola Motata lost a legal bid on Friday to stop a misconduct inquiry against him after his conviction of drunken driving.

Eastern Cape Judge Jean Nepgen, sitting in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, dismissed Motata's application.

He wanted the court to declare unconstitutional a decision by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) that a Judicial Conduct Tribunal (JCT) be appointed to investigate a hate speech complaint against him.

Nepgen also dismissed Motata's application to stop the misconduct investigation, and declare Justice Minister Jeff Radebe's decision to place him on special leave unconstitutional.

In September 2009, Motata was convicted of drunk driving and fined R20 000 after he crashed his Jaguar into the property wall of Hurlingham, Johannesburg, resident Richard Baird in 2007.

His appeal against his conviction was dismissed in 2010.

Civil rights group AfriForum laid a hate speech charge against him with the JSC following the alleged racist remarks he made at the accident scene.

Motata allegedly said: "No boer is going to undermine me. This used to be the white man's land, but it isn't any more."

He told metro police officers not to support a white man.

Senior Johannesburg advocate Gerrit Pretorius asked for Motata's removal from the bench, saying he was not fit to be a judge.

Motata has been on special leave, with full pay and benefits, since 2007.

The special leave was extended pending the finalisation of misconduct complaints against him.

In May last year, a judicial conduct committee decided AfriForum's complaint against Motata indicated gross misconduct and recommended that the complaint should be investigated by a JCT.

The chief justice was asked to appoint the tribunal.

Motata maintained the JSC's conduct was unconstitutional, unlawful and aimed at removing him from office. He said there was no basis on which he could be charged with misconduct because Parliament had not yet approved a Code of Judicial Conduct to define what was meant by "gross misconduct".

Motata contended the continued investigation against him was unlawful. He said putting him on special leave pending the finalisation of the complaint was not permissible, as it prevented him from pursuing his occupation as a judge.

Nepgen said the preamble to the Judicial Service Act specifically refers to the provisions of Section 177(1) of the Constitution. This section provides that a judge may be removed from office if the JSC finds he suffers from an incapacity, is grossly incompetent or guilty of gross misconduct, and the National Assembly calls for his removal through a resolution supported by two-thirds of its members.

The power to determine if a judge's conduct amounted to gross misconduct was a value judgment and one of the powers and functions assigned to the JSC by the Constitution.

Nepgen said if Motata's argument that he could not be charged with misconduct in the absence of a Code of Judicial Conduct was correct, it would mean the JSC did not yet have, and never had, the power to consider any complaints in connection with the conduct of judges.

"This contention is so contrary to the express provisions of Section 177(1) of the Constitution that it cannot be upheld," he said.

"If it was to be upheld it would mean that no judge can ever be found guilty of misconduct until a code of judicial conduct exists."

  • harry.boesman - 2012-09-07 21:43

    Let him suffer the consequences of his own actions, just like we commoners do. Justice in this case is years overdue, and, justice to the regular man delayed by virtue of the influence of a powerful person, is justice trampled under the feet of the powerful!

      Andre - 2012-09-08 09:04

      They will never learn that for every right a person has, the person also has a responsibility.

      bernpm - 2012-09-08 22:59

      All the man is trying to do is stretching his "employment" to the pension age by hook and by crook. In the process he is proving that he is indeed incompetent as a judge but might be good as a defence lawyer for criminals.

  • nicholas.graan - 2012-09-07 21:54

    Another BEE dud with a huge chip on his shoulder.

  • alwyn.vantonder - 2012-09-07 21:55

    Well done.. Zero tolerance! He should be an example of Justice, not Injustice!

  • thovhakale.bethuel - 2012-09-07 21:56

    Why cant finish the case bcs the guy stil geting fullpay and the tax is used

      johan.maree.5036 - 2012-09-08 11:08

      Agree, 2007 - 2012 = say it happened around mid year, that's 4 years! It wasn't a complicated conspiracy or syndicate that needed to be unravelled, he either did or did not; drive drunk, had an accident and said some racist things. Amount he gets per month x 48 = Wasted/stolen by him, SA's tax money! Another few thousand houses for the poor, GONE!

  • ditoare.gypsy - 2012-09-07 22:37

    Maybe I didn't read the article correctly, Motata was full pay leave from 2007??? That's make 5years now. Wow I'm speachless

  • juanita.vanrooyen.98 - 2012-09-07 23:02

    He is NOT above the law!!!!

  • trevor.roberts.148 - 2012-09-08 00:18

    The man should be given a hearing and if found guilty dismissed.Think of the ammount of money that has been paid to this cretin since his suspension. That is a crime in itself.

  • thembapat.mthini - 2012-09-08 01:09

    The poor judge is in trouble because of a cup of tea he took that day.

  • bless.boswell - 2012-09-08 01:58

    The cup of tea must have had a dop in it:)

  • roger.kaputnick.90 - 2012-09-08 04:30

    He is another ANC leech.

  • Kenneth Kamana - 2012-09-08 04:49

    arrogant bastard

  • mbusi.t.nzimande - 2012-09-08 07:11

    \1 step forward,10 steps backwards\ should be the title of a book on South Africa's progress over the last 18 years of democracy,utter rubbish I'm reading here,and who the hell does he think he is trying to dismiss his chargers,he must still be drunk!!

