Sloshed cop’s trail of evidence

2013-01-18 00:00

IF he had not been arrested by a citizen, an allegedly drunk policeman would have been caught anyway, as he left evidence at the scene of the crash he was involved in — the police car’s numberplate.

The Pietermaritzburg constable was locked up in the back of his own police van because he was allegedly driving while drunk.

He appeared in court on charges of driving while under the influence of alcohol, reckless and negligent driving, and can now be named.

The beleaguered policeman has also been slapped with a notice of intention to suspend him by the police, spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan said yesterday.

Constable Nkululeko Mbanjwa (28) was released on warning and must be back in court in July.

“The remand was for the pending results of the blood analysis,” said Jeevan.

Mbanjwa was arrested by Prestbury resident Russell George, who saw him allegedly driving fast and recklessly through the city streets on Sunday. George pursued Mbanjwa and when the police van eventually stopped, called 10111 and asked for police assistance.

When no help arrived after about five minutes, George grabbed the police van keys, pulled Mbanjwa out and locked him in the back of the van until police arrived.

It later transpired that police were recently called to a nightclub in the city where Mbanjwa had allegedly held up his girlfriend at gunpoint, after which his firearm had been taken away from him. Jeevan said the woman did not open a case against Mbanjwa.

Sandile Mabaso, a driver for Cubicle Solutions, was in Sweetwaters driving towards Hilton when he saw the police van come straight for him at a high speed.

“I quickly swerved the truck off the road, but he hit me on the side,” he said, adding that the truck was so badly damaged that it could not be moved.

“If I had not swerved, he would have hit me head-on,” Mabaso told The Witness.

The police van did not stop and carried on into town, where the driver was eventually arrested by George.

“When he drove away, I noticed he had dropped his front number plate, so I picked it up and I kept it,” he said.

Mabaso was due to drive to Cape Town and his truck was fully loaded with toilet cubicles destined for the Cape Town Stadium. However, due to the damage to the truck, he could only leave on Wednesday.

Quinton Deves, the contract manager at Cubicle Solutions, tried to get answers from the police after the accident.

“We went to Prestbury police station to report it and we were told we had to go to Plessislaer.

“While the officers were taking down my statement, I decided to call 10111 to find out what the procedure was if I was involved in a hit-and-run collision with a policeman. The person on the phone told me not to worry as the guy had been arrested, and we needed to go to Loop Street police station.”

He got to the police station to see George leaving.

He said he hoped the policeman would get the help he needed and change his ways for the better.

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