Council cars going the extra mile for stars irk motorists on the N3

2014-08-06 00:00

MSUNDUZI Municipality’s barely visible traffic unit is the latest to join the ranks of blue light abusers.

Three vehicles with official NPC registration plates flashed their blue lights on the N3 on Sunday morning as they escorted a convoy of vehicles. Only this time they were not transporting high-ranking politicians, but jazz singers — the artists from Saturday’s jazz concert held at the Golden Horse Casino.

Maritzburg motorists expressed surprise at seeing so many council vehicles at one go. The problem was that they were not policing the city streets, but hogging the highway.

Callers questioned whether the NPC has jurisdiction on the N3. The entourage included two black limousines, a mix of other vehicles and two minibuses. The convoy caused quite a stir on the New England Road off-ramp as they waited for all the vehicles to assemble.

Enterprising motorist Nick McConnell, curious about the hullaballoo, called a number on one of the branded vehicles.

He discovered that it was the jazz artists being transported to Durban. McConnell said the convoy travelled at a respectable speed but complained that they hogged the right lane, instead of keeping to the left.

A former deputy chief traffic officer in Pietermaritzburg, James Mills, said the use of blue lights was reserved for emergencies or when escorting presidential and senior government figures for security reasons.

“They are not meant to be used for singers, musicians and rock bands,” Mills said.

Mills also believed that municipal officers required permission from council to perform a duty on the N3. He said that even with council permission the officers would only have jurisdiction on the highway up to the borders of the municipality.

“The situation is different for eThekwini. The metro traffic officers have jurisdiction on the N3, beyond the city borders. The higher powers given to Durban Metro officers are not the same for Pietermaritzburg municipal officers,” Mills said.

Spokesperson for the jazz concert organisers, Brian Zuma, said it was true that their international artist, Chris Walker, was escorted by council vehicles. “When he was here, he was our responsibility as well as Msunduzi Municipality as one of the organisers of the concert,” Zuma said.

He added he could not comment on whether or not the their actions were against the law, but would leave that for the municipality. Msunduzi municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi has asked deputy municipal manager for community services, Boniwe Zulu, to check whether they were in line with the law and had fulfilled legal requirements.

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


5 top leg exercises for men

Here’s our selection of the five best leg exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home.


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content this holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
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.