Mayor’s guards also suspected in hit-and-run incident

2013-10-15 00:00

LAST Tuesday’s blue light shooting on the N3 appears not to be the first incident involving uMgungundlovu District Mayor Yusuf Bhamjee’s bodyguards.

The Witness learnt yesterday of an alleged hit-and-run incident that took place in September, in which Msunduzi fireman Neil Beyers was knocked down by a district bodyguard.

Beyers was not seriously hurt, but sustained extensive soft tissue injuries.

The story of the earlier incident emerged as two of Bhamjee’s bodyguards appeared in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court yesterday for firing on a motorist last week.

It was not clear if the same bodyguards were involved in Beyer’s accident, as the vehicle — a white Nissan Navara — did not stop, and Beyers does not know their names. However, he said he would be able to identify the driver in a line-up.

The incident on September 6 happened at a firefighters’ awards evening held at the Aryan Hall in Khan Road, Raisethorpe, where Bhamjee was among the VIP guests. After the function, the mayor was driven off by his chauffeur. The bodyguards following allegedly slowed down to greet a firefighter from the district and, according to witnesses, the driver then took off without looking.

Beyers, in his fire fighting uniform, was at the entrance, ushering vehicles in and out of the venue. According to witnesses, the bodyguard allegedly drove straight into Beyers, who landed on the bonnet of the vehicle before crashing to the ground.

When contacted, Beyers was reluctant to speak about the incident. He confirmed the incident and said he had opened a case at the Mountain Rise police station and reported it to his superior officer, Juggie Padayachee.

He said he had been treated for his injuries by a doctor. His colleagues said he was upset because it’s been over a month since the incident happened and no one had contacted him to check on his condition or to apologise.

Contacted yesterday, Bhamjee was surprised to learn of the incident.

He recalled being at the function, but said he knew nothing about the accident. He referred queries to municipal manager Sbu Khuzwayo, who was also unaware of the incident.

Khuzwayo said he was unable to respond until the matter was reported to the municipality in writing.

Beyers said he had submitted reports on the incident to Padayachee, who said correspondence had been sent to the district municipality. He would only be able to confirm today to whom it was sent.

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