Driver charged with murder

2008-06-17 00:00

Taxi driver, Lucky Nhlanhla Mbonambi (33) of Esigodini, Edendale, made a brief appearance in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday on a total of nine charges including the murder of traffic officer Desmond Hanson (39) on June 12.

Mbonambi indicated that he intends to apply for legal aid and the case was postponed until June 24 to finalise his application, as well as for further police investigations.

Mbonambi was not asked to plead to any of the charges and was remanded in custody.

Hanson was killed after being knocked down by a minibus taxi, allegedly driven by Mbonambi, last Thursday morning in Peter Kerchoff [Chapel] Street.

He died in hospital of critical injuries.

Allegations by witnesses that the taxi changed lanes and apparently “made a beeline” for Hanson, who was instructed to stop the vehicle for allegedly ignoring two red robots, are believed to be the reason that Mbonambi has been charged with murder instead of the less serious charge of culpable homicide.

Hanson was in uniform and wore reflective clothing at the time.

In addition to the murder charge, Mbonambi is charged in two separate counts for allegedly failing to stop at red lights at the corner of Pietermaritz and Bank streets and Pietermaritz and Printing Office streets on the same day.

He faces three further charges of contempt of court arising from three warrants for his arrest issued when he allegedly failed to appear in court to defend charges of road traffic violations.

A warrant for his arrest was authorised on March 7 last year in connection with a case in which Mbonambi was charged for ignoring a stop sign on January 22, 2007.

On November 11, 2006, a warrant was issued over his alleged failure to appear in connection with a charge that he failed to wear a seatbelt on September 22, 2006, and another warrant was authorised on September 14, 2006, over his alleged failure to comply with a stop sign on July 26, 2006.

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