I’m no prophet, says ‘killer road’ MPL

2014-02-07 17:52

If it were a movie or a script for a television show, the clip could have ended with: “Need I say more?”

Just seconds after North West member of the legislature and member of the roads portfolio committee Mahlakeng Mahlakeng had told a television news crew: “As we speak this road continues to kill our people”, two cars were involved in an accident right behind him.


Footage: SABC

An SABC television news reporter later said: “… and then it happened; an accident right while he was speaking, proving that some MPLs might well be prophets”.

Mahlakeng said it was no prophecy – he was only trying to draw attention to the troubled Lichtenburg to Koster road project, which started six years ago at an initial amount of R93 million for the revitalisation of the old tarred road. The 60km stretch between Lichtenburg and Koster has now cost the state more than R220 million and is yet to be completed.

The amount has ballooned because of unending litigation by at least four companies, which challenged claims that the contracts had been irregularly awarded in court.

Mahlakeng said: “They have been appointing contractors irregularly without following proper procurement processes, resulting in litigations that wasted taxpayers’ money. We have now discovered they appointed (another) company to complete the road but still they did not follow proper procurement process.”

Mahlakeng and fellow MPLs this week conducted a site visit when the accident happened.

While Mahlakeng was commenting on the condition of the road, on camera, two cars – one towing the other – drove past him towards a patch of the road that is still gravel.

The car that was being towed, swerved to the right-hand lane, which is tarred. The car in front seemingly lost control and the two cars ended up veering off the road.

No fatalities were reported and none of the two vehicles overturned.

“It could have been worse and we could have also been hit while doing interviews on the roadside. What has happened in front of my eyes though was terrible. I was shocked and disgusted at the same time because this road should not be where it is now,” Mahlakeng said.

“If nothing is done and this project [is not] completed, then more people will die on this road.”

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