Motata on full pay while on trial

Pretoria High Court Judge Nkola Motata, on paid leave while on trial on a drunk-drinking charge, will have received more than R1-million when his case resumes next year.

Moneyweb reported on Thursday that Motata is getting a full judge’s salary while on special leave.

Justice and Constitutional Development Ministry spokesperson Zolile Nqayi said Transvaal Judge President Bernard Ngoepe asked for Motata to be put on special leave on full pay pending the completion of court proceedings.

The Justice Minister, Brigitte Mabandla, signed off on this request, Nqayi said.

Motata was put on special leave on January 15 this year until the end of February, but this was extended. The trial in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court reconvenes in July next year.

Motata was arrested on January 6 after reversing his car through a wall in the suburb of Hurlingham, Johannesburg. According to witnesses, he was in an inebriated state and apparently resisted arrest by metro police officers.

Motata has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. The trial has seen several delays, among others because of a trial within a trial over the admissibility of evidence.

On Tuesday, magistrate Desmond Nair postponed the matter to July 2 next year.

Moneyweb said the latest figures published in 2006 show high court judges earn R687 904 a year, or R57 325 a month.

Motata has already received more than R573 253 while on “special leave”—a sum that will have risen to more than R1-million by the time the trial resumes next year.—Sapa

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