Taxi protest: R500 bail each for 2

The Witness - - NEWS - SHARIKA REGCHAND

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. • sharika.regchand@wit­ness.co.za

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