Motorist: Traffic cop abused me

2009-09-22 00:00

THE Howick Traffic Department and the uMngeni Municipality could find themselves embroiled in a legal wrangle after a motorist, who was allegedly abused by one of the department’s officers, has threatened to sue them.

The motorist, Willem von Willich, said he was verbally abused by a traffic officer whose name is known to The Witness. He said the officer insulted and intimidated him and also defamed him by calling him a racist.

The officer also tried to “pull his gun” on him and threatened him with arrest.

Explaining the altercation, VonWillich said in July this year he and his wife were travelling along the R103 to Howick.

They discovered that the road was blocked because of a truck in the left hand lane.

He said because there was space on the right side of the truck, he asked the officer in question to allow them through, but was refused.

He said the officer instead threatened him with arrest and tried to take his car keys. “When he refused to let us through, I pointed out that he was being unreasonable. When I called his decision into question, he became so enraged that he became completely irrational and lost control.”

Willich said the officer emphasised that he (the officer) was in charge and almost threatened them with his police firearm.

“When I incredulously asked him if he was going to produce a fire arm, he seemed to change his mind and produced a set of handcuffs from the other side of his belt. I warned him that I was an advocate, that he was acting unlawfully, and that I would sue him.”

Willich notified the Howick Traffic Department about the matter but said they had not done anythign so far. “He called me a racist in a public area and there were other people listening, and I consider that defamatory,” he said.

Chief traffic and licensing officer Roger Everton denied that a complaint was ever lodged with them against one of their officers, despite an e-mail to the contrary.

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