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.