Traffic officer up on charge of assaulting woman

2010-04-27 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL traffic officer Edward Xolani Mtshali (29), who is charged with the assault of Cato Ridge grandmother Jude Ward in the Camperdown police station on January 18, appeared in the Camperdown Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Four high-ranking traffic officers were in court. Two of them tried to prevent photographers from taking pictures of Mtshali, who tried to duck. The officers desisted only after they were told that the presiding magistrate, Lenos Phoswa, had given the photographers permission.

Mtshali is accused of having assaulted Ward in the Camperdown police station. He allegedly grabbed her, pushed her to the ground, placed his knee on her back and hit her head on the floor.

The hearing was adjourned to May 14 for statements to be taken.

Ward herself faces charges — of inconsiderate driving and of failing to obey a traffic officer’s instructions on June 15. The charges are considerably less serious than the reckless and negligent driving charges that were orginally brought against her.

The charges against her and the counter-allegations arose after Ward, while driving on the N3, fled from Mtshali, who was allegedly following in an unmarked car. Suspecting a possible hijack, she drove to the Camperdown police station.

There, she alleged, Mtshali assaulted her, threw her down and throttled her in full view of eight police officers, including two women.

Ward said that the police officers did nothing to protect her from the assault.

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