Blue light judge: Victim’s life destroyed

2015-01-28 12:27
Blue light driver Joseph Motsamai Semitjie. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Blue light driver Joseph Motsamai Semitjie. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Krugersdorp Magistrate Abdul Khan has described blue light driver, Joseph Motsamai Semitjie, as having ‘destroyed’ the life of teenage victim Thomas Ferreira after hitting him with his car.

"You entered a busy intersection without making sure it was safe to do so... you endangered the lives of others, and a young man's life was destroyed. As the prosecutor put it, young Ferreira's life ended that day," Khan said.

Semitjie had been sentenced to five years in jail earlier on Wednesday.

On the first charge of reckless or negligent driving, Magistrate Abdul Khan sentenced him to four years behind bars. Half this sentence was suspended for four years.

On the other two charges, which relate to his failure to stop at the accident scene and provide help, he was sentenced to three years' jail.

The sentences would run concurrently.

In December 2013, Semitjie was convicted of reckless or negligent driving and failure to help an injured person after he skipped a red light and knocked Ferreira off his motorbike.

Ferreira, who was 18 at the time in November 2011, suffered head injuries and was comatose for weeks. Semitjie was driving then Gauteng housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi to a meeting at the time.

Khan said the sentence should be a deterrent for other road users who wanted to break the law.

"Society and all road users should understand that traffic offences are not petty offences. They are criminal offences just like murder, robbing and stealing."

He said Ferreira would need therapy and medication for the rest of his life.

Khan said the court was not convinced that Semitjie was remorseful.

"You blamed everyone else except yourself. You blamed Ferreira, while you failed to ensure safety before entering a busy intersection. You failed to put on the siren and evidently, even as a trained police officer, you did not comply with the Traffic Act."

Semitjie opted not to testify in his defence.

"Your failure to testify left the court not knowing the true Joseph, leaving your fate to chance," Khan added.

Read more on:    thomas ferreira  |  humphrey mmemezi  |  johannesburg  |  blue light incidents

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