WCape to ban blue-light convoys

2010-02-19 14:17

Cape Town - The Western Cape is to pass a law banning politicians from using blue-light convoys in the province, Premier Helen Zille announced on Friday.

In her state of the province address, she said this would apply to politicians from "any sphere of government".

The only exception would be a genuine emergency.

"And being late for a meeting does not constitute an emergency," she said.

Zille's announcement follows outrage at the arrest this week of a University of Cape Town student who allegedly made an obscene gesture at President Jacob Zuma's convoy as it passed him.

Scores of students on Thursday demonstrated in solidarity with the arrested Chumani Maxwele, all flashing the same raised middle finger.

'No special rights for politicians'

Zille said law enforcement agencies were supposed to protect innocent citizens against power abuse.

Unfortunately, in South Africa there were cases where the police themselves were accessories to this abuse, she said.

When her provincial executive assumed office nine months ago, one of the first things it did was to instruct the police's VIP protection services to stop using blue lights and sirens on ministerial vehicles unless in exceptional circumstances.

"We did this because we don’t believe that politicians should have special rights and privileges that other citizens don't have," she said.

"We share the public's disgust at being forced off the road by blue light bullies escorting self-important politicians."

Employees also prohibited

Maxwele's arrest and interrogation by the president's protection officers was an example of such abuse.

South Africa was a constitutional democracy, not a police state, she said.

"We will therefore introduce legislation... to prevent any politician from any sphere of government using blue-light convoys and sirens in the Western Cape, unless a genuine emergency arises."

This would be done in terms of the provincial government's constitutional competencies for road traffic regulation.

Zille also announced planned legislation to prohibit employees of the province conducting business with it, except in strictly defined and transparent circumstances.

Tender rigging and conflicts of interest were one of the primary sources of corruption in all provinces, she said.

  • South African - 2010-02-19 15:21

    fantastic news!

  • BP - 2010-02-19 15:22

    Go Helen! I am so tired of being shoved off the road by these bullies!!

  • Mel - 2010-02-19 15:23

    Helen for president!!

  • Adam Mahommed - 2010-02-19 15:24

    Maybe Parliament should just move from the Western Cape?

  • chillepeppa - 2010-02-19 15:25

    Right on...

  • Therk - 2010-02-19 15:26

    Viva Helen!! I gave the blue light bullies the middle finger plenty - a- time. We, the tax payers, not the tax abusers, are paying road taxes and all kinds of taxes. We should have right of way. Only emergency vehicles can have right of way, in cases of emergency.
    Zille for President!!!!

  • Chris_SA - 2010-02-19 15:26

    Well done Zille, now if only the other baffoons can follow your example there might still be a light at the end of the tunnel (hopefully not a blue light)

  • ZAK - 2010-02-19 15:27


  • TJ - 2010-02-19 15:27

    I agree, I have personally been pushed off the road near Worcester during a heavy rainstorm. They almost pushed me off the road and the cut-in of the vehicles before mine caused such a spray that I could not see! I respect the politicians right to safety I am just asking them to respect my right to safety too!

  • Bleach - 2010-02-19 15:28

    FINALLY! Democracy 1 - ANC regime 0

  • citizen - 2010-02-19 15:29

    Hear, hear!!! Go Zille go!!

  • Terry Simpson - 2010-02-19 15:29

    From go girl!

  • Karen - 2010-02-19 15:30

    Excellent! Well done Helen Zille! I hope the other provinces have the guts to do this as well - abuse of power is rife in our Govt and this needs to stop.

  • Ratel - 2010-02-19 15:32

    Well done Helen! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the DA governed the rest of South Africa? Maybe then we would attain “World Class” status.

  • Chris G - 2010-02-19 15:32

    Viva Emperor Zille!! Can't wait to see the tantrum that the ANC have about this.

  • Phillo Beukes - 2010-02-19 15:35

    Where has this person been the last 5 years of Julius malema's outbursts. Not only is he a racist, but also sexist. To say he is the by-product of apartheid is absolute nonsense. He doesn't care about the poor with wearing a watch of R 250 k, notr does he care about anyone else but for those who gives him an opportunity to cry wolf - take the Caster Semenya debacle etc.etc. he is no good example for anyone but the bigmouths out there whom is looking for a cushy job in government. He demands respect but only earns disrespect, talks loud but delivers nothing but resentment, ride on the accomplishments of Nelson Mandela but set no example. If he has bought things with money that he had not honestly worked for, like meddling with tenders etc.etc., then he is public property to investigate and scrutinise - then he will be shown as part of the cancer that is divulging society and making a mockery of honest law-abiding citizens out there. Let there be an inquiry - let Julius malema show who he really is and what he is made off.

  • Fred - 2010-02-19 15:36

    Let them use public transport I say.

  • Hennie - 2010-02-19 15:36

    You go, Girl. Just wish that the rest of the country will follow suit, especially here in Gauteng. It is daily occurrence where the Blue light brigade rush past us just to avoid sitting in the rush hour traffic like the rest of us. Going either to the office or back home. It has become so bad that ordinary cops are also doing it now. But hey, look at the example that is set for them.

