Officer testifies: ‘OJ’ smelt of alcohol

2009-06-10 00:00

The traffic officer who arrested football star Mbulelo “OJ” Mabizela for alleged drunk driving last December testified yesterday that he smelt alcohol on Mabizela’s breath, and this was confirmed by a breathalyser test.

SAPS accident unit Inspector Spencer Mark Roberts said that on December 12, he was on duty outside the Scottsville Mall when he saw a black vehicle approaching, which had no number plate. He pulled it over and spoke to the driver — Mabizela.

“As I was speaking to him I could smell alcohol on his breath … I asked him to switch off the vehicle and alight, which he did. I think there were four occupants. I explained to the accused that I need to take a breath sample from him on a preliminary hand-held device.”

Roberts said when Mabizela blew, his observation of “liquor on his breath” was confirmed.

“He [Mabizela] said he had consumed alcohol, but it was on the previous day,” he added.

He said after explaining his rights to him, he arrested Mabizela and took him for a further test on the “Drager” machine. He said Mabizela did not get any opportunity to drink more alcohol.

The breathalyser indicated that Mabizela’s breath alcohol content at the time of the final test — 2,48 pm — was 1,09 mg per 1 000 ml of breath.

The legal limit is 0,24 mg per 1 000 ml of breath.

After Roberts’s testimony, the defence applied for a discharge, arguing that Mabizela’s rights — not to make a confession or admission — were not properly explained to him.

Magistrate Dieter Schultz adjourned the trial unti June 23 to consider the application.

At the time of his arrest, Mabizela — a former Bafana Bafana captain — was a defender for Mamelodi Sundowns. He now plays for the Platinum Stars.

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