Premier won’t investigate assault charges

2012-07-26 14:33

Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza will not investigate an assault on a motorist allegedly by his human settlements MEC’s bodyguards, until he receives a formal request to do so.

Human settlements MEC Siphosezwe Masango’s bodyguards allegedly attacked 38-year-old Gert van der Merwe at the Nkomazi tollgate last Thursday after he accused them of reckless driving.

Democratic Alliance provincial leader Anthony Benadie said that he would ask Mabuza to investigate the incident, but no formal correspondence has yet been forwarded to Mabuza’s office.

Mabuza’s spokesperson Zibonele Mncwango said: “We’ve not received anything formal, and like everyone else, read about this in the newspapers.”

DA spokesperson Willie Venter said a letter would be sent to Mabuza soon.

Van der Merwe told Afrikaans dai;y Beeld that Masango’s white Mercedes with flashing blue lights sped past cars waiting to pass through the tollgate over a solid line.

Beeld reported that Van der Merwe stopped behind Masango at the tollgate and shouted that the driver was reckless. He said Masango’s car stopped when the boom closed in front of his car.

Van der Merwe reportedly said that Masango’s two bodyguards got out and approached him. One had a pistol while the other had pepper spray.

Van der Merwe was allegedly hit on the head and pepper sprayed. He ran to the nearby Kaapmuiden Police Station to lay a charge. The bodyguards allegedly gave chase.

Van der Merwe has laid an assault charge.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Colonel Leonard Hlathi was not available to comment about the progress of the investigation.

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