Taxi protest: R500 bail each for 2
TWO men who allegedly assaulted two policemen during the taxi protest in January, were yesterday granted bail of R500 each by the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court.
The state was initially opposed to Lucky Dlamini and Lucky Biskode being granted bail, but reconsidered because there were no reasons to keep them in jail.
Their legal aid attorney, Bonisiwe Gasa, told magistrate Chris van Vuuren that the only witnesses were the policemen — constables Shashendran Padayachee and Ryan Otto — and their safety was guaranteed.
She said her clients, who are charged with assault, public violence and resisting arrest, lived in the Northdale area but have provided the court with alternate addresses. This was in case the court had a problem with them living where other possible witnesses could be found.
Gasa also said the men have lost their jobs and the owners of the taxis they worked for don’t want to have anything to do with them.
In granting them bail, Van Vuuren said the men have fixed addresses that were verified by police officers, neither had previous or pending cases and it was unlikely they would repeat the offences.
The state alleges that the policemen, from the Mountain Rise police station, were monitoring taxi violence on Dr Chota Motala Road in Raisethorpe on January 25, when they spotted two disorderly men who were later identified as Dlamini and Biskode.
It is alleged they were standing in the middle of the road trying to stop traffic from flowing. They were also swearing at motorists and behaving badly.
Alcohol bottles were allegedly seen next to them.
The men were allegedly saying they were part of the taxi strike that gripped the city.
The police officers approached them and they became extremely abusive. Dlamini and Biskode allegedly began assaulting the policemen, who were punched and hit with bottles on their head, according to the charge sheet.
The officers tried to arrest them but they resisted. The two then ran away but were arrested soon afterwards in Thulsi and Mysore roads. They will appear in court again on March 15. • email@example.com