Cope man crashes while drunk

2009-12-08 00:00

COPE’S Kwazulu-Natal leader, Phillip Mhlongo, was arrested after he crashed his car while drunk near Isipingo, south of Durban, on Saturday.

Mhlongo was arrested after a breathalyser test revealed that his alcohol level was 0,52.

He appeared briefly at Amanzimtoti Magistrate’s Court and was released on bail of R500.

He will appear in court again on January 21.

The MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Willies Mchunu said Mhlongo’s arrest served as an example that all are equal before the law.

“This is a shameful act by a senior political leader and it will not be accepted … Law won’t be compromised at any given cost to accommodate certain individuals. If you are caught breaking the law, you will face the music.”

Mhlongo said he had drunk two dumpies of beer in Port Edward, where he was on a by-election campaign. He admitted that tests showed that he had higher levels of alcohol than allowed, but said he had taken medication for asthma, which contains some alcohol.

He commended the law enforcement agencies, the RTI and SAPS members who were first to arrive on scene.

Mhlongo said he will accept the court’s decision. “I wish to extend also my apology to other road users who were disturbed during the terrible spins taken by my car before crashing.”

The Pietermaritzburg Road Traffic Inspectorate processed 175 cases of drunk driving in November at the newly launched Alcohol Evidential Centre.

In the first week of December, 55 people were caught driving while drunk.

Mchunu berated motorists who blatantly disregard efforts of the Transport Department to curb road accidents caused by drunk driving.

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