Orlando Pirates defender Happy Jele leaves the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Tuesday. Photo: Lindi Masinga, ANA

JOHANNESBURG – Orlando Pirates Football Club defender Happy Jele briefly appeared in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, facing charges of reckless driving and exceeding the prescribed speed limit of 120km/h.

The case was postponed to October 19, for further investigation and his bail was extended.

Jele was granted statutory bail of R1 000 by the Sandton police station on Monday, after he was caught driving at 223km/p on the M1 highway near Sandton.

Earlier, prosecutor Yusuf Baba told the court that it was not a function, and Jele should not get special treatment.

“I request a warrant of arrest,” he said.

Kagiso Setati, for Jele, put it on record that the soccer player was in court earlier on Tuesday morning, but he had something to do and said he would be back by noon.

“I spoke to him, and he said he was at training,” Setati told the court.

When Jele arrived in court, the magistrate reprimanded him and said: “Sir, you do realise the inconvenience you’ve caused the court?”

Setati told the court that Jele had no previous convictions.

Road Traffic Management Corporation spokesperson Simon Zwane says Happy Jele's licence should be suspended and the soccer star should be given a harsh penalty. Video: Lindi Masinga, ANA

Outside court, Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) spokesperson Simon Zwane said that Jele’s actions were part of the cause of many road fatalities in the country.

“Young people look up to high-profile people like these ones, we rely on them to help get the word out there for people to behave appropriately on the road,” Zwane said.

“An apology is not enough, and he must face the consequences of his actions.” 

Zwane said that if found guilty, Jele’s actions could result in his licence being suspended or a hefty fine.

RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane speaks about how serious the charges are against Happy Jele. Video: Lindi Masinga, ANA

On Monday, Jele issued an apology for his “recklessness” and said he took full responsibility for his actions.

He apologised to the public, the Orlando Pirates club and supporters, and said he realised that he had disappointed a number of people.

African News Agency (ANA)