Cape Town rubbishes claims of cops throwing cigarettes out of car

2017-01-20 20:32
Cigarette. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Cigarette. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Two metro cops accused of throwing a cigarette butt out of a metro police vehicle have denied the claims, says City of Cape Town mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith.

Justin Coetzee posted a photo of a law enforcement vehicle on Facebook on Tuesday, with a caption which said that a metro police officer had thrown a cigarette butt out of the car's window.

Coetzee posted on Facebook: "...unacceptable at the best of times, but whilst Cape Town is burning?"

The post had been shared 10 400 times by Friday afternoon.

"They object to the allegation and contend the complainant's version is spurious and is tantamount to slander," Smith said.

According to Smith, an investigation by the fleet co-ordinator had found that the driver and passenger were both non-smokers and that there were no signs of smoking in the vehicle.

Legal advice

The officers' colleagues also confirmed that the two were non-smokers, Smith said.

Smith said prior to the allegations, law enforcement authorities had received complaints from residents in the area about the issuing of parking fines. This might have led to the friction in this incident, he said.

The officers driving the vehicle said they did not give the complainant a chance to join the flow of traffic, while the officers had the right of way. The individual then started following them, Smith said.

"The officer who was driving observed this dangerous behaviour [of the complainant following them] and moved off to the side of the road and indicated to the complainant, by putting his hand out of the window, to pass," Smith said.

"It is perhaps this that made him think they had tossed something out of the window."

The officers had indicated that they would be seeking legal advice on their rights, "given the damage to their reputations and to that of the city", Smith said.

Coetzee could not be reached for comment.

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