Motata files leave to appeal drunken-driving conviction

Pretoria High Court Judge Nkola Motata on Tuesday filed for leave to appeal his drunken driving conviction and sentence in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court.

Prosecutor Zaais van Zyl said a date to hear the leave to appeal was still to be set.

Earlier this month, Motata was sentenced to a R20 000 fine or 12 months’ imprisonment for drunken driving by Magistrate Desmond Nair in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court.

At the time his defence lawyer Bantubonke Tokota told reporters: “He is not happy. That’s why he is instructing [to apply for leave to appeal].

“We have been instructed to appeal against both the conviction and sentence.”

Motata was found guilty of drunken driving in connection with an incident when he crashed his vehicle into the perimeter wall of a property in Hurlingham, north of Johannesburg, while drunk in January 2007.

The subsequent trial lasted more than two years and was marked by several delays, including Motata changing his defence team twice and a trial within a trial to determine the admissibility of audio recording evidence later used to convict him.

In sentencing Motata, Nair said that while the accident happened in a quiet area with no traffic, “it could have happened anywhere else with high traffic volumes or pedestrians”.

Nair said Motata’s driver’s licence would not be suspended—even though there was an option to do so—as he needed to travel to complete work on the circuit court.

He said Motata was a first time offender. “He stumbled and it is a pity ...

“Judges, magistrates ...
to laymen are all equal before court,” said Nair.—Sapa

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