MEC staying mum on blue light incident

2012-07-23 14:37

Johannesburg - Mpumalanga police confirmed on Monday they were investigating a case of assault after a man claimed to have been attacked by the bodyguards of human settlements MEC Siphosezwe Masango.

"We still have to collect a statement from a traffic officer and a security guard, who was on the scene, before the investigations proceed," said investigating officer Muzi Gama, of the Kaapmuiden police.
The alleged attack occurred at the Nkomazi tollgate on Thursday.

The MEC's office has refused to comment on the matter.

"The matter is being investigated by police," department spokesperson Freddy Ngobe said on Monday morning.

Gert van der Merwe, 38, told Beeld newspaper that Masango's white Mercedes-Benz with flashing blue lights sped past cars waiting to pass through the tollgate on Thursday morning.

Pistol, pepper spray

"The car passed oncoming traffic at high speed crossing over a solid line," the newspaper reported.

At the tollgate, Van der Merwe apparently stopped behind Masango and shouted that the driver was reckless. He said Masango's car stopped when the boom closed in front of his car.

"When I wanted to pay, I saw the driver and another man get out of the car. They walked to my car and shouted 'what is your problem?' " Van der Merwe told the newspaper.

One of the guards had a pistol in his hand and the other pepper spray.

Van der Merwe said he got out of his car to confront the pair, at which time a third person, believed to be Masango, also got out of the vehicle.

Van der Merwe was allegedly hit on the head and pepper sprayed.

"I knew I needed to get away and I pulled myself free," he said.

He reportedly ran towards the Kaapmuiden police station, about 400m from the tollgate. The bodyguards ran after him.

Beeld published a picture showing Van der Merwe running with two men behind him.

In the meantime, a traffic official in one of the accompanying cars led Masango from the scene and shortly afterwards the bodyguards returned and sped off.

Blue light headlines

Beeld reported that Masango had been on his way to a memorial service for those killed in an accident between a truck and train last week in Tonga.

Gama said there was a video of the incident at the tollgate, but that it had not yet been viewed by the police.

Incidents involving blue light brigades have made headlines in the past year.

Earlier in July, a bodyguard for KwaZulu-Natal's former social development MEC Meshack Radebe was found guilty of illegally discharging his firearm and his colleague was found guilty of negligent driving.

The bodyguard shot the tyre of a Mazda near Camperdown, resulting in the driver losing control and colliding head-on with a bakkie. Eight people were injured in the accident in 2008.

The driver of Gauteng local government MEC Humphrey Mmemezi's VIP vehicle allegedly knocked West Rand teenager Thomas Ferreira off his motorbike.

The November 2011 accident left Ferreira comatose, brain-damaged and in need of long-term rehabilitation. He spent weeks in a coma after the accident, and faces expensive, long-term rehabilitation.

  • clinton.badenhorst - 2012-07-23 14:45

    They are acting as if they are on their way to an accident or crime scene... Who gives them the right to disobey traffic rules? Lock them up and ban this blue light brigade B.S!!!

      Squeegee - 2012-07-23 15:23

      Like I said : Democracy ANC style.

      ann.murray.9279 - 2012-07-23 16:04

      "Staying mum ..." = burying the head in the sand and hoping it will go away! These people are a menace and must be curbed!

      john.loveland.9 - 2012-07-23 16:45

      How much of a rush were they in if they had time to waste by chasing an innocent motorist around the country side. Our MP's and their protective thugs are simply a bunch of over opinionated egotistical criminals.

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-07-23 17:33

      When will theses criminals be brought to book?

  • tom.theunissen.12 - 2012-07-23 14:57

    Police State.

  • Randomhero6661 - 2012-07-23 15:00

    we need to retaliate against it all...

  • kobus.oosthuizen.58 - 2012-07-23 15:04

    the MEC is a coward!!!! he hides behind these thugs who endanger the lives of others because he himself cannot be on time for a meeting.

      kobus.oosthuizen.58 - 2012-07-23 15:23

      these animals have no integrity - if you are a public figure and you make headline news amongst allegations such as these, BE A MAN, BE A LEADER, take responsibility for your actions and face the consequences, dont hide a way like a child. COWARD!!!!

      om.nom.nom.01 - 2012-07-23 17:21

      No coward in the history of mankind has died as anything other than a C.O.W.A.R.D.!!!!!!!!

  • rowan.maulson - 2012-07-23 15:06

    If he was on his way to a memorial service, then there is no legal justification for a Blue Light brigade, as stipulated in the National Road Traffic Act, and therefore they need to be punished as normal citizens for breaking the law damnit.

  • JohanCduToit - 2012-07-23 15:23

    ANC bastards.

  • BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-07-23 15:41


      john.loveland.9 - 2012-07-23 16:42

      One born every day.... your poor mother.

  • piet.k.fourie - 2012-07-23 15:51

    Bloody ANC bastards!!!!

  • chris.debeer1 - 2012-07-23 16:01

    Blue lights give them the right to break the rules of the road shoot at people and do what ever they want?? and still ask ''Whats your problem''?? Grow up !!!But what can we say New South Africa they can do what ever they want!!!

  • pieter.vanzyl3 - 2012-07-23 16:02

    Give them teir own medicine.....

  • tedbull - 2012-07-23 16:17

    Are we going the same way as Zim. There you take your life in your hands if you dont give way! Ted

  • mike.lindsay.7927 - 2012-07-23 16:25

    Blue light column = bunch of idiots and thugs, incapable of managing their time and/or their commitments. A speeding government official is acknowledging that he has screwed up his time schedule. An excuse that he or she is so busy just doesn't wash. The rules of the road are there to be obeyed by everyone using the road - even an MEC and the bodyguards ! Zuma's drivers don't behave like this. So if he has learnt to tell the time, and manages to get to appointments on time, why can't the rest of the cabinet and their underlings do the same ? Come on ANC govt. Show a bit of professionalism and outlaw the use of blue lights and bad / inconsiderate driving by all your leaders. Give them all lessons in time management because clearly they need it.

  • Shane Loxton - 2012-07-23 16:27

    If someone walks towards me with a firearm drawn i am going to excise my democratic right to self defense and shot first and ask questions afterwards, not going to take a chance, to many Bogus blue light vehicles committing high jackings and shooting at u now days to risk waiting.

  • Gregory Jurgens - 2012-07-23 16:28

    Must a MEC die before action is taken. As it seems everyone else's safety is irrelevant.

  • wendy.schneider3 - 2012-07-23 16:30

    we need a lawyer with balls to sort this lot out once and for all!! or are you to scared to?

  • robin.stobbs.9 - 2012-07-23 16:38

    When will these a****oles realise that they are servants of the people? Another case of, "I'm above the law". Blue lights and the arrogance that accompany them must be outlawed PRONTO!

  • grace.andtruth.77 - 2012-07-23 17:39

    What's the bet the video tape gets lost or damaged!

  • Jake - 2012-07-23 18:41


  • christopher.hart.3781 - 2012-07-23 20:59

    The MEC will continue to stay being 'mum' on the 'incident' until he can come up with a Oscar, Nobel and Pullitzer Prize story detailing 'his version' of the incident. They should ban these f****** blue light brigades.

  • jan.calitz1 - 2012-07-24 06:25

    These incidents will increase as long as almost unlimmited powers are given to people with insufficient training and without proper supervision and control!

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