STATEMENT BY MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR SAFETY AND SECURITY, ALDERMAN JP SMITH
The City of Cape Town’s Traffic Service is aware of a video clip doing the rounds on social media showing a high-speed crash on the N1 outgoing at the Sable Road off-ramp.
We can confirm that the incident did in fact happen just after midnight this morning, leaving the driver of the BMW seriously injured.
The incident is just the latest example of the devastation wrought by illegal street racers on our streets. What is equally concerning is the group of people gathered on the overpass who were filming the incident.
It is representative of an ongoing problem that our traffic officers have to contend with week in and week out, particularly the Ghost Squad.
Fortunately, this time, no other persons were hurt, but there have been plenty of cases before where innocent persons have paid with their lives because of the recklessness and arrogance of others.
The Traffic Service is unable to prosecute motorists on the strength of third-party evidence such as the video footage that is being circulated. However, the South African Police Service is able to pursue a case and we hope that they will do so in this instance.
The City has engaged with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) about this matter and they have informed us that they are not legally able to open cases or issue notices based on statements from members of the public and that only SAPS may investigate such cases when a member of the public submits a complaint.
In yet another hair-raising incident yesterday, members of the Ghost Squad pursued a vehicle on the N2 outgoing at speeds of nearly 200 kilometres an hour. The driver refused to stop and, to the officer’s amazement, swapped seats with his passenger in mid-pursuit. Only then did the vehicle pull over. The original driver was arrested on charges of reckless and negligent driving and drunken driving. Both he and the passenger were also charged with defeating the ends of justice.
The continued lawlessness on our roads is downright disappointing. The Cape Town Traffic Service has arrested 123 suspects in the last week and issued 1 793 fines for various offences.
Of these, 92 were driving under the influence, 21 had outstanding warrants and the rest were caught for reckless and negligent driving, fraud and defeating the ends of justice, including:
· On Thursday 17 January 2019, an officer attached to the Road Haulage Unit stopped a minibus-taxi in the CBD. The 34-year-old driver had a vehicle full of passengers but could not produce a valid driver’s licence or professional driving permit. Further investigation led to his arrest for 35 outstanding warrants totalling R92 300.
· On Friday 18 January 2019, an examiner conducted a learner’s licence examination at Gallows Hill Driving Licence Testing Centre. As the successful candidates were collecting their documentation, the examiner noticed that the photograph attached to the learner’s licence did not match the face of the person standing in front of him. He asked the person for his identity document, and the applicant indicated that he needed to collect it from his bag. The person didn’t return and when the examiner went to look for him, he saw a man looking exactly like the person on the photograph walk into the DLTC. Upon questioning, the man admitted to paying someone else R200 to write the learner’s test on his behalf. The suspect was arrested on a charge of fraud.
· During a roadblock in Parow on Sunday 20 January 2019, officers arrested 11 motorists. One of them had a breath alcohol reading of 2,38mg/l – nearly 10 times over the legal limit of 0,24mg/l. The 42-year-old Parow resident was arrested and detained at the Parow police station along with the other suspects.
The City’s Metro Police Department made at least 26 arrests in the last week, including seven for driving under the influence, 10 for possession of drugs and three for theft out of a motor vehicle.
· On Sunday 20 January 2019, the Metro Police Gang and Drug Task Team received information regarding suspected drug dealing at a residence in Manenberg. The officers responded and, on arrival, saw two men running into the house. One of the suspects threw an object through the window, which later turned out to be a medicine container holding 16 packets of tik. The suspects, aged 27 and 37, were also found in possession of R2 473,60 in cash. They were arrested for possession of dangerous dependence-producing substances and detained at Manenberg SAPS.
· In Strandfontein, a 34-year-old suspect was arrested after being found in possession of 200 units of heroin.
· On Monday 14 January 2019, Metro Police members on patrol in the CBD pulled over a silver Toyota. While requesting the driver’s credentials, officers ran a check of the vehicle and discovered it was linked to a ‘theft out of motor vehicle’ case in Rondebosch. The occupants were taken to Rondebosch SAPS for further questioning, resulting in three arrests.