Blue light cop wins bail appeal

2008-12-19 00:00

Alleged “blue light bully” Hlanganani Nxumalo (28), who is charged with shooting at a vehicle after it allegedly did not move over quickly enough on the N3 near Ashburton on November 15, will spend Christmas at home.

Nxumalo, a member of the SAPS VIP Protection Unit and bodyguard of Social Welfare MEC Meshack Radebe, faces eight charges of attempted murder for allegedly causing an accident in which eight people were injured.

Exactly one month after he was denied bail by Camperdown magistrate Thys Taljaard, he appealed the ruling in the Pietermaritzburg High Court yesterday.

Judge Isaac Madondo found that Nxumalo met all the legal requirements to qualify for bail.

He said the magistrate misdirected himself when he took into account the “public outcry” over the incident and the “so-called blue light gang of KZN”.

Nxumalo’s advocate, Louis Barnard, and state advocate Denardo MacDonald agreed on R3 500 for bail.

The judge ordered that Nxumalo not communicate or interfere with the state witnesses.

The state conceded yesterday that it was wrong at the bail application in Camperdown to treat the case as one involving “schedule five” offences. This places an onus on an accused person to show that his release is in the interests of justice.

Barnard said attempted murder only falls under schedule five if it involves the infliction of “grievous bodily harm”.

He also submitted that Taljaard “erred” when he took into account the “antics and modus operandi of the so-called blue light gang of KZN” when considering the bail application.

Barnard has also suggested that the case against Nxumalo does not seem to be very strong as far as the attempted murder charges are concerned. He said, “At the end of the day the state may well be left with a case of negligent discharge of a firearm and reckless or negligent driving but … not attempted murder”.

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