Calls to probe Durban mayor's convoy smash

2015-07-17 11:42
The eThekwini Metro Police blue light vehicle that was involved in an accident. (Zwakele Mncwango, via Facebook)

The eThekwini Metro Police blue light vehicle that was involved in an accident. (Zwakele Mncwango, via Facebook)

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Durban - The Democratic Alliance’s KwaZulu-Natal leader, Zwakele Mncwango, took to Facebook on Thursday accusing Durban Mayor James Nxumalo of using an eThekwini Metro Police blue light convoy to go to a funeral in Empangeni.  

The police had been escorting Nxumalo to the funeral of Richards Bay deputy mayor and ANC heavyweight Thulani Mashaba, who was killed in a car accident.

Posting a picture of a damaged police vehicle, Mncwango wrote: “This Ethekwini Metro Police vehicle was involved in an accident at Esikhawini near eMpangeni yesterday while escorting the mayor James Nxumalo.

“I have written to the City Manager asking who authorised officers to drive out of metro boundaries. The Mayor has full time VIP protection and I don't think traffic was an issue all the way to eMpangeni which would have demanded the use of metro police blue light convoy,” he said.

Two well-placed sources within metro police structures confirmed that the car had crashed while escorting the mayoral convoy.

They could not be named for fear of reprisal.

Illegal

“What is of concern here is that outside of the metro, the city police officers have no authority. If a blue light was used during this time as well, it would have been illegal,” one source said.

Metro police officers tasked with VIP protection are no stranger to controversy.

Last year a high-performance vehicle attached to Metro Police chief Eugene Nzama’s protection detail hit a man who was crossing North Coast Road.

The man was critically injured and later died while in hospital.

Prior to that incident, another VIP protection officer was under investigation for crashing another high-performance vehicle from the same unit into a tree while going to fetch Nzama.

The officer had been travelling at 160km/h prior to the accident.

Spokespeople for the eThekwini Municipality were approached for comment, but had not responded to questions at the time of publishing.

Read more on:    james nxumalo  |  durban  |  local government  |  blue light incidents

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