Ricky 'let off the hook'

2010-02-05 16:07

Cape Town - Drunk driving charges against Springbok rugby scrumhalf Enrico Januarie were withdrawn in the Bellville Magistrate's Court on Friday, on condition he does 20 hours of community service.

Januarie was ordered to coach rugby at schools selected by the National Institute for Crime Prevention and Re-integration of Offenders.

He is expected to do this between February 8 and July 31 in the Elsiesrivier community in the Cape Flats, prosecutor Marco Chandler told magistrate Helma Smit.

The decision by the Western Cape Directorate for Public Prosecutions (DPP) was in line with the "diversion system", in which young offenders are punished for crimes without subjecting them to the trauma of a criminal trial and the devastation of a criminal record.

The DPP letter excused Januarie from community service from March 29 to April 27, when he would be abroad with the Springbok rugby team.

Smit reminded Januarie that there were thousands of young people who regarded him as a role model, and that his offence had sent the wrong message to them.

She said she hoped the rugby star would "make full use of this opportunity".

Januarie has been on trial since last year and during this time failed to appear in court twice -- once with the consent of the court and the other without -- whilst he was overseas with the Springboks.

The court case stemmed from an early-hour motor collision in Durbanville in September 2008.

His blood report reflected a blood-alcohol level of 0.18 percent, more than three times the current legal limit of 0.05 percent.

Januarie was represented in court by the Springbok rugby team's attorney, Frikkie Erasmus, who assured the court he had fully explained the diversion system to Januarie, and that the charge would be re-instituted if he failed in any manner to perform the community service as required .


  • karen - 2010-02-05 16:26

    This is a disgrace. It's also pathetic. I don't want to hear about the slaughter on our roads during the Christmas holidays when this is how the law handles the rest of the year. 20 hours of community service for this type of offence is a joke and people will continue to be killed on our roads until the courts take this seriously. I pity the cops who did their job, arrested this fool and after 16 months this is the result. Spare me

  • Come on - 2010-02-05 16:26

    Thats Bullsh1t. What makes him so special. He was involved in a car accident 3x over the limit and he gets to coach rugby for 20hrs where the kids will look up to him like he's a hero.This is insane. Will that happen to an ordinary SA Citizen in a case like this. There is no equality before the law in this country.

  • Paul Young - 2010-02-05 16:28

    I assume I can now drive drunk and expect the same treatment in the event I am caught. Or is my age of 48 going to be held against me, or the fact that I am not a springbok sportsman.

  • Andy - 2010-02-05 16:38

    Why does this seem to only happen to high profile sporting and entertainment personalities? If this was or your or my son, he would face the full wrath of the law for us, and one for them (or am I wrong)!!

  • Carl Muller - 2010-02-05 16:38

    Ricky, jou doring, gebruik die kans om aan te gaan met jou lewe. Almal het maar modder tussen hulle tone. Maar almal kr 'n kans om dit skoon te was. Sterkte. Blou Bul.

  • Paul - 2010-02-05 16:39

    Wonderful, now the precedent has been set. Next time I get pulled over dronk, I'll just demand 20 hours community service. It is amazing how this country has a different set of rules for the public, and those for "celebs"... I suppose we can thank our new "rainbow" nation for that...

  • tommo - 2010-02-05 16:42

    Why 2 sets of rules.One for celebreties/politicians and hard luck for the normal mortal but 3 times over the limit? Glad to see we are serious about stopping driving under the influence,you have to love this government just a bag of wind with limp wrists.

  • ZERO TOLERANCE ? - 2010-02-05 16:51


  • NL - 2010-02-05 16:53

    wow that is nice one i hope we all get the same

  • Marius - 2010-02-05 17:05

    How can we ever decrease road deaths when sombody drives drunk and is then sentenced to 20 hours community service! What a joke!

  • sobeit - 2010-02-05 17:10

    Why should charges be withdrawn if he was proven to be over the limit, is it different strokes for different folks? Community service is all good and well but next time he may kill or maim someone, I don't agree with this ruling.

  • Charlotte Sullivan - 2010-02-05 17:23

    I work for SADD - South Africans Against Drunk Driving and it is very disappointing to see young "role models" behaving like this. Potentially this young man could have killed ... most people who are stopped for drink driving have already driven over the limit hundreds of times. We need the laws in this country to be enforced and licenses to be removed. We lose 18 000 people on South African Roads each year - the majority of them between the ages of 18 and 24. Road crashes are no accident, they are PREVENTABLE.

  • peebo - 2010-02-05 17:27

    I am no expert,but 3 times over the limit for a man of his size is probably 3 or 4 beers.While this cannot be condoned,he was probably far from sloshed.If a fine had been imposed, it probably would have amounted to R10 000 max - I'm sure Ricky would have gladly chosen this option.

  • EM - 2010-02-05 17:38

    NOT surprised. He's 'a person of colour'. Look what happened to Herschell Gibbs & his mother after they were caught drunk driving, NOTHING! We all know the 'law' only apply to some people. You are pathetic Ricky!

  • @paul & tommo - 2010-02-05 17:47

    It's amazing how you can blame the new "rainbow" nation for the different rules for the public and for celebs, as you put it. How quickly you forget how many different sets of rules the old government had for blacks and whites but i suppose as long as those rules suited you then all was good hey? As for blaming the government, you need to learn that the judicial system and rulings by judges has nothing to do with the government. I don't condone what he did, but blaming the government for everything done by non-whites is really absurd and downright ignorant!

  • Shaka Mehlomakulu - 2010-02-05 18:03

    Ricky , if you were not a so called celebrity , you would be fined or jailed . I am sure with such a lenient sentence , their is no dis incentive to you and await the next magistrates verdict . Shocking .

