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Durban - A “ blue light bully” succeeded in having his “negligent driving” conviction scrapped in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Thursday, but was not so lucky as it was replaced with “inconsiderate driving”.
However, Caiphus Ndlela was “happy and excited” about the verdict.
Ndlela’s sentence, a R3 000 fine (or two years’ imprisonment) and a two-year suspended sentence, was replaced with a R2 000 fine (or six months’ imprisonment) and a six-month suspended sentence.
Ndlela and his passenger, Hlanganani Nxumalo, who had not appealed against his conviction for illegally discharging a firearm or against his sentence - a R12 000 fine (or four years) and a suspended four-year sentence - had been charged in connection with an accident on the N3 in November 2008.
The VIP bodyguards were on their way to fetch MEC Meshack Radebe to inspect storm damage at Molweni, greater Durban, when Nxumalo fired two “warning” shots in the air.
On hearing the shots, the driver in front, Anuvasen Moodley, lost control of his car, causing it to veer across the median and into oncoming traffic. Six people were injured.
Judge Mohini Moodley said in a judgment that while she agreed with the findings of the case, it had not supported a negligent driving conviction.
The judge said the manner in which Ndlela drove was sufficient to sustain a conviction on the alternative charge.
* The second bodyguard in the blue light car that crashed into matric pupil Thomas Ferreira in Gauteng has said that jumping a red light was necessary.
The witness said former Gauteng local government and housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi, who was the VIP passenger, was late for a meeting and therefore skipping a robot was justified.