Blue-light convoy cops swear at and threaten woman motorist with gun

2009-02-25 00:00

Pretoria — “When I say f*** off out of the road, you have to f*** off out of the road!”

This is what two aggressive members of the police’s infamous VIP protection unit shouted at Kim Lovegrove (30), a lawyer from Pretoria, on Tuesday as they sped at between 140 km/h and 160 km/h behind her.

Just before they passed Lovegrove on the N1 highway, one of the men in the blue-light vehicle lifted his jacket and showed her his gun holster.

Lovegrove said she was in shock and very scared.

The incident happened on Tuesday afternoon shortly after 3 pm while she was on her way to Pretoria.

“Some distance from the Olifantsfontein bridge I saw cars with flashing blue lights approaching from behind. They were right behind two other vehicles that were following me,” Lovegrove said.

At the Olifantsfontein off-ramp the three lanes were reduced to two because of roadworks.

The two cars right behind Lovegrove were let into the queue quickly, but she wasn’t so lucky.

“The blue-light car then came charging at me with their lights flashing and hooted and gestured at me to get out of the way.

“I immediately put on my indicator to indicate that I had seen them and that I intended moving over as soon as I got a gap.

“I was so scared they were going to drive into me that I even put my foot down and sped up.

“At that stage I was probably doing about 140 km/h.”

Lovegrove said the blue-light convoy was later driving so close to her that she became nervous and swerved into the other lane, in front of a white car. The motorist braked sharply and swore at her.

“The two men [in the blue-light car] moved in right next to me and the driver swerved his vehicle towards me as if he was going to ram into me.”

That’s when the passenger swore at her and showed her his gun holster.

She couldn’t memorise their registration number, but did get the registration number of another car in the convoy, which she phoned through to her secretary.

Lovegrove then drove straight to her house in Faerie Glen. She didn’t know what to do. A friend suggested that she call the DA.

“Those men were really bullies with no respect for the safety of other road users,” Lovegrove said.

National police spokesman Senior Superintendent Vish Naidoo said this kind of behaviour by the VIP unit would not be tolerated.

Members of the VIP unit and safety services from across the country were summoned to Pretoria two weeks ago where they were told how to behave on the country’s roads.

“I want to encourage the complainant in this case to contact me and lay a formal complaint. If our members were in the wrong, they have to face the consequences.”

Naidoo declined to say whose convoy it was.

He said an investigation will first be conducted.

“The issue is not who was being transported, but who it is that’s being accused.”

DA spokeswoman on safety and security, Dianne Kohler Barnard, said the incident shows that, instead of protecting them, the VIP unit actually endangers people’s lives.

The DA will hand the registration number to the Independent Complaints Directorate, which investigates the police.

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