Eyewitness News can confirm that the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) corporal arrested in Limpopo this week following a robbery, is currently awaiting trial on attempted murder charges in Pretoria.
Corporal Jacob Marakalla, who is the personal driver for joint operations chief, General Barney Hlatshwayo, was arrested together with two accomplices in Limpopo on Tuesday while driving an official military vehicle.
Marakalla shot motorcyclist Carine van Staden in the chest in an apparent road rage incident in Pretoria last year after he had collided with the motorbike that she and her fiancé were riding.
After an alteration at a traffic light in the north of Pretoria, Marakalla got out of his vehicle, pressed his national defence force service pistol to Van Staden’s chest, and fired a single shot.
The bullet narrowly missed Van Staden’s heart and lungs and despite being critically wounded, survived the incident.
Marakalla claims he believed he was being hijacked and was merely defending himself. He was not arrested at the scene of the shooting, but appeared in court a month later, charged with attempted murder.
Now he has been arrested shortly after a robbery while driving the VIP protection vehicle he chauffeurs General Hlatshwayo in. He was also found in possession of two unlicensed firearms.
While the national defence force has condemned Marakalla’s behaviour and initiated the process to have him discharged, it has not explained why he remained on duty while being criminally prosecuted.