State wants prison term for blue light driver

2014-11-20 15:50


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The blue light driver who left Thomas Ferreira brain damaged when he crashed into him should not get away with a slap on the wrist, the Krugersdorp Magistrate's Court heard on Thursday.

"The last thing this country needs is for this accused to have a slap on the wrist," prosecutor Micky Thesna told the Krugersdorp Magistrate's Court during sentencing proceedings for Joseph Motsamai Semitjie.

Thesna argued the rules of the road should apply equally to everyone.

"The court has the unique opportunity to shift its focus to the only real VIP that was on the road that day and it was Thomas Ferreira," she said.

Thesna disagreed with the sentence of correctional supervision and a fine proposed earlier by Semitjie's lawyer, Thomas Mohlobogoane.

"It is my submission that the sentence suggested is wholly inappropriate," Thesna said.

Ferreira's parents sat in the second row of the public gallery. His mother's hands were clenched in her lap and his father occasionally put his arm around her shoulders.

Thesna suggested Semitjie be sent to jail. The culture and attitude on South Africa's roads needed to change, she said.

"The accused very clearly acted recklessly. This accused was employed with the South African Police Services, specifically there to serve and protect his community and what he did was the complete opposite."

Thesna said Semitjie had not shown remorse, and was more worried about the damage to his vehicle than to the harm he had done to a human being.

Earlier, the court heard that Ferreira would have to live with severe mental problems for the rest of his life.

Semitjie was driving then Gauteng housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi to a meeting when he crashed into Ferreira, who was on a motorbike, in November 2011. During the trial, the court heard that Semitjie was driving on the left side of the yellow line, had not switched on his siren, and went through a red traffic light.

Ferreira, who was 18 at the time, suffered head injuries and was comatose for weeks. He spent months in rehabilitation.

The sentencing is expected to continue on 28 January.

Read more on:    thomas ferreira  |  johannesburg  |  crime

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.