Gibbs to serve 100 hrs of community service

Durban: Former South African opening Test batsman Herschelle Gibbs was on Tuesday asked to serve 100 hours of community service as part of an agreement with the state to let him off the hook on a drunk driving charge.

Gibbs was to appear in the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court but the charges were withdrawn after an agreement with the National Prosecuting Authority.

Gibbs was arrested in Sea Point in Cape Town in March last year and has made several court appearances. He has stayed in a rehabilitation centre in Cape Town for more than a month in order to overcome his drinking habit.

Gibbs’ lawyer Peter Wheelan said the charges were withdrawn following representations made to the court. The representations made included his recent stay in a rehabilitation centre and his willingness to become involved in a sporting development programme for children.

“Herschelle has undergone rehabilitation and has spent a month in a clinic over Christmas,” said Wheelam.

“He’s following that programme very well and he’s agreed to get involved with Brad Bing and Sporting Chance as part of community service over the next few years. Sporting Chance develops youth in sport. Herschelle gets involved with kids and he’s going to be a great role model,” he said.

Meanwhile, the National Prosecution Authority has made it clear that Gibbs could be prosecuted in future for drunk driving, if he fails to abide by the conditions set out by the state as part of an agreement to withdraw the charge against him.

NPA spokesperson Sandy Godlwana said Gibbs would be monitored to ascertain whether he was complying with the state’s conditions.

“This is normal and the ball is in his court,” said Godlwana.

“Obviously Nicro (a drug rehabilitation organisation) has given a report that he has been assessed and they will monitor it. So after this 100 hours we will get a report again. But if he does not comply with it he will be prosecuted again.

“In light of the seriousness of the charges he faced and given his own awakening in recent months of the harmful effects of alcohol abuse, the state has been satisfied that this is an appropriate course of action,” said Godlwana.

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