Cape Town - An ambulance driver charged with a string of crimes was caught out after it occurred to a vigilant off-duty policeman that the car he was driving had been reported stolen.

Among the allegations against Cheswill Julian Adendorf is that, over a two-month period, he stole two cars and petrol several times by speeding off without paying, broke into several vehicles, and collided with a car to bring it to a stop in order to rob its occupants.

The incidents took place mainly in Strand, Somerset West and Gordon’s Bay. The State has also accused him of murder relating to the death of policewoman Nokulungu Hazel Jako on April 7.

It is alleged that when Adendorf approached a roadblock in Broadway Road, Strand, he accelerated straight at it, hitting and killing Jako, who had been standing ahead to indicate that motorists should stop.

Adendorf’s trial began in the Western Cape High Court on Monday. He initially faced 22 charges, but a few have been provisionally withdrawn and he has pleaded guilty to a number of others.

The State’s case comes down mostly to three charges to which Adendorf has pleaded not guilty: the theft of a hand-held radio telephone, theft of a Ford motor vehicle and the murder charge.

Constable Botsotso Mjiwu, a member of the police’s Flying Squad, testified on Tuesday he was shopping at Broadway Mall on the afternoon of April 7. As he was getting into his vehicle, he heard the wheels of a silver-grey Renault screeching.

He said when he looked at the number plate of the vehicle, he remembered that the previous day, at which time he had been on duty, there had been a “call out” for all nearby patrol officers to look out for the vehicle.

Mjiwu told the court he had notified the Strand police station and followed the vehicle, but a while later lost it at a traffic light. The search started again with other officers and they found the car. Mjiwu is yet to complete his evidence-in-chief.

Cape Times