Top cop won’t comment on dismissal

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GCIS

Senior policeman, Bethuel Mondli Zuma, remains tight-lipped about whether he will challenge the decision to remove him from the post of Gauteng police commissioner. File photo: GCIS

Durban - a Senior policeman, Bethuel Mondli Zuma, remains tight-lipped about whether he will challenge the decision to remove him from the post of Gauteng police commissioner.

Zuma, a major-general attached to the crime prevention unit in Johannesburg, was on the fast-track to becoming commissioner when it emerged last year that he was on trial in the Pietermaritzburg District Court for alleged drunk driving, failing to comply with a traffic officer’s instructions and escaping lawful custody.

He was acquitted of all charges last month by Magistrate Reard Abrahams.

Abrahams found the evidence of the state witnesses were contradictory and did not prove Zuma’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

While Zuma has declined to comment on whether he will be challenging his dismissal by national police commissioner General Riah Phiyega, he has not denied the possibility.

Zuma’s charge arose after an incident in December 2008, when Pietermaritzburg traffic officers were conducting a roadblock in Alexandra Road. A Mercedes Vito failed to stop and they chased the vehicle to a house in Abbott Road where the officers identified the driver as Zuma.

A breathalyser indicated that he was three times over the legal alcohol limit. Zuma denied this, saying the officers fabricated the evidence.

Zuma said he did not stop at the roadblock because he believed the officers were criminals.

Abrahams found in favour of Zuma, concluding that Zuma was justified in his belief that the roadblock was bogus.

Nathi Sukazi, general manager of communications for the Department of Transport, said they respected the findings of the court.

“We will also study the full judgment with a view to identifying issues that may require us to address,” he said.

Sukazi would not elaborate on whether the roadblock involving Zuma was properly conducted or whether the traffic officers involved would face disciplinary action.

“Importantly, as a department we remain very focused on rooting out the despicable behaviour of drunk drivers,” he said.

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