Zuma drunk driving case in court

2013-10-29 22:47
Bethuel Zuma (Picture: Sapa)

Bethuel Zuma (Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The Pietermaritzburg Magistrate's Court heard on Tuesday that Maj-Gen Bethuel Mondli Zuma stayed in a bathroom for a long time to avoid being breathalysed on the night he was arrested.

Road traffic supervisor Zain Mahomed was testifying in Zuma's trial.

Previous evidence showed that an initial test taken when he arrived at the house, placed Zuma's blood alcohol level at 3.5 times the legal limit, but that the test was not valid in court.

Mahomed said traffic officers had wanted Zuma taken to Pietermaritzburg for testing at the road traffic inspectorate building so a valid reading could be obtained.

Zuma was to have become Gauteng's new provincial police commissioner, but was removed hours after being appointed by national police commissioner Riah Phiyega when it emerged that the case was pending against him.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges of failing to stop when ordered to, drunk driving, attempting to escape from custody and defeating the ends of justice.

Mahomed said he was called out after midnight in December 2008 by traffic officers. Zuma had allegedly ignored their signals to stop, and they had traced him to a house.

Mahomed said he asked the commanders at the Alexandra Road police station to help contact Zuma.

Colonel Siyabonga Maphumulo, who was also testifying, said he arrived at the house and was asked by Mahomed to contact Zuma.

A long time

Maphumulo said they were let into the house and were directed to the bathroom. He knocked on the door and asked if anyone was inside.

He said Zuma emerged after a long time.

Sergie Brimiah, for Zuma, said Maphumulo's version of events was incorrect.

Brimiah argued that Maphumulo's time frame of events was contradicted by notes taken by his own assistant.

He said Zuma would say that he drove through the roadblock because he thought it was bogus.

The State closed its case.

The trial resumes on 26 November.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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