Dragging accused cop gets bail

By Drum Digital
21 March 2013

A policeman accused of dragging a man next to his vehicle has been released on bail by the Mmabatho Magistrate's Court, Beeld reported on Thursday.

Sergeant Mbali Phetha threw his hands in the air when magistrate Seth Mmushi granted him R1000 bail on Wednesday. He faces a charge of attempted murder.

The State did not oppose bail. The court heard that Phetha lived within walking distance of the man he is accused of dragging, court interpreter Morgan Mohlala.

A senior investigator at the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, Bonisile Koliya, testified on Wednesday that Phetha and another officer were called to a tuck shop in Setlopo village, near Mmabatho, on March 7, after a young man and the shop's owner had had an argument.

The man complained to Mohlala - who was nearby - that the police had harassed him. Mohlala then told him to come to his house so he could explain to the youth how to lodge a complaint against the officers.

Phetha, sitting in the police van, overheard this and allegedly grabbed Mohlala by the neck and dragged him about 100m while driving.

"He was running alongside the police vehicle, but fell when Phetha accelerated. The vehicle went over his feet," Koliya told the court.

Phetha is scheduled to appear in the Molopo Magistrate's Court in Mmabatho on May 2.

He sang and danced outside the court after his release on bail, while supporters displayed placards proclaiming his innocence.

He has been suspended pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

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