City’s blue light brouhaha

2017-03-10 15:02
Msunduzi municipality's deputy mayor Thobani Zuma.

Msunduzi municipality's deputy mayor Thobani Zuma. (File)

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A fuming Msunduzi deputy mayor Thobani Zuma on Thursday confirmed he was the official in the blue light convoy that has been seen in the Prestbury area recently.

Zuma approached a Witness journalist shortly before a council meeting on Thursday and confirmed the allegations, lashing out at the journalist for the front page article published on Thursday.

He said the article breached his security detail as “now people know what cars I travel in”.

A number of Prestbury residents raised their concerns on a community chat group, alerting their ward councillor to a “blue light convoy” travelling on the long stretch of road every morning for the past three weeks.

Angry motorists said the vehicles travel at a high speed in the oncoming lane with their blue lights and hazards flashing.

One motorist said he saw pedestrians and a traffic control officer “dive” out of the way while the vehicles sped past.

Shortly before an executive council meeting began at City Hall on Thursday, Zuma approached the seated journalist demanding answers on why his name was printed in the newspaper.

He had ignored attempts to get him to comment on the story.

He accused the journalist of placing his life at risk by revealing the vehicles he travels in and asked who those who complained were.

“Does the president reveal which cars he travels in?” he shouted at the journalist while 25 other councillors, managers and the mayor sat waiting to start the meeting.

Msunduzi municipal manager Sizwe Hadebe stood next to Zuma all the while, but remained silent.

The journalist showed Zuma and Hadebe the video of a white BMW and white VW Polo speeding down Mayor’s Walk in the oncoming lane but Zuma insisted it was not an oncoming lane.

“That lane runs adjacent to this one [pointing to the lane with cars sitting in traffic] and is going in the same direction as the other cars. It is not an oncoming lane,” he said.

The video clearly shows that the cars in the convoy are in the oncoming lane.

Two other managers attempted to calm the situation and asked Zuma to “just leave it” and return to his seat.

Later three people who were present asked the journalist if she was alright following the confrontation.

The Witness on Thursday published a front page article on luxury cars flashing blue lights allegedly being seen driving “recklessly” down Zwartkop Road and Mayor’s Walk.

Angry and frustrated motorists who battle through the slow-moving bumper-to-bumper morning traffic have at different times spotted a white BMW, a Polo and sometimes a luxury Mercedes “flying past” them.

The vehicles are followed by a white Polo sedan believed to be driven by municipal bodyguards.

The white Mercedes, with registration plates NPC 2, was spotted on Wednesday morning driving at a high speed in the oncoming lane while a black Mercedes was seen speeding down the same road flashing blue lights on Thursday morning.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  blue light incidents

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