Traffic cop laughs at ‘lies’

2010-12-01 00:00

TRAFFIC officer Edward Mtshali was termed a “blatant liar” and accused of fabricating charges of inconsiderate driving against motorist Jude Ward to cover up the fact that he brutally assaulted her in the Camperdown police station on January 18.

Ward’s advocate, Christo van Schalkwyk SC, suggested to Mtshali at the Camperdown magistrate’s court yesterday: “The accused had not committed any offence. The reason she didn’t stop at the side of the road and drove to the police station was to seek help because of your aggressive behaviour in an unmarked vehicle … Your aggression continued at the police station when you assaulted her.”

Van Schalkwyk said Ward did “what any woman would do” when fearing her life was in danger, and that was to go to the police for help.

Mtshali replied that he “never behaved like that”.

“At no stage was there anybody I abused on the road by abusing my authority,” he said.

Van Schalkwyk confronted Mtshali with contents of a doctor’s report indicating that Ward had severe bruising of the knees and elbows, blood spots and severe neck and forehead pain as a result of her head being hit on the floor.

Van Schalkwyk put it to Mtshali that he went “into a rage” when Ward produced her cellphone, that he threw her and pushed her down on the floor, then put his whole body weight and knee on her back and pushed her head to the floor. “You a man who is at least twice her size.”

Mtshali replied that he wished “not to answer these questions” as they have a bearing on his pending trial for allegedly assaulting Ward.

He was reminded repeatedly that he was not obliged to answer questions he felt could incriminate him in the pending case. At times he declined to answer, but proceeded to offer “an explanation”.

Van Schalkwyk said he could not decline to answer and then “make speeches”.

He confronted Msthali with a “morass of events” at the police station that he alleged he had left out of his police statement, but now said had occurred.

This included his testimony in court that Ward “jumped” on him to get her cellphone, that he pushed her and that she ended up on her knees and holding her head in her hands.

Van Schalkwyk also taxed him on why he did not testify about an alleged incident where Ward “poked” him with her car keys, causing him to push her, even though this was in his statement.

Mtshali said there were “many things” that happened and he may have omitted some of them from his statement or may have forgotten about them. He said he was “reminded” about the incident with the keys by Van Schalkwyk.

At least twice Mtshali responded with alughter to the suggestions. Asked why he laughed, he said Ward was “lying”. The case will proceed on December 23.

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