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01 Dec 2008 07:35
VIP policemen travelling in convoy must respect road users and stick to their duties, KwaZulu-Natal finance minister and provincial ANC chairperson Zweli Mkhize said on Sunday.
Speaking to the South African Press Association at Durban’s Sun Coast hotel, he said it was “embarrassing and unacceptable” that policemen, who are meant to uphold the law, were instead harassing road users.
“The police who drive in those cars are taught the rules of the road, they are taught certain things to ensure safety, and when and how to use blue lights.”
This statement was made in reference to an incident two weeks ago when Constable Hlanganani Nxumalo (28) allegedly shot at a tyre of a Mazda on the N3 highway near Camperdown. The driver of the Mazda lost control following the shooting, veered into oncoming traffic and collided with a bakkie.
Eight people were injured in the incident and Nxumalo was since appeared in court on eight charges of attempted murder.
The incident drew huge criticism from various political parties.
On Sunday, Mkhize further stressed that there was no reason for any VIP member to intimidate motorists with or without a firearm.
He said such incidents portrayed politicians in a bad light.
“The perception that politicians are abusing their powers is unfortunate because when they break such rules, it does not come from the instruction of politicians,” he said.
Mkhize said since the N3 incident, VIP members have been warned on two occasions about what their job entails.
“We hope that law enforcement officers will cooperate and respect the community.”
Mkhize also emphasised that the government was concerned about the abuse of blue lights.
He urged that transgressions be reported to police, who must in turn act on the reported incidents. - Sapa
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