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i was told what to say in court - metro cop

By unknown | Oct 15, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

A metro officer has suggested that the recording admitted as admissible in the drunken driving trial of Pretoria judge Nkola Motata "was not complete".

Paulina Mashilela also told the court that a senior prosecutor had coached her on what to say when giving evidence in the case.

She said that prosecutor Zaais van Zyl had given her notes telling her what to say in court.

"I am telling what I can remember from the best of my knowledge, and not what the prosecutor told me to say," Mashilela said.

The turnaround in the Motata case started on Monday with Mashilela telling the Johannesburg magistrate's court she was being intimidated. She submitted an affidavit stating her claims.

Yesterday she told the court that Motata had offered to compensate the owner of the wall he crashed his car into.

She said the owner, Richard Baird, refused and instead insulted the judge, calling him "a drunken k***". Mashilela said this happened during the verbal altercation between Motata and Baird.

"Baird interrupted us. He insisted that Motata should have his blood drawn and be breathalysed and the judge got upset. I would also be upset," she said.

She said Baird's swear words were not included in the audio recordings that Baird submitted to court.

Motata is on trial for drunken driving and defeating the ends of justice following an accident where he allegedly crashed his Jaguar into the wall of Baird's Hurlingham property in January last year.

Mashilela also identified a voice in Afrikaans, saying "Nee maar julle moet hom toesluit. Ek meen hy sluit mense toe vir dieselfde storie (No, but you must lock him up, I mean he locked people up for the same story) as that which could belong to Baird.

"Baird might have said the words but I am not certain," she said.

Mashilela shocked the court when she alleged prosecutor Van Zyl told her what to say in court - before her first testimony.

She also said that police forced her to sign a statement which she wrote together with other three police as if it was hers alone - because her first statement did not "carry weight".

Mashilela said she gave a copy of the affidavit to the Johannesburg director of public prosecution, Charin de Beer, who was present in court. De Beer was asked to be present after Mashilela claimed yesterday that she was threatened by Van Zyl.

Johannesburg's metro police director of operations David Tembe, chief of police Chris Ngcobo, and metro police spokesman Wayne Minnaar were in court to give support to Mashilela.

"We came to court to give her support. It is important that the officer tells the truth and not what other people tell her to say," said Ngcobo outside court.

The trial continues.


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