Bafana Bafana captain Steven Pienaar had to do some quick explaining this week when a warrant for his arrest was issued after he failed to appear in court to answer speeding charges.
On Monday, the day after he scored a dramatic equaliser for Everton against Manchester United in a remarkable 4-4 draw, the UK-based Premier League star failed to arrive at Chelmsford Magistrate’s Court to explain why he hadn’t let the authorities know who was driving his Aston Martin DBS when it was trapped speeding – twice on the same road in the space of 11 days.
Pienaar’s lawyer Glynn Lewis said Pienaar had visited a police station yesterday to explain that the court had sent mail to him at his old address.
“Steven has moved swiftly to resolve this misunderstanding,” said Lewis.
“Mr Pienaar was totally unaware of the court date,” he added.
He had been given unconditional bail to appear in court next month.
But his explanation will not get him out of trouble completely: the judge found on Monday that the charge of failing to disclose who was driving had been proved in Pienaar’s absence, and his court appearance next month will be for sentencing.
Pienaar, 30, on loan at Everton from Spurs, faces a possible driving ban as each offence carries a minimum six penalty points. Pienaar was given a 12-month ban from the roads in March 2010 after being caught drink-driving. He was also charged with failing to comply with a traffic signal after being stopped by Merseyside police in Liverpool city centre.
At the time, Pienaar was playing his football at Tottenham Hotspur.
As the defendant’s name was called, the chair of the bench, Ian Fuller, asked: “Is that the footballer?” and when told there was a difficulty obtaining a driving record because they didn’t have his date of birth, he told the prosecution to “Google it”.
Denise Holland, prosecuting, said Pienaar had twice been sent notification of prosecution and asked to provide the identity of the driver and on both occasions a completed form had not been returned.