Blue light victim’s agony

2008-05-30 00:00

THE VIP driver who was involved in an accident on the N3 near Camperdown last weekend is still on the road driving and protecting Social Development MEC Meshack Radebe.

Meanwhile, the lives of the Madlala family of Imbali have come to a grinding halt. The Fiat Palio that the VIP vehicle crashed into was written off and Robert Madlala (76) is slowly recovering, having spent the week in hospital.

“It still hurts all over my body; from my head to my feet, I am in pain,” he told Weekend Witness. Madlala was a passenger in the Fiat, driven by his daughter Lungile, a social worker.

“I did not see what happened,” she said. “I was driving in the slow lane, preparing to turn off, and then there was a big bang at the back of my car.”

Lungile said the loss of the vehicle has inconvenienced the whole family and she doesn’t know if she will be able to replace it.

Social Development spokesman Mandla Ngema said the department has taken no action against the policeman who was driving, because he works for the SAPS, not the department.

SAPS spokesman Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram confirmed that the driver has not been suspended, pending an investigation.

One of the bikers who was allegedly tailed by the VIP driver told Weekend Witness he has never seen anything so “shocking and violent” in his life.

The man, who asked not to be named for fear of intimidation, said there is much frustration in the biking community related to incidents of this nature.

“If this goes to court, there will be thousands of bikes in this town in solidarity with us. That man tried to kill me and he caused a big accident.”

He said the bodyguard must have been doing at least 200 km/h and slammed so hard into the Fiat that he “bounced the car in the air”.

The biker admitted that he swore at the police officer, but insisted this was out of “shock and provocation”, and not due to any racist tendency.

He denied that he assaulted the VIP driver.

He later added that the incident is costing him “thousands in legal fees” through no fault of his own. He has been charged with crimen injuria.

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