In a recent development, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has taken a firm stance against the bail application of eight VIP protection officers linked to Deputy President Paul Mashatile. These officers are facing an array of charges, including assault and reckless driving, after allegedly severely assaulting travelers on the N1 highway.
Identified as Shadrack Molekatlane Kojana, Johannes Matome Mampuru, Pomso Joseph Mofokeng, Harmans Madumetja Ramokhonami, Phineas Molefo Boshielo, Churchill Mpakameseni Mkhize, Lesibana Aggrie Rambau, and Moses Fhatuwani Tshidada, the suspended police officers have found themselves embroiled in a legal battle as they appeared before the Randburg Magistrate’s Court.
The State, represented by the NPA, firmly opposed their release on bail, expressing concerns for the safety of the complainants involved in the case. According to the NPA spokesperson in Gauteng, Phindi Mjonondwane, a docket has already been opened by one of the State witnesses, who claimed to have been threatened either by the accused or someone closely associated with them.
During the court proceedings, one of the accused officers, Kojana, defended their actions, stating that they responded to a perceived threat posed by a blue VW Polo attempting to bump the car they were protecting in the convoy. However, the State asserts that at least three officers, including Kojana, Mampuru, and Mkhize, actively participated in the alleged assault on the three victims.
Prosecutor Elize Le Roux argued that the officers acted in unison and displayed a violent demeanor, further justifying their detention. She also highlighted the fear experienced by two women involved in the incident, one of whom bravely recorded the alleged assault on her cellphone. Moreover, the driver of the VW Polo, which bore damages amounting to nearly R95,000 during the incident, was reported to be living in fear as well.
The court proceedings revealed that accused number seven, Rambau, remained in her service vehicle during the attack, raising questions about her duty to intervene and prevent the alleged assault.
With media granted access to film the live proceedings, the case has garnered public attention, as people anxiously await justice for the victims.
The NPA’s resolute stance and the unfolding courtroom drama underscore the gravity of the charges against these VIP protection officers. As the legal process unfolds, the nation holds its breath, hopeful that truth and justice will prevail for the victims of this disturbing incident on the N1 highway.