EFF points of order cause chaos, but MPs impeach retired Judge Motata 17 years after drunk crash

Judge Nkola Motata was impeached by parliament. File Picture.

Judge Nkola Motata was impeached by parliament. File Picture.

Published Feb 21, 2024


Despite the chaos, interjections and persistent points of order by Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members of parliament, Judge Nkola Motata has been impeached.

The motion to remove Motata from office was eventually passed in parliament through a resolution.

The impeachment of Motata came a few hours after Judge John Hlophe was impeached by the House.

House chairperson Madala Ntombela had his hands full during proceedings as members of the EFF raised points of order.

The EFF also threatened the impeachment of Motata could end up in court.

ANC whip Bheki Hadebe warned that the EFF was disrupting proceedings to prevent MPs from voting on the motion to remove Motata.

Motata was impeached after the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled last June that the Judicial Service Commission should have found him guilty of gross misconduct and not misconduct for his behaviour after he crashed his luxury car on a boundary wall of a house in Johannesburg. He had been drinking and driving.

Motata was found guilty of drunk driving in 2009 after he crashed his luxury vehicle on a boundary wall of a house in Johannesburg in 2007.

The matter was then referred to parliament for impeachment proceedings.

The portfolio committee on justice and correctional services found against Motata and called for his removal.

After members of the EFF were ejected from the House, voting continued and 296 members voted for the removal of Motata while one member voted against and 13 abstained.

Ntombela said the report will be referred to President Cyril Ramaphosa to remove Motata.

Chairperson of the portfolio committee Bulelani Magwanishe said the Constitution called on judges to uphold their oath of office.

He said the oath they take was binding on their conscience.

“The removal of a judge is not an opportunity for jubilation, it gives us an opportunity to reflect as a nation. It is about accountability and ensuring adherence of judges to their oath of office.

“This process is about instilling faith in the judiciary. The public must have trust in those who dispense justice to them,” said Magwanishe.

He said the behaviour of Motata on the day of the incident was not in keeping with the behaviour of a judge.

Drunk Pretoria High Court Judge Nkola Motata sits in his smashed Jaguar after hitting a wall. File Picture: Handout/ Supplied

He said a trial court had found that Motata was hurling profanities at people after he crashed his car.

The law was clear on how to deal with judicial officers who fail to adhere to ethical conduct, said Magwanishe.

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