Traffic officer says ANCYL man’s 'attack' left him humiliated

2017-03-02 19:09
ANCYL Western Cape spokesperson Siyabulela Tom (centre) arrives at the Cape Town Magistrate's Court for allegedly insulting and assaulting officials at a road block. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

ANCYL Western Cape spokesperson Siyabulela Tom (centre) arrives at the Cape Town Magistrate's Court for allegedly insulting and assaulting officials at a road block. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town - A senior Cape Town traffic officer on Thursday testified that he was left humiliated after Western Cape ANC Youth League spokesperson Siyabulela Tom insulted and assaulted him at a roadblock in 2016.

"I felt hurt. I am in charge of 10 members of the roadblock unit and, as supervisor, I felt humiliated," Jeremy Minnie told prosecutor Marissa Behari in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

He was speaking after Tom, out on a warning, pleaded not guilty to assault and two counts of crimen injuria.

Minnie was the operational commander of the roadblock that Tom and a man who was driving him were stopped at in Green Point on July 27, 2016.

Testifying as a State witness, he said Tom had become frustrated after the driver was arrested for being under the influence of alcohol.

He apparently shouted and demanded to know how he was going to get home.

'You whites think you are still in charge'

Minnie recalled that Tom also smelt of alcohol, was slightly off balance, and had bloodshot eyes.

"Just out of the blue, I heard: 'You calling me a baboon?' The accused said this. He was saying this to the warrant officer from Sea Point and pointing in his face."

Minnie said the warrant officer never mentioned the word baboon.

He saw Tom pointing his right finger at the policeman and saying: "You white poes. You whites think you are still in charge."

Tom apparently came to him and demanded to know what the officer's name was.

He pointed out the name was sewn on the officer's vest and he should go back and check it.

'Smacked me'

His recollection was that Tom went to stand in the road to block traffic before coming back to him and shoving a finger in his face.

"He said 'Fuck you. You coloured and white people think you are in charge. Jou poes. You think you are running this country.'"

"He suddenly turned around and smacked me with an open hand to this chest… He used his right hand."

Minnie grabbed Tom's arm at this stage and placed him under arrest.

Before he was handcuffed, Tom told a police officer to "take out his gun and shoot him because that is all he was good for", Minnie added.

He said Tom showed them his ANC top and said: "We will see what will happen to us."

At the police station, he said Tom started crying, saying he was sorry for what he had done.

"In my 16 years of being a traffic officer, I have never experienced this."

Confirmation of testimony

Constable Heinrich Pretorius, called as the second witness, confirmed in his testimony that Tom had told him to shoot him and that he had laughed in response.

"He said that I am a poes and that the coloured people are covering up for the white people," he said.

"It made me feel bad because people don't have respect for us doing our job, making a mockery of us at that stage."

Cross-examining the two, Tom's lawyer Nicholas Madolo put it to them that his client had not insulted or assaulted anyone, nor claimed he was part of a political party.

He accused Minnie of dereliction of duty for not properly addressing his complaint about a police officer calling him a "bobbejaan".

He felt Minnie was tailoring his evidence and protecting the police officer.

The traffic officer denied the allegations, saying that he offered to take Tom to the police station to lay charges, but that he had refused.

Pretorius' cross-examination would continue on Monday.

Read more on:    ancyl  |  cape town  |  crime

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