Pirates keeper complains about how his speeding case is being handled

By Drum Digital
30 March 2016

Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Brighton Mhlongo on Wednesday said he was not impressed with the manner in which his speeding case was being handled by the courts.

Mhlongo said he had arrived at the Brixton Magistrate's Court at 08:30, as his bail conditions had instructed.

However, by noon, his matter had been transferred to the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court and was yet to be heard.

The soccer player was arrested on Good Friday for speeding.

The tall, slim athlete voiced his irritation and impatience on Wednesday morning when he was told by Brixton Magistrate's Court officials that his docket had not yet arrived, meaning the matter could not yet be heard.

Mhlongo complained to others who were also at court on driving-related charges from the weekend.

He told them he had arrived at court at 08:30, as instructed, and that he had thought the matter would be concluded quickly so that he could go back to work and train with his colleagues.

Nearly four hours later, Mhlongo and the others were told their cases would be heard in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court.

Upon their arrival shortly after noon, they were asked to wait patiently as the prosecutor went through each of their dockets.

Mhlongo was arrested on Friday for allegedly driving at 173km/h.

On Tuesday, in an exclusive interview with News24, Mhlongo said he had been rushing to a family meeting in Soweto ahead of his own wedding that weekend.

He said he was disappointed that people had assumed he had been driving under the influence of alcohol.

"I woke up on Sunday morning, only to see stories about [the arrest] because most people think I was drinking, which is not the case," Mhlongo said.

"I was getting married over the weekend, so I was not in a good state of mind because I wanted to sort things out quickly, rush, rush."

Mhlongo said he was rushing to Protea Glen in Soweto, where he was to wed his fiancée, Dimakatso Marene, at the time.

However, this was not an excuse, he admitted.

"This does not justify my actions. I was wrong and I was not supposed to do what I did.

"I feel it was a silly incident because I was stressed out as I had wedding preparations."

Contrary to reports given to Transport Minister Dipuo Peters that Mhlongo would be kept in custody until his court appearance on Wednesday, the soccer star said he did not resist arrest and was luckily released on bail on the same day.

Mhlongo was able to wed the love of his life over the weekend.

"All I can say to the public is that I was wrong. It is very bad, especially when it is done by us young stars.

"We are supposed to be role models and obviously we lost players due to accidents… I am very sorry for my actions, I have learnt from this mistake," he said.

Source: News24

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