Regard must be had to the higher standard of conduct expected from public officials, and the number of falsehoods that have been put forward by the Public Protector in the course of the litigation. This conduct included the numerous “misstatements”, like misrepresenting, under oath, her reliance on evidence of economic experts in drawing up the report, failing to provide a complete record, ordered and indexed, so that the contents thereof could be determined, failing to disclose material meetings and then obfuscating the reasons for them and the reasons why they had not been previously disclosed, and generally failing to provide the court with a frank and candid account of her conduct in preparing the report. The punitive aspect of the costs order therefore stands.
REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
JUDICIAL CONDUCT TRIBUNAL
21 February 2014
Judicial Conduct Tribunal to deal with preliminary issues raised by Judge Motata
On 06 January 2007, Judge Motata of the Gauteng Division of the High Court was involved in a motor vehicle accident on Gleneagles Road in Hurlingham, Johannesburg, in which he crashed into a wall belonging to Mr Baird. Arising from this incident, the JSC received two complaints lodged by AfriForum and Adv G C Pretorius SC. The essence of AfriForum‘s complaint is that Judge Motata, whilst at the scene of the said accident made some racist remarks against Mr Baird. Advocate Pretorius’ complaint relates to the manner in which the respondent pleaded to the charges he faced at his criminal trial in which he denied that he was driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and that he conducted his defence in a manner inconsistent with the ethics of judicial office.
On 22 February 2014, the Judicial Conduct Tribunal (Tribunal) mandated to investigate and report on the complaints lodged by AfriForum and Advocate G C Pretorious SC will sit to consider preliminary issues raised by Judge Motata.
One of the preliminary issues raised by Judge Motata is that the Tribunal should not proceed to hear the merits of the complaints while there is a constitutional challenge to section 24 of the Judicial Service Commission Act, 1994 which empowers the Tribunal President to appoint a member of the National Prosecuting Authority to collect evidence on behalf of the Tribunal, pending in the Gauteng Division of the High Court in the litigation initiated by Justices Nkabinde and Jafta.
The Tribunal proceedings will commence at 11h00 at the Southern Sun – OR Tambo International Airport located at the Airports Grounds, Jones Road.
Issued by the Judicial Conduct Tribunal
Contact: Mr Sello Chiloane, 079881 4455