Ashley Callie

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Charges withdrawn today February 13, 2009

Filed under: General — admin @ 11:23 am

Nicolaas Pretorius, the driver who crashed into late Isidingo actress Ashley Callie, walked out of the Johannesburg Magistrates Court a free man this morning after charges against him were withdrawn.

The prosecutor in the case, who declined to reveal her name, provided no reasons as to why the charges of culpable homicide and reckless and negligent driving were withdrawn.

This week it was reported that there was a strong chance that Pretorius could walk because of problems relating to court jurisdiction.

The accident took place in the jurisdictional area of the Johannesburg Magistrates Court, but for the past 10 months, his has has been heard in the Randburg Magistrates Court.

Pretorius’s attorney, Ronald Lotz, argued in court that charges against his client could not proceed unless there were written instructions from the National Director of Public Prosecutions.

The prosecutor would not say whether Pretorius would be recharged in connection with Callie’s death, and refused to comment further.

Outside court, Pretorius said he was happy that the case was over.

“I just want to move on with my life and I’m glad that this is over and done with. Justice has been served,” he said.

Callie’s sister, Lauren Callie, who was not present in court, said the family was “very disappointed” at the outcome.

- The Times

 

10 Comments for this post

 
Lee Says:

It is sad for the callie family but to be honest I did not think this young man was guilty. it is hard to lose someone and we always look for blame but dont have this on your head if he isnt guilty – if he is guilty then he will live with his conscience God Bless

 
Samuel Says:

No finding of guilt was made. To me it’s ridiculous that there wasn’t even a trial in this case. The Police investigation found that Pretorius was driving faster than the speed limit and that his car was overloaded (6 people in a car with only 5 seatbelts). It baffles me that in the circumstances anyone can say he was not reckless without there being a full trial. I’m not suggesting he’s guilty of reckless driving but there seems enough of a suggestion that he was reckless that there should have been a trial.

By contrast a woman in the UK is serving 4 years in jail because she was going 15mph faster than the speed limit when she hit a cyclist who jumped a red light.

Next time you see an overloaded taxi flying past, remember that this case was the best opportunity we’ve had in a long time to show these people who put our lives in danger that they can’t get away with it. Instead we’ve shown our justice system to be a complete farce.

 
Fran Says:

This is very sad. As some one said, should a taxi be driving at full force and kills innocent people, how can they be tried.

 
Fran Says:

There is no justice in South Africa. Inncocent go to jail and guilt get off free

 
Estelle Says:

Wow, this is hard to deal with. I pray for peace, and closure, where possible.
Love and blessings to all of Ashley’s family, friends and colleagues x x x

 
Peggy Says:

I ask myself how da hell could this be the outcome
of this case?
an innocent life was taken.I feel so angry and so sad
at the same time.

South Africa,sorry to say, but your justice system sucks, big time!

Paul,my friend,I envy you for emigrating.

 
Mandla M Says:

With 5 witnesses stating Pretorius was negligent and the cause of the fateful accident – Surely they should be given a voice before the Court chooses to withdraw the charges? Surely this is a perfect opportunity for our Prosecuting Authority to prove their capability and intent in protecting law abiding drivers on our roads.

Let’s be clear about one thing…. a withdrawal of charges does not prove innocence. Pretorius may simply be another accused who has ‘struck it lucky’ as a result of an inefficient, overloaded, and as a result indifferent, legal system and process.

Several questions come to mind:
Why did Pretorius’ “friends” not stand by him and support him through his “ordeal”? Could it possibly be that their consciences would not allow them to publicly support and be associated with a flawed action, and contradict the facts that lie deep within their hearts. Actions speak volumes.

Why was Pretorius the only person on the accident scene that night, who point blank refused to give a statement to the police investigating the accident, despite the investigating officers’ numerous attempts to encourage him to do so? Surely an innocent driver would be only too happy to cooperate with authorities in presenting his version of events, and ensure the facts of the accident were recorded. And yet, despite his refusal in giving a formal statement, Pretorius still feels entitled to make accusatory statements in the media about someone who is not present to respond.

Why was Ashley’s vehicle in the oncoming traffic lane at the time of the collision? As per sworn witness statements, more than one vehicle at the intersection was forced to take EVASIVE ACTION in order to avoid the Red Renault which entered the intersection at a very high speed, swerving out of control and heading in their direction. Unfortunately, Ashley fatefully chose the wrong direction to move in, to avoid the Renault.

Why are we not raising a society where we teach our youth to be responsible and accountable for their actions, and openly support them in facing the consequences which are due to them? Why do we collectively ignore, thereby condoning, an evidently overloaded and inefficient investigative and legal system which is unable to protect our people? Why do we find ourselves taking advantage of the gaps, instead of closing them?

It is a sad day for innocent victims of reckless and negligent drivers, past and present. It is a sad day for individuals who are investing their hopes in receiving a free and fair trial within a competent and efficient legal system. It is a sad day for Honesty, Honour and Accountability.

- Mandla.

 
Kerry Gray Says:

Hey Mandla,

I agree with you 100%.

You have the same points that have been coming to my mind especially the one where his friends did not stand by him. I think if friends know who is innocent and who is guilty.

Thanks for your views
Kerry

 
Heiks Says:

Mandla, I think you should send your very eloquent and clear post to the Star letter’s page. The points raised by you (and Samuel regarding overfilled, speeding taxis and the lack of consequences) need to be made. I think Pretorius’ statements to the press are completely out of line – as if people have been wasting his time for a year and now he can move on AND he’s a good enough guy not to hold grudges!! Please consider writing a letter to the Star. I certainly will.

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