The eight police officers attached to Deputy President Paul Mashatile’s protection detail have been granted R10 000 bail each.
The VIP protectors, who were caught on camera assaulting civilians on the N1 last month, appeared in the Randburg Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.
The matter has been postponed to the 27th of September for further investigations.
The officers have since been suspended.
Handing down the ruling, Magistrate Hlengiwe Mkhabisi said the state presented a weak case against the accused.
“The state in presenting its case has failed to demonstrate the role of each applicant in the commission of the alleged crimes, they have however alleged common purpose,” said Mkhabisi.
“I’m mindful that this is not a trial court but the state has presented a weak or frail case against the applicants at this stage.”
Magistrate Mkhabisi says there is no evidence that any of the applicants intimidated or threatened witnesses, as alleged by the state.
“The state can only speculate that the probabilities are that the applicants will threaten or intimidate the witnesses.”
The eight officers have been ordered to not contact state witnesses either directly or indirectly.
They are also not allowed to interfere with state investigations.
Meanwhile, Mashatile has rubbished claims that he was part of the convoy, the day the incident happened on the 2nd of July.
Mashatile’s comments come after one of the protectors told the court that the VW Polo tried to obstruct the vehicle that was ferrying the deputy president.
The protector’s statement was corroborated by the ANC’s secretary general, Fikile Mbalula, who publicly announced that Mashatile was indeed part of the convoy.
In an interview with eNCA’s Professor JJ Tabane on Power to Truth, the deputy minister said he was not in any of the cars that day.
“I don’t want to be making too many comments about that scene except to say that it is not true that I was there, I was not there. In fact, if you look at the way we travel in a convoy, we don’t stop,” said Mashatile.
Below is a reminder of what transpired on the day of the incident:
Written by: Lindiwe Mpanza