Lawyer calls for charges against top cop to be dropped

FILE PICTURE: General Mondli Bethuel Zuma. Picture: Kopano Tlape/GCIS

FILE PICTURE: General Mondli Bethuel Zuma. Picture: Kopano Tlape/GCIS

The drunk driving case against Major-Genereal Bethuel Mondli Zuma, who in August was appointed Gauteng police commissioner for less than two hours, should be dismissed, the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court heard yesterday.

Arguing for Zuma’s discharge, the top cop’s lawyer, Sergie Brimiah, told the court that the State had failed to present evidence showing the policeman was drunk on the day of his arrest.

“There is no prima facie case against the accused,” Brimiah said.

Claims by traffic cops who arrested Zuma for drunk driving in December 2008 that the top cop was three times over the limit, were inadmissible. “There is no proof before this court that the alcohol test has complied with all the legal requirements,” he said.

Zuma, 46, is facing four charges for allegedly failing to stop at a roadblock, drinking and driving, attempting to escape from lawful custody and defeating the ends of justice.

In August, National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega announced Zuma’s appointment as the new Gauteng police commissioner, only to withdraw the appointment a few hours later upon learning that the top cop had a criminal case pending.

Yesterday, Zuma not related to President Jacob Zuma oozed confidence as he arrived in court. He hugged members of the public as he made his way to the court.

Brimiah told Magistrate Reid Abrahams police who arrested the accused contradicted each other – rendering their version unreliable.

The case was adjourned to December 3 for the court’s ruling.


today in print