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'Blue lights' case: 3 years for driver

2015-01-29 08:33

JUSTICE IS SERVED: Priscilla (right) and Paul Ferreira, parents of Thomas who was knocked off a motorcycle by a VIP car. INSET: Blue-light driver Joseph Motsamai Semitjie, who left their son brain-damaged, was sentenced to five years in

KRUGERSDORP, Gauteng - The family of Thomas Ferreira, a teenager knocked off his motorcycle in November 2011 by “blue lights” driver Joseph Motsamai Semitjie, are relieved that the trial is over.

Thomas' mother, Priscilla Ferreira, said outside the Krugersdorp Magistrate's Court on Wednesday (Jan 28 2015) that her and her family’s lives had been destroyed. She was at court with her husband Paul Ferreira.

She said: “Nothing is going to change what's happened but we're relieved that this is over, that we don't have to come to court again.”


Her son, 18 at the time of the collision, suffered head injuries and was in a coma for some weeks. At an earlier hearing a medical witness told the court: "My opinion is that he will have difficulty finding employment due to the nature of the head injury. I do not believe he will be able to live on his own.

“I have been in discussion with his mother to put him in a place of sheltered employment."

Magistrate Abdul Khan sentenced Semitjie to five years for "destroying" young Ferreira's life. On the first charge of reckless or negligent driving, Khan sentenced him to four years behind bars but with half of the sentence suspended for four years.

On the other two charges, which relate to him not stopping after the collision to provide help, he was sentenced to three years' jail. The sentences will run concurrently.


In December 2014 Semitjie was convicted of reckless or negligent driving and failing to help an injured person. He ran a red light and collided with Ferreira’s motorcycle.

Ferreira, 18 at the time in November 2011, suffered head injuries and was comatose for weeks. Semitjie was driving then Gauteng housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi to a meeting at the time.

Khan said the sentence should be a deterrent for other road users who wanted to break the law.

Read more on:    thomas ferreira  |  humphrey mmemezi  |  police

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