KZN cop acquitted on assault charge
Johannesburg - A KwaZulu-Natal traffic officer was acquitted of assault charges on Tuesday in the Camperdown Magistrate's Court, the provincial transport department said.
Edward Xolani Mtshali, 30, was accused of assaulting 53-year-old Jude Ward at the Camperdown police station last year.
"The case went to court, but he was acquitted on all the charges. There was no prima facie evidence against him," spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said.
Mtshali, driving in an unmarked car, apparently indicated to Ward to pull over on the N3 highway between Pietermaritzburg and Durban in January 2010. However, she drove to the police station instead, apparently fearing he was a hijacker.
Mtshali followed her inside where he allegedly pushed her to the floor and throttled her.
The department's MEC Willies Mchunu welcomed the ruling.
"The law has played its role and has cleared Mtshali from the assault charges," he said in a statement.
"I urge the community to respect this decision. No one is above the law and we want to ensure the community that our officers are well-trained and disciplined."