Happy to speed but not happy to get to court quickly

Orlando Pirate's Happy Jele (white shirt) keeps his face away from cameras as he leaves the Randburg Magistrates' Court .


The Road Traffic Management Corporation wants a harsh penalty to be imposed on Orlando Pirates soccer player Happy Jele who was caught speeding at 223km/h in a 100km/h zone in Sandton on 4 September.

Spokesperson for the corporation, Simon Zwane, said he was hoping that the court would impose a harsh sentence on Jele that will send a strong message to all motorists that road safety was important.

“An apology in this matter is not enough, the law must take its course,” Zwane said in reference to the apology that Jele issued through his soccer club on 4 September, shortly after being released from police custody. “The court must assist in getting the message out there that lawlessness will not be tolerated on our roads.”

Zwane indicated that there was a possibility that the soccer star might lose his licence, or it might be suspended, all depending on what the court would find as a reasonable penalty.

Jele made his first court appearance on 5 September in the Randburg Magistrates’ Court and was late with the court having to wait for several hours for him to arrive.

State prosecutor, Yusuf Baba immediately requested that his warrant of arrest be issued. His legal representative, Kagiso Setati pleaded with magistrate Liesel Davis that she gives the accused an hour to arrive. Setati told the magistrate that Jele was actually in court earlier, but had to rush to training which Setati had given him permission to do. Davis then ruled that Jele’s matter stand down for an hour.

An hour later, Jele was still not in court, and Setati told the court that he was still on his way. Baba was having none of it and wanted a warrant of arrest issued saying that he didn’t want to treat this case in a matter that might be perceived as ‘special’.

Davis, however, ruled that Jele’s matter stand down until all first appearances have been dealt with.

Jele did arrive eventually and Davis told him that he had inconvenienced the court with his late arrival and would not be treated leniently again.

The matter has been remanded to 19 October for further investigations.

Read: BREAKING NEWS: Opposing taxi associations halt traffic in Braamfontein

Belinda Pheto

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