Blue light cops permitted to ‘pressurise’ vehicles in their path

2011-10-13 00:00

VIP Protection Unit officer Caiphus Ndlela has denied that he drove recklessly and negligently ahead of the incident where his passenger, Hlanganani Nxumalo, admittedly fired shots out of the window on the N3.

The gunshots allegedly scared motorist Anuvasen Moodley into driving his black Mazda into oncoming traffic near Ashburton on November 15, 2008.

Ndlela admitted in evidence before Pietermaritzburg regional magistrate Chris van Vuuren that he exceeded the speed limit on the N3 that morning because they were running late to fetch Social Development MEC Meschack Radebe from Waterfall, but he said he was not speeding at the time of the incident involving Moodley’s Mazda.

He also denied having “pressurised” Moodley’s vehicle by driving on its tail with his blue lights flashing and his siren on, and said state witnesses who said so had lied.

The witnesses included Moodley, his wife and a member of the SA Police Service accident unit, Mark Roberts, who testified that he was overtaking trucks in the slow lane when a “blue light” vehicle drove up behind him and “started applying pressure” on him to get out of the way.

When he moved over the blue light car shot past and smoke came out of the exhaust.

Roberts said he then saw the Golf putting “similar pressure” on a black car ahead.

Roberts turned off the freeway before the accident occurred.

Asked why Roberts, whom he did not know, would lie, Ndlela replied; “Maybe because the public has a problem with the blue lights, maybe he is taking the public’s side.”

A training officer with the Protection Security Services, Martin Khanyile, testified on Tuesday that it is permitted for members to exceed the speed limit and put pressure on vehicles on the road in a bid to overtake them if they do not move out of the way when alerted to an emergency by flashing blue lights and sirens.

It emerged during yesterday’s hearing that cellphone records show that Nxumalo’s evidence that he got a message just before 8 am that day — that he and Ndlela were to pick up the MEC at 8.30 am instead of 9 am at Waterfall — was wrong.

The records showed that Nxumalo in fact called Ndlela much earlier, at 7.13 am, to inform him about the time change.

However, Ndlela maintained that they were running late as he had to call at the legislature to sign on for duty before picking up Nxumalo.

As they entered the N3 he put on the blue lights and siren, he said.

He confirmed Nxumalo’s version that when they first saw Moodley’s black Mazda it was in the slow lane behind trucks and suddenly cut in front of them.

He was forced to brake, he said. When he flashed his lights Moodley put his hand out and gave them “the finger”.

He alleged the Mazda twice swerved towards him as he tried to overtake it in what appeared to be a “planned manoeuvre”.

He said it was possible the Mazda had been “ambushing” them or “undermining a police vehicle”.

“The way he was acting showed that there was something he wanted to do to us,” he said.

Ndlela said he had not considered that the other driver could be scared or may have been inexperienced.

“I did nothing wrong that day,” he said.

The case was postponed to December 15 for legal argument.


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.