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Johannesburg - The second bodyguard in the blue-light car that crashed into a matric pupil has also claimed that jumping a red traffic light had been necessary.
Nomakhosi Mashifane claimed that former Gauteng local government and housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi - the VIP passenger - was late for a meeting and that jumping a red light was justified.
Mashifane also corroborated earlier witness testimony that the driver only checked on the state vehicle and not on Thomas Ferreira - the teenager who was knocked off his motorbike and suffered brain damage in the collision - because the driver was dizzy and weak from the crash.
This emerged in the continuation of the trial of driver Joseph Semitjie, who is charged with reckless or negligent driving, malicious damage to property, failure to provide assistance to the injured at an accident, and inflicting injuries.
Semitjie collided with Krugersdorp matric pupil Ferreira on November 5, 2011 while driving Mmemezi to a meeting.
“If maybe the VIP or MEC we are transporting is late for a meeting... We have to apply this siren and blue lights to warn other motorists,” said Mashifane, a VIP bodyguard who was in the passenger seat on that day.
Mashifane said Mmemezi had instructed them to use the blue lights to get to a meeting he was already 40 minutes late for.
It also emerged that she, like Semitjie, had failed an advanced driving course but remained in the police’s VIP Protection Unit and still drives blue-light vehicles.
She claimed Semitjie had gone through the intersection at “below 20 (km/h)” and their blue lights and siren were used to warn motorists of their approach.
State prosecutor Micky Thesner challenged Mashifane that a witness had seen Semitjie get out after the crash and check on damage to the car, but did not bother to check on Ferreira, who was lying in the road.
“That is not actually what happened; the accused person was dizzy and weak,” Mashifane said.
“I don’t believe he could have managed to walk to where the motorbike driver was.”
On Wednesday, Semitjie had also testified that his injuries prevented him from checking on Ferreira. This evidence was slammed by Thesner in her cross- examination.
She said he was not admitted to hospital and was exaggerating his injuries. Ferreira, on the other hand, had suffered extensive injuries.