Taxi driver to face attempted murder charge

2011-09-14 13:19

A minibus taxi driver who allegedly knocked down a young advocate in the Fourways area of Lonehill, north of Joburg, will be charged with attempted murder, her family’s lawyer said today.

“A charge of attempted murder has been added to that of reckless or negligent driving,” Tracey Lomax, lawyer for Kim McCusker’s family, said.

She was speaking ahead of the first appearance, in the Randburg Magistrates Court, of the man who allegedly knocked down and injured McCusker yesterday morning.

McCusker (25) was hit and dragged under the vehicle for several 100 metres.

McCusker’s uncle, Willem Hijbeek, attended court proceedings.

Surrounded by lawyers, Hijbeek said he would go straight to Life Fourways Hospital – where McCusker remained in intensive care – after the court appearance.

The family would issue a statement later today.

McCusker and her fiancé, named by The Star newspaper as Lawrence Grobler, were driving to gym early yesterday when a taxi hit the back of their bakkie.

Grobler was exchanging details with the taxi driver, when the taxi pulled off, hitting McCusker.

Yesterday chief executive of the Lonehill Residents’ Association, Rob Gillespie, said the taxi driver alleged that Grobler assaulted him. And this, apparently, was the reason he drove off, hitting McCusker.

It had not been established whether he had laid a charge of assault against Grobler.

Lomax said McCusker was in a stable condition with multiple fractures and internal injuries.

“A cage was placed around her leg, her shoulder is broken and she has facial injuries.”

She did not know the nature of McCusker’s internal injuries.

This morning McCusker’s mother, Patricia, said the immediate family would not be involved at the taxi driver’s first court appearance, as they were focusing on her daughter’s recovery.

She asked that the public pray for her daughter.

Yesterday afternoon the McCusker family released a statement in which they said they would pursue a charge of attempted murder against the taxi driver.

Lomax said the case was expected to begin at about 2pm.

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