Motata case postponed to next week

Pretoria High Court Judge Nkola Motata’s case was postponed to next Monday to allow his defence team to resolve an impasse relating to an application for his discharge.

Motata’s defence counsel, Danie Dorfling, was supposed to bring an application to discharge Motata on his drunk driving charges in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday morning.

But he instead requested that the matter be postponed to next Monday as he had not received instructions to proceed with the application.

“I will not be able to proceed with argument for the discharge today.

“My instructions to continue with the discharge have not been resolved so I’ve been instructed to ask you to allow the matter to be stood down for a week [to March 16],” Dorfling said.

Dorfling could not disclose the reasons why his instructing attorney told him not to proceed with the application.

“I’m not at liberty to do so ... it is privileged information between attorney, client and myself,” he said on further probing by Magistrate Desmond Nair.

He said that pending instructions from his instructing attorney, he would proceed with the application next Monday.

“It’s our intention to proceed with the discharge but I can’t give an undertaking that I’ll have instructions to proceed with it on Monday next week,” he said.

Asked if it was a question of preparation (for argument), Dorfling said: “It is ... linked to other issues I’m not at liberty to disclose.”

The visibly irritated Nair granted the postponement but mentioned that it was further delaying the case.

“Time is of the essence ...
this matter has history that precedes it and I don’t have the luxury to keep on postponing this matter,” he said.

The state had closed its case against Motata, who crashed his Jaguar into the perimeter wall of a house in Hurlingham, Johannesburg, in January 2007, allegedly while drunk.

The trial would continue on March 16.—Sapa

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