Good afternoon All,

I need some help, please.

In February this year I received a traffic fine. I turned into a road marked as closed during the hours of 7:30-9:00am during said time and was given a handwritten fine by a traffic officer, to the tune of R1500.

I decided to contest the fine seeing as I felt that the signage indicating said closure was not adequate. On the notice there was no mention of the possibility to contest in writing, so I assumed I would have no option but to go to court.
Iíve subsequently learned that I had the right to approach the prosecutor before the court date about the possibility of reducing or cancelling the fine. Iím especially peeved at myself for this as Iím pretty confident this would never have gone to court!

I went to court and seeing as I intended to defend, the court date was set. At said court date, the officer, who had been summoned, did not appear in court. Court date was rescheduled again.

Question 1:
Seeing as I didnít contact the prosecutor before the court date and the case is now in process, am I allowed to do so now before it goes to court again? I'm hoping the prosecutor has the authority to reconsider and withdraw the case. Is that possible or do we have to now continue in court only?

Question 2:
What are my rights in court? At the second court appearance, when the officer didnít show up, I asked why we had to postpone seeing as I didnít feel the officerís appearance was needed. The judge informed me that the prosecution leads proceedings and basically I needed to go with the flow.

Roughly, what can or canít I do/request in court?

Any other help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Deon