Blue-light case: family seeks closure

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Copy of st filer thomas 13 Independent Newspapers Thomas Ferreira packs his belongs inside his ward as he prepares to go home after spending more than three month at the Life Riverfield lodge rehabilitation centre in Fourways. Picture: Paballo Thekiso


Johannesburg - The mother of Thomas Ferreira says the family are still looking for closure.

This is as the case against the blue-light driver of the car that collided with her son over two years ago was postponed on Thursday.

Joseph Motsamai Semitjie had been due to be sentenced in the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

The VIP car Semitjie was driving collided with Ferreira’s motorbike in November 2011.

He claimed he was escorting former Gauteng housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi, who was an hour late for a meeting.

Last year, he was found guilty of four charges against him, including reckless or negligent driving and for not assisting Ferreira with his injuries at the scene.

Semitjie’s new lawyer, Thomas Mahlobogoane, said he was not ready to proceed with sentencing on Thursday.

He said he had been appointed on January 24, and three days later, had written to the clerk of the court requesting the record for the entire case, which he had not received.

The case was later postponed to April 3.

“It’s two years and four months later,” said Ferreira’s mother, Priscilla, outside of court. “You want finality and you want the case closed.”

She said that while it was disappointing, she had already been informed of the situation and was expecting it.

She said Ferreira’s condition had not improved. The accident left him with severe brain injuries.

“There are some days when you wonder ‘is he getting worse or is he getting better?’,” she said.

She said the ordeal had been difficult on the family and they had been “shunned by friends and family” because they had to change their lifestyle to look after Ferreira.

Ferreira’s father Paul was not at court as he was at home looking after his son.

State prosecutor Micky Thesner said it was “virtually not understandable” why Semitjie appointed a new lawyer six weeks after he was found guilty in December. She also questioned why Mahlobogoane had not followed up on obtaining the record in a month-and-a-half since he was hired.

Earlier in the day, magistrate Abdul Khan had grilled Mahlobogoane over the same issue.

He told Mahlobogoane that he needed to follow up because the letter was “probably lying somewhere” or had been filed away.

“I would have expected you to have done more,” he said.

“Justice is not a well-oiled machine, especially in Krugersdorp,” the magistrate added.

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