Drunk drivers caught

2015-09-07 09:40
An estimated 10 000 maidens turned out for the uMkhosi woMhlanga (Reed Dance) on Saturday at Enyokeni Palace, outside Nongoma.

An estimated 10 000 maidens turned out for the uMkhosi woMhlanga (Reed Dance) on Saturday at Enyokeni Palace, outside Nongoma. (Vivien van der Sandt)

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FIVE drivers transporting maidens to the Reed Dance at the eNyokeni Royal Palace were nabbed for drunk driving.

The Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) was conducting law enforcement operations on all the roads leading up to the reed dance, when the drivers were arrested. During stop and checks, 89 buses and 301 taxis were inspected, 118 charges were issued for various transgressions, including speed, failure to use seat belts and reckless driving.

Four other drivers were also arrested for driving without licences and one was arrested for driving a public transport vehicle without the necessary documentation.

Transport MEC Willies Mchunu announced that more than 650 traffic officers had been deployed for the reed dance law enforcement operation at the weekend.

“We applaud the good work by traffic officers who have so far arrested five public transport drivers for drinking and driving. Early this week, we announced drastic security measures as part of intensified law enforcement to ensure an accident free reed dance. The arrest of these drivers is a clear message that we are tough on all those who are disregarding road traffic laws. The message is clear, no driver should arrive nor leave eNyokeni palace without being tested,” said Mchunu.

In 2013, nine Zulu maidens, two minders and a bus driver were killed when the bus they travelling on overturned at the R66 and R34 intersection in Melmoth. Another 62 were injured.

The first driver of the bus involved in the crash had been arrested for drunk driving before the accident. The replacement driver was not killed in the accident, as initial reports suggested, but was injured.

Mchunu said that the bus was speeding at the time, and there were concerns over the vehicle’s roadworthiness.

The bus was one of 11 vehicles that had been hired from a Marburg bus company, Malundi Excursions.

— Witness Reporter

Read more on:    reed dance  |  drunk driving

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