Blue-light BMW 'often seen speeding'

2011-11-10 10:03
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Blue light incident

A News24 user sent us these pictures from the accident scene where a matric pupil was knocked down - allegedly by the official vehicle of a Gauteng MEC.

Johannesburg - A white BMW X5 like the one belonging to the Gauteng MEC for local government and housing is apparently a frequent offender when it comes to breaking traffic rules on the road where a Krugersdorp matric was run over.

Riaan Olivier from Krugersdorp works in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, and travels along the R28 every day.

“Then I see that white X5. Often when it can’t overtake, then lights go on and it begins speeding. I have seen it overtake on the yellow line and drive through a red traffic light. You just duck!

“This is every time I’ve seen it.”

Thomas Ferreira, 18, was knocked from his motorbike on Saturday morning on the R28 at the intersection of Paardekraal and Windsor Road. A white BMW X5, the official car of MEC Humphrey Mmemezi, hit him.

According to witnesses, the driver overtook other cars on the left on the yellow line, switching on his flashing blue lights, and then ignored a red traffic light.

Beeld on Wednesday printed photographs of the BMW and the driver. Olivier recognised the car. He couldn’t recognise the driver or passenger as the windows were tinted, but said he had seen the BMW about three times over the past month.

Blue light policy

A senior provincial leader in the ANC admitted to Beeld that provincial leaders misused their blue-light privileges.

“Sometimes a meeting goes on longer than planned and it means you will be late for the next meeting. You don’t want to be known as the one who is always late because it is embarrassing. Then you sometimes have to weave through traffic to be on time.”

Mmemezi’s spokesperson, Motsamai Motlhaolwa, on Wednesday referred all enquiries to the office of Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane.

Mokonyane’s spokesperson, Xoli Mngambi, said witnesses with information about this or any other case should contact the investigating officer.

The National Road Traffic Act states clearly that only emergency vehicles and the police are allowed to use blue lights in an emergency situation.

National police spokesperson Colonel Vish Naidoo wouldn’t release the police’s policy document about the use of blue lights to Beeld.

Naidoo said police officers were permitted to use “their own judgement” when deciding when blue lights were necessary.

Beeld learned from a source within the police that the driver was Semietsi Joseph Modomai, 36, from Tshepisong in Soweto.

Provincial police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Katlego Mogale said on Wednesday Modomai would not be arrested at this stage because a charge of reckless or negligent driving was being investigated. For charges like these, a warning was issued to the accused to appear in court.
 
Read more on:    humphrey mmemezi  |  johannesburg  |  blue light incidents  |  accidents
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