uMngeni mayor appears in court

2013-07-02 00:00

UMNGENI Mayor Mbali Myeni appeared in court yesterday after she was nabbed by one of her own traffic officers for allegedly failing to stop at a roadblock last week.

Myeni made a brief appearance in the Howick Magistrate’s court. Her case was adjourned until August 1 for further investigation.

According to the charge sheet the incident happened on Wednesday, June 26, on the main Tweedie Road in the district of Lions River. The mayor was charged for unlawfully and wilfully failing to comply with the directions or instructions given to her by uMngeni traffic officer Khulekani Ngcobo to stop at a roadblock. She was also charged with reckless and negligent driving.

Captain Lolly Moodley, spokesperson for the Howick police, said the mayor was driving when traffic officers allegedly picked up that there was an outstanding traffic violation on her car. Ngcobo tried to stop her and she allegedly refused to stop. On Friday, the traffic officials went to her office where she was charged and warned to appear in court yesterday.

The mayor arrived at the court house yesterday morning around 10.30 am, just prior to her appearance.

She was accompanied by her lawyer, Zwela Khumalo.

Inside court A, Magistrate Mmeli Ngwane indicated he was ready for his next case and prosecutor Padmini Chetty announced the state v Mbali Pearl Myeni.

The mayor was not in the courtroom and a court official went out and called her name in the corridor. Myeni walked in and entered the dock appearing calm and confident. She was there for less than a minute and was not asked to plead before being told that her next appearance would be on August 1.

Approached after her appearance, Myeni said her lawyer had advised that she could not talk about the case as it was sub judice. However, she said she wanted to state quite categorically that she believed everyone was equal before the law.

“This is irrespective of the office we may occupy. The people of uMngeni and I continue to hold our civil servants in high esteem and we support them in carrying out their duties without fear or favour,” the mayor said.

She said this was balanced with the constitutionally guaranteed right to be deemed innocent unless and or until proven otherwise.

“I am sure that the truth in this matter will soon become apparent to everyone and that we will all soon move on with our lives. Furthermore, I would like to assure the residents of uMngeni that this will not derail or distract me in my efforts to improve the lives of our people every day,” Miyeni said.

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