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Sat Dec 03 00:13:21 SAST 2016

Truman Prince denies assaulting officer, says he was 'gentle'

Thulani Gqirana | 2016-01-31 12:04:55.0
Truman Prince in Beauford West.
Image by: AMBROSE PETERS

Beaufort West Mayor Truman Prince has vehemently denied assaulting an officer and has challenged her to get a medical certificate to prove otherwise.

This after the Democratic Alliance said on Saturday that charges of assault had been laid against the mayor after an incident in Leeu Gamka in the Karoo.

Prince told News24 on Sunday that he had heard about the charges and that the incident was being blown out of proportion.

He said it was up to a court to decide if he was guilty, but that he never assaulted the officer.

"I would never assault a woman. I know the law. I merely asked her in a gentle and manly way to move out of the way as she was blocking the driver’s side door," he said.

Explaining the events that led to the charges, he said his partner had been driving when they were pulled over for speeding. 

While the traffic officer was dealing with the driver, Prince said he decided to take over the driving for a while, and moved from the passenger seat to the driver’s side.

But the door was blocked by the officer, who refused to move out of the way.

"I told her that because I wasn’t driving at the time, her problem was not with me, but with my partner, who was busy getting her driver's licence and ID book from the passenger side. So I asked her to move out of the way, so I could just sit in the driver’s seat while they finished their business. 

"But I think she was afraid that I would drive off so she wouldn’t move. So I just kept asking her, gently, to get out of the way and deal with my partner. 'Please move', I kept telling her, and she wouldn’t," he said.

'How can I assault a lady?'

He said it eventually took about 45 minutes for them to get the R800 ticket issued and get back on their way.

"How can I assault a lady? Why am I now a culprit?" he asked.

Prince said it was all about perception, but it seemed a verdict had already been made in the public. 

Prince was travelling in a black Mercedes Benz, registered to the South African Football Association (Safa), of which he is a board member.

The incident happened over a week ago, he said.

"But it is now being speculated on and blown out of proportion because Truman Prince was in the car. That is opportune. Yes, we were in a small space when I was asking her to move, but I did not assault her. I told her the driver was standing outside and I was not going to drive off without her, but she didn’t believe me."

The DA has called for him to be suspended following the assault allegations.

The mayor is already in hot water after he requested that a tender be given to a construction company which was "sympathetic and having a relationship with the ANC".

Attempts to confirm the charges with police were unsuccessful.

Source: News24

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