Two charges against Bethuel Zuma dropped

2013-12-03 16:19

Senior police officer Lieutenant General Bethuel Zuma has succeeded in having two charges against him thrown out of court.

On August 31, Zuma was appointed as 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 pending.

Magistrate Reard Abrahams ruled in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrates’ Court today that Zuma will not face charges of driving under the influence or defeating the ends of justice.

He will still face charges of failing to stop when ordered to, and of attempting to escape from custody.

Zuma’s counsel applied for the dropping of all charges against him last week, after the state wrapped up its case.

The court previously heard that, in 2008, Zuma drove through a roadblock, and when he was found, officers believed he was over the alcohol limit.

A portable breathalyser showed he was far over the legal limit, but when officers wanted to take him to their head office for a blood-alcohol test, Zuma escaped.

He evaded an officer who tried to handcuff him, and could not be found until two hours after he went through the roadblock.

By then it was too late to subject him to a blood-alcohol test that would stand up in court.

In his decision today, Abrahams said there was no evidence that Zuma had consumed alcohol or that his faculties were impaired, despite testimony that Zuma’s breath smelled of alcohol.

The case continues.

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