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2009-03-27 07:13

Ingrid Oellermann

Pietermaritzburg - A Pietermaritzburg police officer appeared in the magistrate's court on Thursday for allegedly driving a vehicle whilst the concentration of alcohol in his breath was eight times over the legal limit.

According to the charge sheet Dumisani Mthembu, 46, stands charged as a main count with driving a vehicle with a breath alcohol reading of 1,64 milligrams per 1 000 millilitres of breath.

The legal limit is 0,24 milligrams per 1 000 millilitres of breath.

He also faces a second charge of reckless and negligent driving.

Car 'flew' over teen's head

The charges arise from an incident on Saturday, March 21 when sixteen-year-old Joel Gray reportedly narrowly escaped death when a car "flew" over his head and landed in the front garden of his friend's home in Jesmond Road.

Mthembu was not asked to plead to any charges when he appeared before Magistrate Helgard Fobian on Thursday.

After his legal rights were explained to him he elected to apply for legal aid.

Mthembu was released on bail of R500 after the incident in question.

Car was 'swinging'

His case has now been adjourned until April 7 for further investigation.

Joel Gray told The Witness at the weekend that he was on his way home from playing soccer with a friend at about 14:00 on the day in question when he heard the screech of a car's tyres.

The next minute he saw a vehicle skidding towards him. It hit the kerb and as he tried to jump out of the way it "flew" right over his head.

An eye witnesses who spoke to The Witness journalist, Melissa Douman, at the scene, alleged that the vehicle had been "swinging" to the left and right before the accident, picked up speed and then veered out of control.

He and other witnesses alleged the police driver smelled of alcohol.

- The Witness

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