  • Eddie - 2010-02-05 18:03

    If Januarie starts today he will finish before the end of February

  • Ant1 - 2010-02-05 18:12

    What a joke, community service compared to others in the Cape slapped with a R3,000 fine and/ or criminal records. Why waste the courts time with such a weak punishment for putting the lives of others at risk and for contempt of court. Obviously the Court was influenced by his 'celeb' status? - How can he still be allowed to represent the Springboks and sponsors? His crime is far worse than that of Joost & even Tiger. Januarie could have killed someone with his irresponsible actions. Why did the media also not blow this out of proportion as with Joost? DUI is fine but just don't cheat on your spouse. Is this the message being sent to the children or is there some other sinister reason for the distint different or perhaps special treatment, after all he's not even one of the greatest Springboks!

  • Tommo - 2010-02-05 19:06

    hey dipstick this has nothing to do with race,the legilature is passed by the government which is too weak to implement the rule of law or are you living on another planet! The disparity between the so called public and the celebrities is plain to see by most people who are shocked by such a leinient sentence.Do you think you would get the same sentence as him? Read the balance of the comments ,do you see a trend in the complaints or are you looking through rose tinted glasses? As for the previos government that was 16 years ago stop living in the past an get on with current affairs.

  • Johan - 2010-02-05 19:42

    Helma Smit, ek respekteer jou uitspraak en ek glo jy het dit met goeie oordeel gedoen? Sou Ricky enige toekomstige oortredings begaan of iemand word ernstig beseer of selfs gedood .......gaan vra jouself die vraag in die spieel af " Hoekom het ek hom nie n meer gepaste straf gegee nie dan sou dit wat vandag gebeur het dalk nie gebeur het nie .....en ...gaan kyk daai gebrokendes dan in die gesig en se vir hulle jy is jammer..... Ek se nie hang Ricky nie maar ek glo nie die straf was in belang van die gemeen skap nie.

  • Impi - 2010-02-06 05:16

    Nothing happened anyway, so his sentence is appropriate. And .05 is too low anyway - make it .08 and then it doesn't look that bad. He desrves a break. The law perfectly.

  • WP man - 2010-02-06 06:24

    Die straf is onvanpas en belaglik. Smit se oordeel as landdros is, om die minste te sê twyfelagtig. Ek sou ook nie tronkstraf opgelê het nie, maar die boete drasties vermeerder het, die aantal gemeenskapsdiens ure drasties vermeerder het en sy lisensie opgeskort het. Dit sou 'n duidelike boodskap uitgestuur het, nl. DRONKBESTUUR WORD NIE GEDULD NIE. Ek is 'n groot bewonderar van Ricky die rugbyspeler en glo dat hy steeds 'n blink toekoms het. Maar, vir dronkbestuurders het ek geen genade nie. Ongelukkig stuur Smit die duidelike boodskap uit: As jy jonk en 'n rolmodel is, sal jy met groter empatie behandel word as 'n onbekende Jan Alleman. Dit is pateties. Ek hoop dat Bellille se senior staatsaanklaer sal die nodige moed aan die dag lê om teen hierdie ondeurdagte uitspraak te appeleer.

  • Bigmart - 2010-02-06 08:10

    No, there is nothing wrong with using his extraordinary talents to help those less fortunate as a punishment. The true measure of the man, however, will be to see if he merely knocks off the 30 hours and then never goes back to that school. That 600 underpriveledged kids get the opportunity to better themselves serves society far better than a R3000 fine. Well done to the legal system.

  • Bigmart - 2010-02-06 08:11

    No, there is nothing wrong with using his extraordinary talents to help those less fortunate as a punishment. The true measure of the man, however, will be to see if he merely knocks off the 30 hours and then never goes back to that school. That 600 underpriveledged kids get the opportunity to better themselves serves society far better than a R3000 fine. Well done to the legal system.

  • Raymond - 2010-02-06 08:27

    I hope that this is going to apply to ALL people that are caught driving under the influence of alcohol.Once again,the inequalities in the country demonstrates that you are sentenced by who you are.There are laws for different people in this country,depends who you are.

  • Etienne - 2010-02-06 10:22

    I hope other people can also get community service then. ..Maybe show the kids how to use a broom or clean their school or how to stay of the streets. This service is something that the rugby teams are and should be doing anyway so this "punnishment" is just run of the mill for him.

  • elsa - 2010-02-06 10:51

    I agree with Raymond. If it was somebody else say like a White Player, he would have been sacked by his province. Once again, colour makes the rules and regulations. Beware if you are a white sportsman or women. They are doomed in this country.

  • gybs - 2010-02-06 11:47

    "DEMOCKERY" at work again. in a country where drunk-driving has caused so much heartache and pain to 1000's, we give someone who has shown contempt to the very same court by failing to appear - a very laughable and pathetic sentence. It's a joke, but the again, what did we come to expect from SA, everything is for sale at the right price.

  • Peet - 2010-02-06 21:40

    What a bloody joke. No penalty, community service by coaching rugby??? What the lesson for him in all of this.

  • Koekemoer - 2010-02-08 08:11

    Ja, jong, mens kan sien hy speel vir die Stormers. Hulle kom gewoonlik weg met alles. Net jammer hulle kan nie rugby speel nie.

  • Vernon - 2010-02-08 08:24

    Changes are good that Ricky will be caught again. Once a drunkard, always a drunkard.

  • Vernon - 2010-02-08 10:09

    Chances are good that Ricky will be caught again. Once a drunkard, always a drunkard.

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