Man killed in yet another crash by Metro cop VIP guard

2014-07-25 00:00

THE second Metro Police blue-light accident in as many weeks has claimed the life of a man.

Nicholas Gwala was crossing North Coast Road when he was hit by a Metro Police VIP protection car travelling at 120 km/h early on Wednesday morning.

The death of the 44-year-old informal trader is veiled by suspicious circumstances, as the father of six succumbed to his injuries in King Edward VIII Hospital yesterday.

He had clung to life after he was run down, having suffered massive head and chest trauma when he was flung over the bonnet and onto the windshield of the high-performance car.

One of city police head Eugene Nzama’s personal bodyguards was at the wheel in the latest of a string of on-duty accidents.

Last week, several taxi passengers were injured when another of Nzama’s bodyguards, Thamsanqa Mbongwa, careened his car into the minibus in KwaDabeka near Pinetown.

The policeman had been heading home after a party at Nzama’s home in Newlands East.

The VW Golf GTI wrecked in Wednesday’s accident is one of many set aside for officers dedicated to protect the police chief.

This brings the number of top-end cars that have been written off by Nzama’s platoon of guards to four, costing the taxpayer nearly R2 million.

Gwala’s six children now count the cost of his death.

Metro Police insiders, who could not be named for fear of reprisal, spoke of the suspicious manner in which the accident was reported.

They claimed:

• The internal accident report contained a false name for Gwala, who was named “Ayanda Ntombela”.

• The policeman had been travelling 40 km over the speed limit for the area at the time of the accident.

• A mandatory driving ban, imposed on every officer who crashes a city vehicle, was lifted hours after the crash that claimed Gwala’s life.

The Witness can reveal that a highly ranked officer in Nzama’s inner circle had personally lifted the driver ban.

One insider said that an independent probe should be instituted.

“There are so many questions over how this accident was reported and the discrepancies are stark.

“An external body needs to investigate this accident and what happened in the wake of it.”

Gwala’s family gathered at the hospital as his body was covered and wheeled down to the mortuary yesterday.

Earlier in the day, they had found the critically injured Gwala admitted under the different name.

SAPS spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker confirmed that the accident had been reported to the Greenwood Park police station.

Municipality spokesperson Gugu Mbonambi failed to respond to questions from The Witness.

Do you have more information on this story? Contact Jeff Wicks.

• jeff.wicks@witness.co.za

082 073 8565

0820738565

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