Taxi driver found guilty of as­sault


he mag­is­trate’s court of Ko­mani has found taxi driver Wanga Mtwa guilty on a charge of as­sault with in­tent to cause griev­ous bod­ily harm. Mtwa was con­victed of the as­sault on Sisanda Ja­cob near the Boxer taxi rank in March this year af­ter he al­legedly shouted at her and a friend for cross­ing the road too slowly be­fore as­sault­ing her in the street.

Mag­is­trate Ganasen Narayam­say said this was not an easy mat­ter as it in­volved the lives of hu­man be­ings.

The Rep re­ported (“Taxi fight in court”) on Oc­to­ber 12, that Narayam­say said Mtwa con­firmed that Ja­cob claimed dur­ing the as­sault she had not re­alised she

Twas hav­ing a mis­car­riage. He said when she was asked why the J88 as­sault form in­di­cated a neg­a­tive preg­nancy re­port, Jacobs said she would not lie to the court. He said Ja­cob felt de­graded by the words used by Mtwa, in­clud­ing re­fer­ring to her by her pri­vate parts, and that she ad­mit­ted to swear­ing at him and turn­ing back to con­front him.

She had in­di­cated that Mtwa had nearly bumped her and her friend while they were cross­ing the road.

Narayam­say said, “In ap­pli­ca­ble prin­ci­ples, it is re­quired that the ac­cused must have known his con­duct could cause the com­plainant bod­ily harm.”

He said the court found the wit­ness cred­i­ble as she did not con­tra­dict her­self in tes­ti­mony.

Al­though Mtwa had ar­gued self de­fence, he asked what Jacobs could have done to de­serve such an ex­treme dis­play of anger.

The court found the ac­cused guilty of as­sault with in­tent to cause griev­ous bod­ily harm.

Le­gal Aid at­tor­ney Mbay­isa Gomba asked for his client to be af­forded bail with R300 an af­ford­able amount. Naraym­say said sen­tenc­ing was set for Novem­ber 1 and set bail for R6,000.

Gomba ap­plied for a re­duc­tion which Naraym­say de­nied. Gomba said such a high bail amount was sim­i­lar to a de­nial, but the mag­is­trate said it was the court’s fi­nal rul­ing and said Gomba could take it up with the high court.

Dis­trict court con­troller prose­cu­tor Khay­alethu Stengile said a con­vic­tion would mean the per­son should re­main in cus­tody and that the de­fence was “tak­ing chances” by ask­ing for bail for Mtwa.

Ko­mani Uncedo Taxi As­so­ci­a­tion pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer Tolly Madoda said the as­so­ci­a­tion dis­tanced it­self from any is­sue in­volv­ing vi­o­lence and that the mat­ter had not been re­ported to their of­fices.

He said ac­tion was taken against those in the in­dus­try in­volv­ing them­selves in vi­o­lence, adding that the owner of the taxi should have in­formed the as­so­ci­a­tion about the case.

“We have a dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee that sits on Thurs­days to at­tend to such cases,” he said, adding that he would like to meet Ja­cob to apol­o­gise to her in per­son.

As it was trans­port month, he said any­one un­happy with treat­ment by a driver could lodge a com­plaint with their of­fices which are near the Nonesi Mall.

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