Woman accused of racial abuse freed
Cape Town - A woman accused of drunk driving and crimen injuria for allegedly referring to a police officer who arrested her as “a stupid black cop”, is now free.
On Thursday Monique Fuller, 36, wiped away tears as she stepped out of the dock of the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court after her case was struck from the court roll.
Fuller was arrested in February last year and, while out on bail, had attended court cases regularly.
The court was expecting to go ahead with the trial on Thursday.
She had initially faced charges of drunk driving, crimen injuria and of attempted robbery for allegedly trying to grab the policeman’s firearm from its holster.
The court heard that the State would no longer be pursuing a charge of attempted robbery against her.
Two of the seven State witnesses were present for the trial on Thursday and the State asked that the case be postponed.
Defence lawyer William Booth argued that he had asked for further information regarding the remaining charges in January and had not yet received details from the State, saying they had “more than enough time to respond”.
Booth asked the court to consider that the matter had an impact on Fuller with the media attention received, the cost of legal representation and the time off work. “She has the right to a speedy trial,” Booth said and asked that the matter be withdrawn.
The State alleged she had been driving erratically while under the influence of alcohol along Wynberg Main Road on February 1 last year.
When she was pulled over, she allegedly told an officer: “So what? I am f***ing drunk, but you are still a stupid black cop.”
At the Wynberg Police Station, when she was formally charged, she reportedly attempted to grab a police officer’s firearm – hurling abuse at the officers.
Booth said the State could reinstitute charges “once they have their house in order”.
Fuller’s case was one of a series of incidents involving racial slurs or commentary with, on average, 16 “race-related” cases heard in the Wynberg court within a year.
Earlier on Thursday morning, in the adjacent courtroom, three young men appeared briefly – charged with attempted murder, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and crimen injuria.
Chad De Matos, Aaron Mack and Mitchell Turner are accused of attacking Delia Adonis, 52, a cleaner at Stadium On Main in Claremont, on October 17.
Adonis had been viciously attacked and racially insulted in the shopping centre’s parking area.
William Booth, representing the men, told the court that proceedings were at a stage where they were waiting for a decision from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions’ (DPP’s) office after representations were made.
The matter was postponed to May 5, while the court waits for an outcome of a decision from the DPP.
A detective who took down Adonis’s statement also faces charges of corruption and defeating the ends of justice after he had allegedly accepted money to make the case “disappear”.
On Friday, former Reddam House junior tennis coach Talana-Jo Huysamer, charged with assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and crimen injuria, is expected to appear in Wynberg Magistrate’s Court.
She was arrested after Chantlé Hoffmann, 42, of Ottery, was allegedly called the K-word and shocked with a Taser device in Harfield Village, on January 3.