Lonehill taxi driver's witness suffers a stroke

2015-09-04 11:47

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Johannesburg - A witness expected to testify in the trial of a Lonehill taxi driver accused of knocking down and dragging a woman beneath his vehicle would unlikely be called to the stand.

The Randburg Magistrate's Court was on Friday told the woman had recently suffered a stroke and since relocated to Hammanskraal.

She had been expected to testify in Matome Thamage's defence.

It was unclear whether the defence had any other witnesses to call.

Thamage himself was not present in court for the proceedings.

"The accused called me this morning and indicated he is not well," his lawyer Lulama Mqongosi told the court. 

A warrant of arrest had been issued for him, but would be held over until his next appearance on September 21.

This was not the first time Thamage had bailed out on proceedings.

In May, the matter was also postponed because Thamage had told the court he was too ill to take the stand.

Badly injured, scarred

Meanwhile, the young advocate Kim McCusker, who was allegedly injured by Thamage, was also not present for proceedings.

The September 2011 incident had left her badly injured and scarred.

It was alleged on the day in question, McCusker and her then fiancé, Lourens Grobler, were on their way to the gym when Thamage's taxi almost struck the back of their car.

Thamage, McCusker and Grobler were involved in a confrontation and Thamage sped off.

He claimed to have been fleeing an assault by Grobler and said he did not know McCusker was under his taxi.

She was dragged under the taxi for about 700m.

Thamage was arrested and charged with attempted murder and reckless or negligent driving. He has pleaded not guilty to these charges.

He also faced a string of other charges including driving without a licence, driving without a valid permit, failing to stop immediately after an accident and failing to ascertain the injuries of an accident victim.


In April, McCusker reached a settlement with the Road Accident Fund (RAF) whereby she received R10.4m.

She had initially demanded almost R16m, but she and her legal team eventually settled.

Her medical aid had already been paid R2m and McCusker has received R1m in damages.

The young woman said she would probably never be able to practice as an advocate again and would most likely need a knee replacement before she was 50.

She would not be able to give birth normally and was on pain medication that might threaten a pregnancy. She could no longer sit for long periods, which meant she could not drive nor walk for a long distance.

She needs long-term rehabilitation and plastic surgery for injuries the RAF’s medical consultants described as “grotesque”.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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