‘It was self-defence’ – Former Uber driver accused of fatal beating at OR Tambo

The former Uber driver accused of killing 71-year-old Zalman Orlianski has labelled the state’s case against him as weak.

Reading the affidavit for his formal bail application‚ attorney Stanford Singende pointed out that his client‚ Tebogo Makhalemele‚ 30‚ intends to plead not guilty to the murder charge brought against him on Monday.

“I have a good defence in law and fact. The accusations against me are false‚” Singende told the court on his client’s behalf.

Makhalemele said he acted in self-defence.

He was initially charged with assault with intention to cause grievous bodily harm after the elderly motorist sustained a head injury that left him in a critical condition in hospital.

Orlianski succumbed to his injuries on Sunday evening‚ a week after the altercation at OR Tambo airport over a parking space. As a result‚ the charge has been changed to murder.

Makhalemele said in his affidavit that he is the breadwinner for his family‚ providing for his mother‚ long-time girlfriend and seven-year-old daughter.

The 30-year-old man from Daveyton is self-employed as an Uber driver‚ earning about R4‚000 a month.

In his affidavit‚ Makhalemele said he co-operated with police by handing himself over.

The bail application continues.

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