Jude Ward ‘was a drama queen’

2011-12-07 00:00

THE Camperdown magistrate’s court heard yesterday that motorist Jude Ward, who laid charges of assault against traffic officer Edward Xolani Mtshali, was a “drama queen” who grossly exaggerated the alleged incident in the Camperdown police charge office on January 18, 2010.

The submission was made by

Mtshali’s advocate, Shane Matthews, who yesterday brought an application for Mtshali to be discharged at the end of the state’s case.

Magistrate L. Perumal adjourned the case until December 13 to consider the application.

Matthews submitted that there is no “reasonable” evidence on which the court can convict Mtshali of the assault allegation.

Although Ward gave direct evidence about the alleged assault on her, Matthews submitted that she was “such a poor witness” no reliance could be placed on her evidence.

He said her “exaggerated account” of the incident ought to be of concern to the court.

Her testimony that she bled profusely, that she sustained lacerations to her hands, that her whole body was bruised and sore and that there were red finger marks on her neck from being throttled, were not confirmed by medical evidence, he said.

“She was somewhat of a drama queen in the witness box,” he submitted.

The application was opposed by state prosecutor Joshua Khuzwayo, who argued that Mtshali has a case to answer. The state further disputed that Ward’s evidence had been of such poor quality that the court could not have regard to it.

Khuzwayo submitted that Ward’s behaviour in the witness box had been due to trauma. He added that Ward’s testimony is in fact supported by the medical findings of district surgeon, Dr Pieter Oosthuizen, who gave evidence yesterday.

Oosthuizen testified that Ward was “frightened and semi-hysterical” when he examined her on the day of the alleged assault. He found bruising on her left knee and elbow and blood spots in the chest area of her blouse, and said she complained of severe neck and forehead pain as a result of her forehead being hit on the floor.

Oosthuizen said he did not see any open wounds on Ward and could not say where the blood spots came from.

When she gave evidence in the case earlier this year Ward testified that she was a “mess” after she was “bashed and shouted at” by Mtshali in front of policemen who did not try to help her in the police station at Camperdown. She became emotional and cried on a number of occasions during her evidence.

She testified she drove to the police station in a panic to seek refuge after she was confronted by a “very aggressive” Mtshali on the N3. Following the incident Ward was charged with reckless and negligent driving and refusing to obey a traffic officer’s instructions, but was acquitted on all charges.

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