Jailed for spilling drink on Zuma

2010-08-07 00:00


A MAN, whose name has been withheld, was thrown in jail after he allegedly spilt a drink on President Jacob Zuma at the Vodacom Durban July last weekend.

The drink was later confirmed by a police source to have been an alcoholic beverage.

Eyewitness to the incident, Roy Moodley, whose horse Bold Silvano won the event, said he believes there was no ill intent involved in the incident.

“Nobody poured a drink over President Zuma. I know the incident occurred because I was right there, but I don’t think there was any intention. It was done mistakenly,” said Moodley.

Asked if he knew why the man was then hauled off to Berea police station, Moodley said it was because the incident involved the president.

“No one was hurt. I didn’t see any solids or glass. I think it was just water.” Moodley added that Zuma was not aware of the incident. “No one knew anything.”

Weekend Witness believes that the man was arrested and charged with common assault after the incident.

He was booked into the police cells at around 5 pm and then taken to the district surgeon at around 8 pm, presumably for alcohol testing, said a source, but this could not be confirmed. Gold Circle spokesperson Graham Hawkins said he doesn’t have a first- hand account of the incident, but apologised for any inconvenience that might have been caused to the president.

“We are appalled by the incident. However, I can’t tell whether it was an accident or not because I didn’t witness it. We apologise to the state president because we value his presence at the course.”

Presidential spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said that only the police can shed light on the incident.

“You and I are not the police, so if you want details contact the area police,” was all he said.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Brigadier Phindile Radebe confirmed that an assault case had been opened against the man, but would not divulge any further information.

She would not say whether the man has appeared in court or not.

A police source, who did not wish to be named, said: “The man threw the alcohol while the president was about to go past him. We don’t know if it was purposeful or not.”

Approached for comment, the man who was arrested said he had no comment about the incident and hung up. The second time he was contacted, he said he did not know what the reporter was talking about. When a text message was sent to him later, his reply was another “No comment”.

He allegedly has links to the horse-racing industry, but this could not be confirmed yesterday.

The incident seems to have been hushed up until now.

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