Soccer stars racing on our roads

2014-04-06 14:00

Itumeleng Khune, Thuso Phala, Katlego Mashego and Joseph Malongoane play for different clubs, but they have something in common other than the sport they play – driving very fast.

If they did it on the field they would be lauded, but it’s their thrill-seeking behaviour on the road that has got them into trouble.

This week, Khune was sentenced to 10 hours’ of community service after being caught travelling at 173km/h in a 120km/h zone in January. He joins a long list of soccer stars who have broken the limit so severely.

Just a few weeks after Khune’s incident, Orlando Pirates’ marksman Lennox Bacela was bust for the same offence.

“They can afford fast cars and they like experimenting, forgetting it is not about their fast cars but obeying the laws of the road,” said Joburg metro police spokesperson Edna Mamonyane.

“They think they can get away with it just by virtue of being celebrities.”

But Mamonyane believes those who show remorse should not be punished too harshly as they are only human.She said they should be given a second chance.

But a bigger problem is that the players have millions of followers who might be tempted to emulate their bad habits.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Nathi Mncube emphasised that everybody is equal before the law, as enshrined in the Constitution.

He told City Press the NPA makes decisions based on the merits of each case and not an individual’s public profile.

“Khune exercised his right by submitting representations to the NPA. Those submissions were considered and a decision was taken based on them,” he said.

Do rulings such as Khune’s sentence to 10 hours of community service set a precedent?

Not according to Mamonyane.

“It shouldn’t be the case, but it is human nature for people to use outcomes of previous cases as a scapegoat when they find themselves in similar situation.”

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