Zuma fled to avoid blood tests: witness

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Copy of Copy of NM MONDLI ZUMA 1 (2) [1]

Independent Newspapers

Major-General Bethuel Mondli Zuma

Pietermaritzburg - Senior police officer Lt-Gen Bethuel Zuma fled into a house and hid there for hours because he knew traffic officers would draw his blood for tests, the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate's Court heard on Friday.

“Zuma had stayed inside the house probably knowing that traffic officers wanted to take a blood test, which, in order to stand in court, should be done within two hours of the arrest,” prosecutor K Zimu said.

On August 31, Zuma was appointed Gauteng's new police commissioner, replacing Mzwandile Petros. Hours later, he was removed from the post after it emerged that the criminal case against him was still pending.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges of failing to stop when ordered to, drunk driving, attempting to escape from custody, and defeating the ends of justice.

The charge of driving under the influence or defeating the ends of justice was withdrawn in earlier in December.

Previous evidence showed that according to an initial test taken when road traffic supervisor Zain Mahomed arrived at the house Zuma was in, his blood alcohol level was 3.5 times the legal limit. That test was not valid in court.

Zuma allegedly ignored officers' instructions to stop at a roadblock in Pietermaritzburg in December 2008, and they found him at a house nearby.

Officers were let into the house, directed to the bathroom and knocked on the door and asked if anyone was inside. Zuma allegedly emerged after a long time.

Zimu dismissed Zuma's statement that he thought the roadblock was bogus. Zuma's counsel Sergie Briniah said there were inconsistencies in some of the evidence given by State witnesses.

Zimu argued that the incident took place five years ago at night and that differences in detail should be expected.

The case was postponed for judgment at a date still to be decided.

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