Premier's driver had a gun

2012-08-02 10:36
Zweli Mkhize (File)

Zweli Mkhize (File)

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Johannesburg - A driver for the KwaZulu-Natal premier, who was arrested for speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol, had also been in possession of a firearm, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Thursday.

NPA spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson said Maziwinkosi Petros Gwala, who appeared briefly in the Mtunzini Magistrate's Court on Wednesday morning on charges of speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol, was also charged with being in possession of a firearm whilst under the influence of alcohol.

Gwala was released on R1 000 bail, the provincial transport department said on Wednesday.

The 42-year-old was driving on the N2 at Fairbreeze, near Mthunzini on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast on Tuesday, when he was allegedly caught doing 183km/h in a 120km/h zone, KwaZulu-Natal Road Traffic Inspectorate spokesperson Zinhle Mngomezulu said.

According to the Witness newspaper, a breathalyser test revealed he had a blood-alcohol level several times over the legal limit of 0.05g/100ml.

Mngomezulu said she would only be able to comment on Gwala's blood-alcohol level when the results of blood tests were known.

She could not immediately confirm whether the Mercedes-Benz he was driving was his personal car or a state car.

Premier Zweli Mkhize was not in the car at the time. Mngomezulu said Gwala had been travelling from Pietermaritzburg to Mthunzini, which was 230km away.

Ndabezinhle Sibiya, spokesperson for the premier, said he could not comment on the incident as it "may be interpreted in some quarters as interfering with the work of law enforcement agencies".

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