CBD parking row gets nasty

2013-03-21 00:00

A BUSINESSMAN and a traffic officer have laid charges against each other following an altercation over illegal parking in Pietermartizburg’s CBD.

Swear words were exchanged and an alleged punch was thrown.

It all started when Ghulam Abbas (44) double-parked his car in Church Street near Knipe Street on Monday.

Returning to his vehicle, he was confronted by Ally Khan, an officer with 24 years’ experience.

Part of the altercation was captured on a cellphone camera, and Khan can be heard asking Abbas, “Who are you calling a motherf*****?”

In Abbas’s verison, he was rushing to a shop to buy light bulbs for his business and double-parked as it was busy.

On his return, Khan asked him about the illegally parked vehicle.

Abbas claimed he “politely” questioned why he was issued a ticket and why other motorists who were also double-parked had not been targeted.

Khan allegedly started using abusive language and shouted at him.

“He started swearing at me. He said ‘F*** you’ and that is when I said ‘you too’ and he started punching me with a fist. I fell on the road in full view of the public.”

Abbas said he hurt his elbow and had to see a doctor.

But Khan said it was Abbas who swore at him first.

“I was busy charging him for obstruction when he started talking to me very rudely and telling me about the other cars that were illegally parked,” Khan told The Witness.

“The whole time he was being rude, telling me how police in South Africa did not know anything.

“I charged him anyway, and as he walked away, I heard him call me a motherf*****. I asked him what he called me, and said ‘I called you a motherf*****’. I decided I was going to arrest him for crimen injuria.”

As he tried to grab Abbas to arrest him, he said, the businessman pulled away, slipped and fell on the ground where he hurt his elbow.

“He then called his friends over and said to them that I had hurt him.”

“As we were in the back of the car, he said to me that if I was not in uniform, things would be different.

“I asked him what he meant, and he said, ‘I’ll sort you out’.”

Abbas was bundled into the traffic officer’s car and taken to Loop Street police station where charges of crimen injuria , resisting arrest and threatening a police officer were laid against him.

He in turn has laid a counter-charge against Khan for assault and was released on police bail.

Police spokesperson Colonel Vincent Mdunge said that both case dockets were taken to the senior public prosecutor for a decision.

Municipal spokesperson Brian Zuma said the municipality would allow the law to take its course. “The outcome of that investigation or court case will determine whether or not disciplinary action should be taken against the officer.

“I must indicate that this matter has not been reported to us.”

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