Bees Roux: Justice, cop's family says
Pretoria - Blue Bulls rugby player Bees Roux will not have to serve jail time for killing a metro police officer with his bare hands, but will have to pay the man's family R750 000 in compensation.
Judge Nomonde Mngqibisa-Thusi sentenced Roux late on Friday afternoon to five years imprisonment, wholly suspended for five years, on charges of culpable homicide and driving under the influence in terms of a plea bargain agreement reached with the State.
The conditions include that he must pay the family of his victim, Tshwane metro police officer Johannes Mogale, R750,000 and that he may not be convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for a violent crime within the next five years.
Roux, who was initially charged with murder, kissed and hugged his girlfriend Carien du Toit and shook hands with Mogale's family after being sentenced.
In a statement, he admitted causing Mogale's death in a Pretoria street in August last year by repeatedly hitting Mogale's head with his elbow then punching him and throwing him to the ground.
According to the statement, Mogale had pulled Roux over for suspected drunk driving in the early hours of the morning.
When Roux admitted to having a few drinks at a nearby restaurant, Mogale did not arrest him, but took a bottle of whiskey out of the rugby player's car and gave to two of his colleagues in their car.
Mogale then got into the driver's seat of Roux's car and aggressively demanded the PIN number of his bank card before driving with him to an unknown destination.
According to Roux, it was clear to him that Mogale was on a criminal frolic of his own. He decided to attack Mogale because he feared for his life.
He said he was "a large person with unusual physical strength" who had found himself in an emergency situation, and said he had "anguished over this incessantly ever since the incident".
"I realise that I should have stopped any further assault on the deceased when he landed on the road outside the car.
"I was in a state of agitation and turmoil as a result of the incident, the likes of which I'd never experienced before.
"According to State witnesses, I proceeded to assault the deceased where he was prone on the ground by hitting him with clenched fists... I was screaming and yelling at bystanders to call the police and... at a stage when the deceased had evidently lost consciousness, I proceeded to plead with him to wake up so that he would 'pull through'.
"I admit I exceeded the boundaries of private defence and although I had no intention to murder the deceased, assaulted him and negligently failed to foresee my actions might cause his death," Roux said.
He said he had no prior history of violence and that everyone who knew him described him as a "gentle giant".
According to Roux, Mogale must have stolen his wallet, because it was nowhere to be seen after the incident.
Roux expressed remorse about what he had done and said he had approached Mogale's family and asked for their forgiveness.
Roux's attorney Rudi Krause said "forgiveness was asked and given" during a long and emotional meeting with Mogale's family.
Roux's spokesman James Adams denied that the attack had anything to do with racism and said anyone who knew Roux would confirm that he was a gentle giant with a soft heart and was not a racist.
The Mogale family's spokesperson Richard Taukgobong said the family was satisfied that the plea bargain agreement had resulted in justice for all, although money would never bring his brother back.
He strenuously denied that his brother had been corrupt, although according to the plea bargain agreement, the family accepted Roux's version of the events that night.