Blue-light case: woman to sue

2010-02-03 00:00

AN alleged blue-light bully victim, Jude Ward of Cato Ridge, appeared in court for the second time yesterday in connection with alleged traffic violations, while the traffic officer who allegedly assaulted her last month has still not appeared in court.

Ward has been charged with reckless and negligent driving and failing to obey the instructions of a traffic officer.

She laid counter-charges of assault against the blue-light official who allegedly assaulted her and knocked her to the ground inside the Camperdown police charge office in full view of policemen on January 18.

Ward’s attorney, Karen Hattingh, confirmed at court yesterday that Ward will institute a civil claim for damages from the state arising from the incident. She has written to the authorities to notify them of the pending civil suit.

She also confirmed that a complaint has been laid with the Independent Complaints Directorate against the police.

State prosecutor Ryan Peo told Camperdown magistrate Thys Taljaard yesterday that the prosecution has been told that the police investigation into the counter-charges of assault laid by Ward has been completed.

However, police have not yet delivered the docket to the senior public prosecutor.

He said the state expects the docket will be brought to court before the end of the week.

The Witness was told that when the docket is made available, both dockets are likely to be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions for a decision on whether to proceed with any charges.

Ward’s case was postponed to March 2.

Meanwhile, Ward’s husband, P.J. Ward, confirmed yesterday that they are in the process of launching a fund titled “Ward off blue-light bullies” to offer financial support to other people who find themselves in a similar situation as Ward.

The fund will be administered by their attorney and details will be publicised in due course.

Ward yesterday expressed disappointment that no officials has approached them to apologise to his wife for what had happened.

“If someone had just said they are sorry and assured us that measures will be taken to ensure that this sort of thing does not happen again, we would have been happy. Instead there is just silence and this cover- up,” Ward said.

The Witness was told that the matter is going to be raised by community members at a community police forum meeting scheduled to be held in Camperdown tonight.

Provincial police spokesman Superintendent Jay Naicker could not comment on the reason why Ward is apparently being treated differently from the traffic official, but confirmed that the investigation is “almost complete” in connection with the counter-charges.

“I am told the docket will definitely be delivered this week,” he said.

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