Flying cop ‘eight times over limit’

2009-03-26 00:00

Alexandra Road police officer Inspector Dumisani Mthembu (46) appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday on charges that he drove a car while the concentration of alcohol in his breath was about eight times the legal limit.

According to the charge sheet, Mthembu is charged with driving a vehicle with a breath alcohol reading of 1,64 milligrams per 1 000 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 0,24 milligrams.

He faces a second charge of reckless and negligent driving.

The charges arise from an incident on Saturday when 16-year-old Joel Gray narrowly escaped death when a car “flew” over his head and landed in the front garden of a friend’s home in Jesmond Road.

Mthembu was not asked to plead when he appeared before magistrate Helgard Fobian yesterday.

After his legal rights were explained to him he elected to apply for legal aid.

Mthembu was released on bail of R500 after the incident.

His case has been adjourned until April 7 for further investigation.

Joel Gray told The Witness that he was on his way home from playing soccer with a friend at about 2 pm on Saturday when he heard the screech of a car’s tyres.

The next minute he saw a vehicle skidding towards him. It hit the kerb and “flew” right over his head as he tried to jump out of the way. He raced home to get help.

He was extremely shaken after the incident.

An eyewitness alleged that the vehicle was swinging to the left and right before the accident, picked up speed and then veered out of control. He and other witnesses alleged the police driver smelt of alcohol.

Watch the video:

ingrido@witness.co.za

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