Taxi driver in dragging case wins small victory

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mcCusker taxi driver Ihsaan Haffejee Taxi driver Matome Thamage, who has been charged after he allegedly drove over Kim McCusker last year. Pictures: Ihsaan Haffejee

Johannesburg - The man accused of dragging a young advocate under his minibus taxi for 700 metres has won a small victory in getting charges against his alleged attacker reinstated.

Diepsloot taxi driver Matome Thamage had laid assault charges against Lourens Grobler, but these were provisionally withdrawn.

Thamage said Grobler had assaulted him in Lonehill, Sandton, on September 13 last year.

A witness in the case, who was in Thamage’s taxi that day, said there had been a near-collision between the two men’s vehicles.

The witness, Martha Morudu, said Grobler had smashed Thamage’s window and attacked him.

Morudu also testified that she had seen Kim McCusker, the woman who was dragged under the vehicle, standing in front of the taxi with her hands on it as if to stop it from moving.

When Thamage freed himself from Grobler’s grip, he had driven off, and it was not known if he had seen McCusker in front of the taxi.

McCusker was dragged under the taxi and had to spend months in hospital, undergoing several operations and skin grafts that left ghastly scars all over her body. She still walks with a limp today.

Thamage was charged with attempted murder and reckless and negligent driving.

Grobler was also charged with assault and malicious damage to property for allegedly smashing Thamage’s taxi window and beating him.

The National Prosecuting Authority withdrew the charges against Grobler in May, saying he was a witness in both cases and the two matters could not run concurrently.

The chief prosecutor of the Randburg Magistrate’s Court, Thomas Leboa, confirmed on Thursday he had reinstated Grobler’s charges.

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