Prosecutor wanted Khumalo in custody until trial end

SOCCER legend Doctor Khumalo escaped jail by the skin of his teeth yesterday.

Prosecutor Vincent Mochabela wanted Khumalo to be kept in custody until the end of his drunken, reckless and negligent driving trial.

His reason was that Khumalo's attorney submitted a sick note on January 26 when he was due to appear in court. Khumalo, a 2010 Fifa World Cup ambassador, had been booked off for a week - from January 22 to 29. He had sore gums.

But Khumalo made a public appearance at a 2010 Fifa World Cup function in Ekurhuleni, two days after he excused himself from court.

"An inquiry will be held at the end of the trial," said magistrate Susan du Pisanie. She had earlier said she would not hear the proceedings of the inquiry.

"I don't want to deal with the matter. I don't want to do a credibility finding," she said.

Nonetheless, she offered free medical advice to Khumalo.

"Drink vitamins. It is winter. Be healthy and ready for that day."

She then ordered Khumalo to stop using the gate reserved for court officials when coming to court, but Khumalo defied that order and exited through the same gate after his case was postponed to July.

Earlier, paramedic Primrose Mangxilana testified that, like many other drunk patients, Khumalo would not listen to her and colleague Emilian Alves.

"My job requires that you ask a patient to assist you. Khumalo removed the bandage I had placed around his forehead. He refused to have his blood pressure taken. He pushed away the breathalyser given to him by metro police. It is people who have consumed alcohol who behave like that," Mangxilani said.

Several witnesses have already told the court that Khumalo was paralytically drunk when his BMW Z4 crashed into the back of a taxi on the N1 between the Maraisburg and Soweto off-ramp.

Maki Slater, Sinah Shongwe who was then eight-months pregnant, taxi driver Bongani Baloyi and Willy Sanyane were injured.