A motorist who admitted speeding went unpunished after a judge failed to ask if the “speedometer was working properly” when he was caught.
The Supreme Court in Bloemfontein got Pieter du Plessis overturned ‘conviction and verdict on Friday.
Du Plessis pleaded guilty in a local court in the Free State of “driving a motor vehicle over the general speed limit”. He was traveling at 164 km / h in a 100 km / h zone.
He was sentenced to a fine of R 12,000 or two months in prison, of which R 8,000 or a month for five years Suspended parole. His case was brought to the Supreme Court as part of an “automatic review”.
The transcript of his hearing showed that Judge Du Plessis asked a number of questions, including why he was driving too fast. < / p>
The driver replied: “To tell the truth, me and my boy came from Klerksdorp, we sang in the Bakkie and I didn’t notice the speed, so I am guilty.”
Drafted in a judgment by Judge Sylvia Daniso, the Supreme Court found that the magistrate had not exhausted its questions, which meant that Du Plessis had to be acquitted.
“It is clear from the transcript that that the learned magistrate did not investigate to determine whether the accused admits that the speedometer was working properly at the time of the incident, that he was presented with the calibration certificate and that the officer who operated the device complies “Said Daniso.
” In his prompt and comprehensive response to my inquiry in this regard, the learned Magist Rate admits that the questioning of the accused was not appropriate.
“I am of the opinion that, based on the facts admitted by the defendant, it has not been proven that the defendant admitted all the elements of the offense – he pleaded guilty.
” The defendant’s inadequate questioning leads to the proceedings not being legally compliant and can be set. “