  • hermann.hanekom - 2012-09-08 07:16

    Wow, five years full pay no work and he is complaining, the ungrateful fool.

      rupert.magande - 2012-09-08 20:34

      Mr Hermann sir has it occured to you that maybe this ungrateful fool as you call him has a consience or is a true patriot who sees that he is using taxipayers money whilst he is not working so all he wants is closure to the case.

  • majwarha.balakisi - 2012-09-08 07:51

    He was wrong to say this isn't a white mans land anymore because its still is? We only have a political freedom.

      andrew.mackie.90 - 2012-09-08 08:34

      Not true, the whites own the land they have paid for and occupy either as a business or as a residence, the balance is in the public domain of the national or regional government.

      gail.hayesbean - 2012-09-08 11:58

      majwartha, you have had a political freedom for nearly twenty years now so why are only a few people at the top of the ruling party living obscene wealthy irresponsible lives without being held accountable by the voters. The whites who you are so determined to blame provide work in companies which stay afloat because people are held accountable and there are precous few of them left believe me. I am unashamed of my whiteness and indeed could leave SA if I really chose to but I stay because I am employing people and helping to educate their children and feed them because I want to. They ARE my family regardless of our historical background. If I could leave and take them with me I would but MY ancestors helped build this country up and are buried here and what I have today I have sweated blood and tears for. I will not be intimidated by ignorant people who would rather starve to death than learn to forgive people who were not responsible for what their ancestors did. Most whites who appear to be living a better life have either worked extremely hard or used the advantages they have inherited. The cars they drive and the houses they live in and maintain mostly belong to the banks whose money comes from abroad where there is a global recession. We may be the hated white but your people don't hesitate to run to us when you have nothing to eat. The money building RDP houses comes from foreign and local white peoples taxes on work they have done. Do some research. Peopleneedpeople

  • andrew.mackie.90 - 2012-09-08 08:38

    No doubt while he is living on the gravy train drawing a salary, his legal fees are being borne by the judicial department of government therefore we the taxpayer are once again paying. High time this manipulation of rights is ended.

  • phila.kunene.355 - 2012-09-08 08:43

    Why even waste time when a drunkard hits a wall with his benz? If you don't have insurance for your building ask him to pay for it or he must pay the excess and his insurance wil not pay for the vehicle. He said whatever he said because he was under the influence of alcohol but not drunk. Being under the influence of alcohol means one says things he wouldn't normal say public

      gail.hayesbean - 2012-09-08 12:10

      What would you have said had he killed someone because he was under the influence like Jub-Jub? Oh shame I'm sorry? The moment you drink alcohol you know the potential risks - why would you do it in the first place. Being inebriated to any degree is NO EXCUSE especially when you still imagine you can drive yourself home and have probably prosecuted drunken drivers who have killed people during your career. I'm sorry, he is a disgrace to his profession and THAT is why he will not accept responsibility and spewed hatred and damaged property and committed crimen injuria or hate speech. Accept it - would you drive YOUR merc into a wall deliberately knowing you weren't insured? DUH!!! The politricians do it too - look at Angie Motshekga, she is claiming ignorance as well and should have been fired because her ineptitude means millions of poor children will have to repeat a whole year of school because she was not able to do her job. She is also being handsomely paid for her screw up because JZ needs her husband's money to run his election campaign.

  • tshepo.maganedisa - 2012-09-08 09:04

    Wow, does he still exist, well sober that is?

  • phila.kunene.355 - 2012-09-08 09:17

    Why even waste time on a drunkard who hit the wall with his benz. If you don't have insurance for your building ask him to pay for it or he must pay the excess. He said whatever he said because he was under the influence of alcohol but not drunk. Being under the influence of alcohol means one says things that he wouldn't normally say publicly. Up until the time when he hit the wall he was not drunk but he was under the influence of alcohol thinking he was even better than Michael Schumacher. After hitting the wall he dozed off and they woke him up . That is when all the insults came up if they did anyway. Just imagine this combination: drunkenness,drowsiness,accident,police lights he was bound to say what he was harbouring inside for years. Some of us can say very horrible things by being under the influence of sleep. Afriforum he said all this because he was under the influence of alcohol. Anyway is it not true that this country is not controlled by whites anymore ? Black people is it a lie that you perform well under white supervision ? How true is it that Black people feel inferior in the presence of their white counterparts even if these whites are their juniors? Maybe Motata was not supposed to say that as a judge but as Black South African he was and is entitled to his opinion

  • willie.pietersen - 2012-09-08 11:06

    6 years full pay and befits----------only in a Banana Republic !!!

  • pws69 - 2012-09-08 14:04

    SO, does he still drink THAT kind of tea or not? Just asking.

  • herbert.plessis - 2012-09-08 18:06

    Who is paying his legal fees? Why is the Human Rights Commission, who is usually very quick to jump on any open seat on the "Apartheid bandwagon" not doing airing it's views on the blatantly racist, disrespectful and less than reputable BLACK judge? Dod they not get the "play the race card" memo for this one?

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