Passenger ‘unaware’ of dragging incident

2011-09-21 10:43

A passenger in the taxi that dragged a Joburg advocate for some metres was unaware of what was happening, the Randburg Magistrates Court in Joburg heard today.

“I did not see if she fell to the side of the vehicle or if she went underneath,” Martha Mahludu testified.

She was giving evidence in the bail application of the taxi driver who hit and allegedly dragged Kim McCusker (25) in Lonehill, Fourways, last week.

Matome Thamage (30) faces charges of attempted murder and reckless or negligent driving. In custody since his arrest, he appeared in the same dirty white t-shirt he wore in court last week.

Asked if she had told Thamage that someone might be trapped under the minibus, Mahludu said: “I was confused, the driver was also confused.”

Thamage’s taxi allegedly hit Kim McCusker (25) last Tuesday and dragged her under the vehicle for several hundred metres along Lonehill Boulevard, in Joburg.

Thamage later laid an assault charge against McCusker’s fiancé, Lourens Grobler (37). Thamage claimed he hit McCusker while fleeing an assault by Grobler, after his taxi hit the back of Grobler’s bakkie.

Grobler received bail of R5 000.

Mahludu testified that Thamage drove off to evade the assault. She said when he pulled off, the taxi mounted the curb before getting back on the road.

Mahludu said that security guards told Thamage to stop, but as the traffic light in front of him was green, he went through the intersection before stopping.

Last Wednesday, Magistrate Vincent Pienaar said the attempted murder charge against Thamage classified the offence as schedule five.

According to the Criminal Procedure Act, in a schedule-five bail application the court has to satisfy itself that exceptional circumstances exist for an accused to get bail.

McCusker remained in the intensive care unit of Life Fourways hospital.

McCusker’s uncle, Willem Hijbeek, represented the family in court. He declined to comment on her condition.

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