Cape cop due in dock over drunk driving skirmish only next year
By Shakirah Thebus 1h ago
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Cape Town – A Khayelitsha police constable will appear in court only in July next year after his arrest last week on charges of drunk and negligent driving.
He was arrested after an accident followed by a physical altercation with a taxi driver in Spine Road, Khayelitsha, last week, a short distance from the Lingelethu West police station.
Footage of the fight between the two, captured by a passenger in the taxi, was widely shared last week. In it, the two vehicles collided, with the constable immediately getting out of the police van and assaulting the taxi driver.
The driver then gets out of his vehicle and headbutts and repeatedly punches the constable. At one point the driver spits in the constable’s face, while pinning the constable to the ground.
The incident took place on Wednesday, December 23.
Police spokesperson Novela Potelwa said a 33-year-old police constable attached to the Site B police station in the crime prevention unit, was involved in the accident with the taxi driver.
“Police officials from Lingelethu West police station who were manning a vehicle checkpoint on Spine Road were alerted to the accident in Ilitha Park, not far from where they were, that led to an altercation between the two drivers,” said Potelwa.
The constable could be seen driving the marked police vehicle and in uniform at the time, she said.
“Upon arrival they found the two vehicles with damages and an SAPS member in uniform who appeared unsteady on his feet.”
The Lingelethu West police officials tested the constable and he was charged for driving under the influence of alcohol and reckless and negligent driving.
She said, “An internal disciplinary investigation has since been instituted. The identity of the taxi driver is known and he will be interviewed as part of the ongoing investigations.”
Because of the wait for blood alcohol test results, the constable will only make his first court appearance on July 21, 2021.
The conduct of the taxi driver is also under police investigation.
Khayelitsha CPF cluster chairperson, Fransina Lukas, said police management must take the necessary disciplinary action to serve as a warning to other officials.
“It was shocking and disappointing to see an on-duty officer in uniform display such conduct, someone who is mandated to uphold the law and to protect citizens in such a drunken state assaulting a taxi driver,” she said.
“Police officers must live out the oath they took to serve and protect. Their conduct must at all times not be above reproach.”