Par­ents wait for jus­tice for their son

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - WEEKEND AR­GUS REPORTER

THEIR SON won’t be the same again. They say his per­son­al­ity is dif­fer­ent and that his body is still badly dam­aged two years af­ter the hor­rific crash that left him brain-dam­aged.

Yet Paul and Priscilla Fer­reira re­main pos­i­tive about their son Thomas’s fu­ture, and hope the crim­i­nal case re­sult­ing from the crash will help rein in the driv­ers of VIP ve­hi­cles, com­monly re­ferred to as “the blue-light brigade”.

The ac­ci­dent oc­curred in Novem­ber 2011 when then ma­tric pupil Fer­reira was rid­ing his mo­tor­cy­cle to visit his girl­friend. A car trans­port­ing con­tro­ver­sial for­mer Gaut­eng MEC Humphrey Mmemezi went through a red light at the Paardekraal in­ter­sec­tion in Krugers­dorp, col­lid­ing with Fer­reira. Mmemezi was 40 min­utes late for a meet­ing when they left the for­mer MEC’s home, and in­structed his driver, Joseph Mot­samai Semitjie, to switch on the ve­hi­cle’s blue lights.

Yes­ter­day, judg­ment in the case against Semitjie was post­poned in the Krugers­dorp Mag­is­trate’s Court be­cause mag­is­trate Ab­dul Khan’s mother had died.

Out­side court, Fer­reira’s par­ents said they were dis­ap­pointed, but op­ti­mistic.

Fer­reira re­quires 24-hour su­per­vi­sion, has to learn to read and write again, and reg­u­larly needs to visit spe­cial­ists such as bioki­neti­cists and chi­ro­prac­tors. His eye­sight has de­te­ri­o­rated and he suf­fers se­vere mi­graines. “But we’re still pos­i­tive he will be able to get back into so­ci­ety and get a job one day,” his fa­ther said, adding that a guilty verdict could help curb reck­less­ness by blue-light driv­ers.

Semitjie was charged with reck­less or neg­li­gent driv­ing, ma­li­cious dam­age to prop­erty, fail­ure to as­sist the in­jured and in­flict­ing in­juries.

The par­ents said that their daugh­ter was now writ­ing ma­tric, as Thomas Fer­reira had been at the time of his ac­ci­dent.

“It makes you think back to that time,” Paul Fer­reira said.

Judg­ment is on De­cem­ber 3.

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