Newcastle Municipality politician crashes car into two homes

2019-09-12 15:30
The vehicle of a high-ranking Newcastle politician crashed into the two houses in Osizweni in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The vehicle of a high-ranking Newcastle politician crashed into the two houses in Osizweni in the early hours of Wednesday morning. ( whatsapp)

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Two families are counting their losses after a “flying” vehicle allegedly driven by a high-ranking Newcastle Municipality politician crashed into two properties.

The man allegedly ploughed his luxury silver Jeep Cherokee into two properties on Princess Nandi Street, in the Osizweni section B area, causing extensive damage.

Newcastle Municipality spokesperson Dr Dumisani Thabethe confirmed the man was involved in the crash.

Efforts to get hold of him on Wednesday, however, were unsuccessful.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said a 31-year-old man was arrested for reckless and negligent driving, as well as driving in an intoxicated state. “He was charged and will appear in the Madadeni Magistrate’s Court [today],” said Zwane.

The politician was reportedly alone at the time of the crash.

According to police, the incident happened at about 1 am on Wednesday.

Two properties were damaged when the vehicle, which is alleged to have been travelling at a high speed on the long stretch of road, veered off it after the driver failed to negotiate a bend. The driver emerged unscathed.

Thabisile Dlamini, one of the homeowners, told The Witness on Wednesday that she was asleep when the vehicle brought part of the roof crashing down.

Dlamini said her 36-year-old son, who fell asleep in the lounge while watching TV, suffered head injuries when he was hit by flying bricks.

Recounting how the vehicle hit the houses, a traumatised Dlamini said the vehicle missed the perimeter wall and crashed into her house through the wall. “I just think his ancestors were with him. There is no other way of explaining this. He must go down on his knees and be grateful to God. I’m still shocked,” said Dlamini.

She added that she was grateful that her son had only suffered moderate injuries.

Dlamini, who had recently renovated the four-bedroom house, said the walls of the affected rooms had to be knocked down to retrieve the Jeep.

“I was sleeping when I heard a loud bang. I thought someone had detonated a bomb. My son is lucky to be alive. He fell asleep on the couch and was also woken up by the loud bang.”

The mother of three said she was angry that the politician did not apologise after the crash.

“We don’t even know how the accident happened. The police took him away and we didn’t get to ask him questions. His parents said they would repair the damage but when will that happen? We don’t have a place to sleep tonight. He didn’t even apologise at the scene, yet he almost killed my son,” she said.

“The worst part is that no one from the municipality has come here to try and offer us temporary shelter,” Dlamini said.

The second property owner, Thembi­nkosi Mazibuko, said when he heard the loud bang, he jumped out of bed in fear.

“I ran out of the house and came back moments later. I thought someone was shooting at my house. We didn’t sleep. We are all still very traumatised by the incident,” said Mazibuko.

The vehicle also hit Mazibuko’s house, damaging his garage.

“I have a tenant running a hair salon in the garage. He can’t operate his business anymore and it’s a loss of income for both of us. This is just gross negligence,” he said.

A neighbour described events as “a scene from a thriller movie”.

“I was asleep. I could hear the sound of a speeding car draw closer. I actually thought it was going to land in my house, but suddenly I heard a huge crushing sound. It’s a miracle no one died,” the neighbour said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  newcastle municipality

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