THE man who was to lead Gauteng police failed to stop at a roadblock, pushed over a traffic officer, scaled a more than two-metre high gate and hid in a house to evade arrest, the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate's Court heard yesterday.
Major-General Bethuel Mondli Zuma was axed as Gauteng police commissioner just hours after his appointment last month, when national police boss General Riah Phiyega discovered he faced charges of drunk driving, escaping from custody, defeating the administration of justice and failure to comply with the instructions of a traffic officer.
Road Traffic Inspectorate senior inspector Karen Bishop told the court her fellow officer, Kerwin Johansen, had stood in the middle of a Pietermaritzburg road on December 19 2008 to stop a white Mercedes Vito.
"The driver failed to stop. Johansen used his hands and a torch to signal to the driver to stop. He also shouted at the driver to stop, but the driver did not stop," she said.
The two officers then jumped into their patrol car and gave chase.
"Johansen put on the siren and blue lights and by means of a loud speaker called out to the driver to stop the vehicle, but the driver continued to drive," she said.
After losing sight of the Mercedes Vito during a chase through Pietermaritzburg, the two traffic officers found the vehicle parked in the driveway of a home in Abbot Road.
The house was believed to have been the residence of Zuma's relatives.
"My colleague and I proceeded to the driver's door. My colleague asked the driver to alight from the vehicle," Bishop said.
"I noticed there was a female in the front passenger seat."
After the driver got out, a breathalyser test was done which established Zuma's blood alcohol level was three times over the legal limit at 0.65. "Johansen informed the driver, who is the accused in this case, that he was being arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.
"He read the driver his ... rights. As Johansen tried to place handcuffs on the accused, the accused pushed him, jumped over the gate in the driveway and proceeded to the front door of the residence," Bishop said.
The two then called for back-up.
Zuma's lawyer, Sergie Brimiah, asked Bishop if she expected the court to believe a "man of the accused's size" could scale a high gate, to which the traffic officer said adrenalin made "anything possible".
She conceded her evidence differed from Johansen's testimony earlier this year.
At the time of his arrest, Zuma was attached to the police unit at the OR Tambo International Airport. The case continues today.