  • Helen Zille fan - 2010-02-19 15:36

    At last. When I lived in Zambia the roads were closed for sometimes a day waiting for a minister to pass by. It is abuse of power. They should travel like everyone else. They are not an emergency!!! They mostly these days are a waste of tax payers money. Bloated with entitlement. Well done Helen.

  • Dave - 2010-02-19 15:37

    Zille or President!!!

  • JMc - 2010-02-19 15:39

    Seriously, Helen Zille should be president!

  • HaggardGnome - 2010-02-19 15:39

    Good on you Helen! We can always rely on the DA to do the right thing. This new phenomenon of "blue-light" thuggery needs to be addressed. To my knowledge, not ONE of the bullies who have abused their power in this manner have been brought to book. VIVA DA, VIVA!

  • fish - 2010-02-19 15:40

    AWESOME!!!! Go Helen Zille!!! You have my vote.

  • Vukani - 2010-02-19 15:40

    This woman is a true leader for the people. She should be the next president!

  • CR - 2010-02-19 15:41

    Brilliant! Go Helen Go!

  • KB - 2010-02-19 15:41

    Hats off the Helen for having the guts to take this step! I'd like to see KZN do the same.....but that's wishful thinking. The 'bloo-lite' brigade are at home there!

  • ALELUIA - 2010-02-19 15:42

    At last some one has the balls to put a stop to these IDIOTS. It is typical that those who are nobody's have to make use of these blue lights and sirens to make them important. These self-important assholes, will know that in the W.Cape they are a normal citizen and not a self proclaimed VIP. Well done Zille, put some order to these thugs even if his name is ZUMA or MALEMA.It is not a blue light that will make us respect you, on the contrary we despise you.

  • Moerdyk - 2010-02-19 15:43

    I would like to see this law passed in the other pronvices also. Well done to the DA for not backing down and bowing down to these criminals,but making an effort in protecting citizens from these thugs. Then again it would be interesting to see these laws enforced,otherwise its just ink on paper and it means nothing ,like most laws do in this country.

  • Tshwene - 2010-02-19 15:43

    Well done Aunty Helen
    Bet you the next move - Parly to the banks of the APIES River

  • bok4life - 2010-02-19 15:44

    Helen Zille, well done!

  • Adam - 2010-02-19 15:44

    That middle finger gesture of Maxwele's represents the millions that would also like to give JZ the finger.

  • Allan - 2010-02-19 15:45

    about time... woot woot

  • Craig Viljoen - 2010-02-19 15:45

    At last, an oppostion politician who's not afraid to stand up against a government who abuse their power. I'm glad I'm on your side, Helen!!

  • Billy Moses - 2010-02-19 15:45

    This used to be a regular happening in the Brooklyn and Rugby area.The goverment kamikaze squad racing down the road flashing blue lighs politicians in the cars or not.One was able to hear the for some distance going hell for leather.The BMW'S racing ahead blocking side roads so these idiots can have a clear racetrack.I have and will never give way to them.Please release this innocent guy Chumani Maxwele right away

  • Alan - 2010-02-19 15:46

    Hopefully this will spell the beginning of the end for the corrupt and intolerant ANC. This is a very rotten and corrupt party and does not deserve to be in government at all.

  • John - 2010-02-19 15:47

    The best news today! Limpopo and Gauteng should do the same before I become a victim of road rage...

  • Zingisa - 2010-02-19 15:47

    We are sick and tied of Bullies.I am a truck driver why they don't cut off truck so that they can get what they want

  • Kez - 2010-02-19 15:47

    Go girl. it should be brought to other provinces as well

  • Billy Moses - 2010-02-19 15:48

    Readers please note news 24 will only publish content they want you to read as I get blocked on a regular basis

  • collie - 2010-02-19 15:48

    That's the way to do it Helen.GO MAN GO

  • Jarod - 2010-02-19 15:48

    Zille for President

  • Brad - 2010-02-19 15:49

    It's about time someone is doing something about these damn self important "officials". Well Done Helen! Now the rest of the country needs to follow her example. Helen for President!!!

  • richard - 2010-02-19 15:49

    G-d, I wish we had someone with guts like Helen up here in bully-lsand - Gauteng. Keep it up Helen!!

  • blue light driver - 2010-02-19 15:52

    We need the blue lights, i looks nice on cars - i disagree with godzille

  • Fision - 2010-02-19 15:52

    WHOO! Helen just earned my vote again! Give that lady a prize!!

  • Max - 2010-02-19 15:52

    This is wonderful news, Helen. You certainly have my vote. I know it must be difficult to "police", but it would be great if you could also deal with police officials who abuse the blue light/siren. Often you see them switch on the blue light/siren just to get through the traffic and wonder whether this is really for an emergency or just because he/she does not want to sit in the traffic like everyone else.

  • @Vukani - 2010-02-19 15:52

    what has zille done for you lately hey vukami

  • mistee - 2010-02-19 15:53

    go helen go maybe next election you can be president

  • steve romain - 2010-02-19 15:53

    At last someone with balls.

  • Neil G - 2010-02-19 15:54

    lets all line the streets when the next blue light convoy passes and protest with the finger