Man fined after racial slur to top judge
A Pretoria man has accepted that he was wrong to call a top judge a "k*****", and has paid a R1 000 admission of guilt fine.
Morne Pretorius, of Mayville, was charged with crimen injuria after he hurled the racist abuse and insults about the judge's driving.
The accused, in his thirties, earlier made a submission to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, accompanied by a letter of apology to Bernard Ngoepe, the Judge President of the Transvaal.
The letter was not submitted to court, but it was followed by an agreement by the DPP to accept an admission of guilt fine.
Pretorius got into trouble after a minor bumper bashing incident between him and Ngoepe on December 2, 2005.
The Judge President apparently stopped behind Pretorius at a traffic light in Mayville that day and hooted at Pretorius when his vehicle apparently moved backwards.
It has not emerged in court who bumped into whom, but it was claimed that after the incident Pretorius got out of his vehicle and, according to the charge sheet, "injured, insulted and impaired the dignity" of Ngoepe by saying he was "driving shit" and calling him a "k*****".
It was alleged that Ngoepe warned the man, who allegedly also threatened to hit him, that he was a judge, but Pretorius responded that he did not care and that Ngoepe was still a "k*****".
The accused was not formally arrested, but after Ngoepe laid a charge of crimen injuria against him, Pretorius was subpoenaed to appear in court.
He was later released on warning.
During an earlier court appearance it emerged that the DPP considered transferring the case to the High Court for trial as Ngoepe was the chairperson of the Magistrate's Commission and it might be more appropriate if the matter was heard by a judge.