The drink-driving trial of Gauteng’s one-day SA Police Service (SAPS) commissioner, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma, has been adjourned until next month.
Magistrate Riaz Abrahams postponed evidence by the state’s four witnesses against Zuma until October 25 2013.
Zuma, whose lawyer Sergie Brimiah described his client as “frustrated” over the long delays in the case, allegedly escaped from Traffic Police wanting to take a blood sample from him after they breathalysed him.
They pulled him over on December 19 2008, after he allegedly fled a roving alcohol roadblock.
He then allegedly pushed over one of the arresting officers, Inspector Kerwin Johansen, and scaled his 2m-high gate, hiding in his house for two hours. This, the prosecution claims, was a cunning ploy by the former SAPS VIP Protection commander to subvert the law.
A sample cannot be taken more than two hours after a suspect is arrested on suspicion of drinking and driving.
Today Brimiah continued to grill Senior Provincial Inspector Karen Bishop on her evidence about the chain of events that led to Zuma’s eventual arrest.
He questioned differences between her first and second statements, one of which was made six weeks after the arrest. Brimiah also questioned why her testimony did not dovetail with that of Johansen and two SAPS officers who arrived at the scene.
The diminutive Bishop appeared frustrated at Brimiah’s continual attempts to trip her up, often repeating the same question from several different angles to expose any possible contradiction.
Bishop had earlier told the court that Zuma, whose appointment by SAPS national commissioner General Riah Phiyega was overturned the day she gave him the post, that Zuma stank of alcohol.
Brimiah claimed she had left the arrest scene with Zuma and Johansen, who allegedly told the arrested Zuma his “neck was on the block”.
He also claimed Johansen told Zuma he would “make the case go away” if Zuma paid for towing fees.
Bishop denied being in the vehicle with Zuma and Johansen, saying she had driven to the Alexandra Road SAPS, where Zuma was formally charged.
– City Press
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