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Hit and run driver guilty of Durban metro cop's death

Durban - A woman killed an off-duty Durban Metro Police officer by running over him in her car and then fleeing the scene of the crash was found guilty of culpable homicide in the Durban Magistrate's Court on Thursday.
Magistrate Simphiwe Hlophe found that Nolwazi Nzimande was culpable for the death of Constable Phumlani Mbatha in 2013. In addition, he found her guilty of defeating the ends of justice and contravening sections of the Road Traffic Act for failing to stop, failing to report the accident and for failing to assist the injured on Thursday.
Mbatha, 26, an off-duty Metro Police officer was found by paramedics near the Musgrave Centre with severe head injuries. Both his legs and hands were broken and he was unconscious when paramedics arrived at the scene.
He was rushed to Addington Hospital where he later died.
Nzimande appeared in the Durban Magistrates Court with her co-accused, American national John Solomon, who now lives in South Africa.
Solomons was convicted of attempting to defeat the ends of justice by arranging for a tow truck to take Nzimande's damaged vehicle for repairs.
The pair is expected to be sentenced on July 10.
Magistrate Hlophe said while there was no need for Solomon to have been charged with an accessory to murder as his involvement was only the hit and run crash had taken place.
He said Solomon knew better with his insurance experience that a vehicle involved in an crash cannot be towed away to the panel beaters without reporting the collision.
“That would amount to attempt to defeat or obstruct the course of justice. The fact that it was involved in a collision, he made himself an accessory after the fact of culpable homicide,” said Hlophe.
He said although she did not go to the police on her own accord, she went to Umbilo police station because her vehicle was held there, but it was within 24 hours.

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