"Grossly negligent" Papa Lebza and the video that got him in trouble

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A father is in trouble after teaching his primary school child to drive on public roads. Photo: Gallo
A father is in trouble after teaching his primary school child to drive on public roads. Photo: Gallo

It's supposed to be a parent's moments of pride: teaching your child how to drive. 

But one Polokwane father took it too far when he made a recording of his primary school daughter driving a car on a public road.

What was more concerning were the two children in the back, who both were hanging out of the window while this driving lesson was in progress. 

The video was posted on social media and within a few hours had thousands of views. It was first posted in September but grew traction again recently. 

It also got the attention of the men and women in blue: Papa Lebza, as he's known on social media, got in trouble with the law.

The MEC's for social development and transport were quick to get involved. 

Now more than 5 000 South Africans have signed a petition calling for the release of a Polokwane father.

Roads and traffic expert, former Arrive Alive spokesperson Tshepo Machaea says Papa Lebza’s actions were grossly negligent.

“No, no, no, no, what that father did was unacceptable. The message we always preach is safety first on our roads and there was a long list of rules that were broken there.  Even before we get to the two boys at the back, we must note that before getting being the wheel of a moving vehicle, anyone learning to drive must have a learners license and it is clear that the little girl is too young to have one. 

"A learner driver cannot have passengers. Furthermore, the supervisor – in this case the father – must be completely focused on the learner driver so that should the need arise, they can act in case of an emergency.  Here the father was busy taking a video and his reaction time to an emergency would be slowed down because he is not focused on the learner 100%.

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“It is the law in South Africa, that no person may have any of their body parts protruding while in a moving vehicle. He is a deliberate offender because there are multiple offences committed there, he cannot say he did not think any of it was wrong,” Machaea says.

Motoring enthusiast and mother, Mbali Tanana says ordinarily she advocates for children to be taught to drive as soon as their feet can reach the pedals, but this was an extreme case, she says.

“Lebza can barely see the road, that is too much of a risk that the father took. He was doing a good thing for one child but at the same time putting the other children’s lives in danger.  But I understand and appreciate this need to teach his girl-child how to drive. Too often girls and women are left behind when it comes to driving, there are more men on our roads than women and women tend to drive much later in life."

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“His heart was in the right place, I cannot fault him on that.  But he should have waited a little longer before taking her to a public road.  Also, he should teach her without other kids in the car.  I first learnt how to drive when I was 13 years old, my sister-in-law taught me in our yard, in a controlled environment,” she says.

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