Triumph over blue light bully

2011-02-26 00:00

BUSINESSWOMAN Jude Ward was acquitted yesterday of all charges laid against her by traffic officer Edward Mtshali, with whom she was involved in an altercation at the Camperdown police station on January 18 last year.

Camperdown magistrate T.Z. Nkosi gave a brief judgment in which he found that at the end of the state case, the prosecution had not proved any of the charges preferred against Ward of inconsiderate driving and two counts of failing to obey a traffic officer and said she was free to go.

The magistrate said he had considered all the submissions made by the defence in written heads of argument prepared by Ward’s advocate, Christo van Schalkwyk SC, and attorney Karen Hattingh in which the defence “attacked the state case from all corners”.

A delighted Ward said she would celebrate her victory with “cake and champagne”.

“I just want to be safe on the road. I want everybody who gets pulled over in their car in future and brutally assaulted to remember the name, Jude Ward,” she added.

Ward’s husband, PJ, said they remain convinced that the charges laid against his wife were aimed at covering up the assault perpetrated on her at the police station (allegedly by Mtshali).

Hattingh confirmed that Ward is proceeding with a civil lawsuit against the state arising from the incident.

Mtshali’s trial for the alleged assault on Ward is due to start on May 18.

Ward and Mtshali laid counter-charges against each other following an altercation which began on the N3 and ended up at the Camperdown police station where Ward sought refuge.

The Director of Public Prosecutions subsequently decided to charge Ward with the alleged traffic violations, while Mtshali was charged with assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm for allegedly pushing Ward to the ground, putting his knee on her back and hitting her forehead on the floor during the incident.

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