Winnie cops to be charged with assault

2011-01-15 21:15

Charges of assault and crimen injuria will be served tomorrow on the police officers who pulled Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s car off the road for reckless driving.

One of them is Warrant Officer Jannie Odendaal, who denies he swore at Madikizela-Mandela and her bodyguard on December 30 2010 after stopping their vehicle.

The other is Constable Abel Twala, who yesterday came out in support of his colleague.

Twala said Odendaal’s version of what happened was correct.

“Mama Winnie is making this into a racist thing. I am black. How can I be racist against blacks?” he asked.

Odendaal was transferred from Johannesburg to Soweto after Madikizela-Mandela complained. His service pistol was confiscated and he is currently the subject of a departmental investigation.

Twala was transferred to the East Rand.

Odendaal alleged that Madikizela-Mandela’s Audi was moving at 150km/h through traffic before he and his colleague pulled it off the road.

He said he was shoved by Madikizela-Mandela’s bodyguard and that she swore at him.

But Madikizela-Mandela’s spokesperson Zodwa Zwane claimed that Madikizela-Mandela wanted to calm the situation and that it was the police who swore and shouted at them.

According to Odendaal, he was summoned to provincial police headquarters and told to apologise to Madikizela-Mandela. He approached a newspaper instead, which published his story.

On Friday Odendaal and Twala were ordered to report for a meeting at Gauteng provincial police headquarters tomorrow, where the charges will formally be served on them.

They will be given an opportunity to explain themselves.

Odendaal said he had consulted with lawyers to prepare a case of crimen injuria and assault against Madikizela-Mandela.

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