The bail application for the eight members of the police’s VIP protection services unit who allegedly assaulted three members of the army on the N1 highway in Johannesburg weeks ago, began on Monday afternoon.
The suspended officers appeared in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on charges of assault, malicious damage to property, firing a firearm and nine other charges which were added this morning.
It emerged during the court proceedings that one of the accused never got out of the car during the alleged assault.
However, the public prosecutor argued that it was nevertheless his duty to report the incident.
The victims in the case also indicated in an affidavit that, due to the trauma they suffered, they cannot identify exactly which of the accused did what.
Shortly before the affidavit of the first accused, Shadrack Kojoana (51), was to be read to the court, it came to light that some of the accused needed an interpreter, as they could not follow the court proceedings fully in English.
The magistrate pointed out that this need was never raised, but the defendants’ lawyers said they only realized later that it was an oversight on their part.
An interpreter was hastily found and the proceedings continued in the afternoon.
Kojoana’s lawyer argued, among other things, that should his client’s, a warrant officer’s, application for bail be granted, he would not destroy any evidence or intimidate witnesses, as he is “full of confidence” that the state has a “weak case against him”.
Given the new charges brought against Kojoana and his co-accused, his lawyer had him testify about the “gaps” in his original affidavit.
However, the magistrate warned against this, as anything Kojoana would say now could be used against him later during his trial.
Kojoana’s lawyer relented and allowed him to be cross-examined.
Kojoana confirmed during cross-examination that he had seen the original footage of the incident and said it had “traumatised” him.
He argued that they tried to “control the situation” because they felt the blue Volkswagen Polo wanted to block them and did not move.
However, Kojoana had to cut his explanation about what happened that day short when the court adjourned for the day. The proceedings resume on Wednesday.
The #VIPprotection thugs should show their faces. They were very ‘brave’ when shamelessly picking on civilians and now they want to hide who and what they are. This guy acts like he is being detained in the North Pole. #NoBail for the #BlueLightMafia pic.twitter.com/p7NhJMAC5u
— Ian Cameron (@IanCameron23) July 24, 2023