Monday, May 5, 2014

SA soccer Star fined for killing Zim woman

A SOUTH African football star who ran over and killed a Zimbabwean woman with his car has escaped jail after being hit with a R60,000 fine.

Bryce Moon, 26, a former national team player currently contracted to Premier League side Bidwest Wits, also had his licence suspended for six months at the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Moon was sentenced to two years in jail, but avoids jail time because he has an option of paying the fine – of which R20,000 was payable on Monday. The rest will be paid in R10,000 instalments from the end of May to the end of August.

Moon had originally been charged with attempted murder, negligent and reckless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol over the June 2009 incident on Katherine Road in Sandton when he ran over and killed Mavis Ncube, a domestic worker, shortly after 5AM.

At the conclusion of his trial on April 12, a magistrate acquitted him on all charges but found him guilty of culpable homicide after finding that he was speeding at the time.

During sentencing on Monday, magistrate Vincent Pienaar said jailing Moon would be too harsh a sentence to impose because of his career as a professional football player.

On the other hand, Pienaar said, the offence was too serious and too prevalent for a total suspended sentence as he imposed the fine and withdrew his licence.

“If it had been proven that you had been driving under the influence of alcohol, the sentence would have been direct imprisonment,” Pienaar told Moon.

“But regardless of the sentence you get, nothing will bring the deceased back.”

Moon testified during his trial that there was no way he could avoid hitting Ncube as she ran into the path of his car.
He said Ncube and his cousin Thandi Sibanda had run into the road as he entered a bend, and he swerved his Mercedes-Benz to the left to avoid hitting them.

“As I swerved, the second pedestrian (Ncube) ran into the direction I was driving towards and I couldn’t avoid her… it was too late for me to avoid her and I struck her,” he said.

He said he hit a wall after knocking Ncube down. He got out of the car, with his head bleeding, and sat on a tree stump and waited for help.

Moon said he was driving at a speed of between 60 and 70km/h, which the magistrate Pienaar rejected as “clearly false”.
Moon had testified he had gone to pick up two friends who had attended a function with him the previous night. He said he had left his friends at the event at about 1AM, telling them to call him if they needed fetching. They called him at 5AM, and the accident happened on the way.

Ncube’s father was in court on Monday and said he was not satisfied with the sentence.
“It’s not fair, but anyway regardless (of the sentence we would have wanted), it won’t bring her back. If you have money, you have the licence to kill in South Africa. What is R60,000?” said Tinas Mpofu.

Moon, who was smartly dressed in a grey suit, didn’t say anything about his sentence before he was swiftly taken down to the cells for fingerprinting.

His lawyer, advocate Naren Sangham, said he would file a motion to appeal the conviction and sentence and was hopeful it would be heard this week.

Gregory Turner, Ncube’s employer, was also in court on Monday morning, accompanying Mpofu. He said he was also disappointed.

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