Witnesses sought in taxi dragging case

2012-03-30 15:59
Johannesburg - The trial of a minibus taxi driver who allegedly ran over advocate Kim McCusker and dragged her under his minibus was postponed by the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Friday.

Matome Thamage, 30, will appear in court again on May 3.

Prosecutor Katlego Mokoena asked the court to postpone the matter to allow witnesses to be found.

"The State has a few problems with the witnesses... There were a lot of people in the taxi. We are looking for a witness," she said.

Thamage's lawyer Oliver Moeti opposed the postponement, arguing that the case was not postponed in February to track down witnesses, but to determine if rumours that McCusker had died were true.

Investigations

"The State is not ready and now they want to continue investigations... This is going to be a waste of time and an infringement on the accused's right to a speedy trial," Moeti argued.

Magistrate George Andrews said McCusker had not died.

"The State must get its house in order. I give you five weeks... Case is postponed to May 3 to finalise investigations," he said.

Dressed in black, Thamage stood quietly in the dock while the matter was heard. He left when proceedings were completed.

Thamage faces charges of attempted murder after he allegedly struck McCusker and dragged her several hundred metres along Lonehill Boulevard, in northern Johannesburg, on September 13 last year.

McCusker remained in hospital for two months afterwards and underwent extensive skin grafts.

Thamage claimed he drove off because he was fleeing an assault from her fiancé, Lourens Grobler, after his taxi crashed into the couple's bakkie. Thamage claimed he did not realise McCusker was under his vehicle when he drove away.

He was previously granted R5 000 bail. His bail was extended.

Read more on:    kim mccusker  |  matome thamage  |  johannesburg

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