2010 boss is cleared of drunk driving charge

Zinhle Mapumulo

Zinhle Mapumulo

The chief security officer for the 2010 Soccer World Cup, Linda Mti, was acquitted on charges of drunken and negligent driving by the Hillbrow magistrate's court yesterday.

A witness did not turn up in court and there was no evidence to prove that Mti was drunk during the 2006 accident.

Furthermore, the state received a statement from a witness only this week.

"The state's conduct has been very prejudicial and unprofessional," magistrate Sigqibo Mpela said.

"The state only relied on a statement which was given by a witness who says it was the first time in his career he'd handled a drunken driving case," Mpela said.

"They also failed to summon a witness to court," he said.

"There is no evidence proving that the accused was driving under the influence of liquor. I therefore have to discharge him," Mpela said.

Earlier, the state requested that the matter be postponed because a key witness - the driver of the car who Mti allegedly rammed into - was not in court.

State prosecutor Mabuse Monareng said the witness could not be excused from work and it was in the interests of justice that he be given a chance to tell what had happened.

However, advocate Bantubonke Tokoto, who represented Mti, objected and said that on May 14, it was agreed that that would be the final postponement.

Tokoto said later that Mti was very happy with the outcome of the case.