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Taxi driver charged over Smurfits' gun terror in Cape Town

The taxi driver involved in actress Victoria Smurfit's New Year's Day gun terror has been charged with obstructing the course of justice.

It is alleged that Alvin Volkwyn (31) purposely did not tell South African police that he had passengers in his mini-van when a gunman opened fire on it nearly three weeks ago.

Police subsequently learned that Ballykissangel star Smurfit was in the taxi, along with her husband, mother, brother and sister-in-law.

The terrifying ordeal occurred shortly before midnight on January 1 and Smurfit's husband Doug Baxter later criticised police, telling the Herald: "We reported it that night.

Arrested

"It was 10 to midnight when it happened, so most people were preparing for the countdown and we didn't get to log the transcript of what had happened until 12.40am."

But they decided to contact police a second time after not hearing anything for four days.

Now it has emerged that detectives have arrested the taxi driver for "defeating the ends of justice".

Cape Town police spokesman Randall Stoffels said Volkwyn was arrested because he had "failed to disclose information" which could have been imperative in the investigation.

It is alleged that the local taxi driver lodged a complaint of "attempted murder" shortly after the incident, but that he failed to mention that he was carrying tourists in his cab at the time.

Volkwyn appeared in Cape Town Magistrates Court over the weekend but was not asked to make a plea.

Instead, a judge decided that he should be released on bail of R400 (€38.58) and with a warning to reappear in court on February 12.

The group were on their way to a party when a bullet shattered a passenger window.

Luckily, nobody was injured, but the family were extremely shaken by the close call.

kdoyle@herald.ie


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