Blue light assault case drags on
Johannesburg - A policeman said to have punched a motorist for not making way for a presidential convoy had his case postponed by the Tembisa Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.
Magistrate Hlengiwe Malevu granted a request by prosecutor Justice Shitsinga for the matter to be put off to January 23, due to a congested court roll.
Defence lawyer Gisbon Ngobeni, for Reeves Malebane, said he was ready to proceed with the trial.
But Malevu said even if the matter could be dealt with on Wednesday, chances of it being finalised were slim.
"We have a congested court roll and It would be unfair to keep them in court. Therefore, I grant remand for the trial."
She acknowledged that the matter had dragged on for five years, saying it would be marked as preferred.
"We apologise for the inconvenience, but the matter will be marked final for that day [January 23]," she said to the complainant, 61-year-old Walter Scheiblecker.
Scheiblecker was in court supported by his wife Cherly and daughter Monique, who is also State witness.
She was with her father when he was allegedly punched by the policeman on October 27 2006.
Scheiblecker claims they were driving onto the congested freeway from Olifantsfontein road when Malebane, who was a member of then president Thabo Mbeki's protection unit, drove into his car.
Malebane then allegedly walked to Scheiblecker's door and punched him on his left eye before he could even unfasten his seatbelt. He also allegedly swore at him and his daughter.
The convoy was apparently transporting Mbeki to the launch of the then Johannesburg International Airport (now OR Tambo International Airport).