DA condemns blue light bully mayhem.
Dianne Kohler Barnard says there have been five incidents in past three weeks
Another VIP Unit crash: Three weeks of mayhem follows Divisional Commander's directive.
Yet another accident involving the South African Police Service's (SAPS) VIP Protection Unit must be seen as the final straw. Once again the ability of Mzondeki Tshabalala to head up the SAPS Protection and Security Division is seen to be utterly lacking - and we reiterate our call for Mr Tshabalala to be dismissed immediately.
The latest incident allegedly took place on Wednesday last week, and brings to five the number of major VIP Unit incidents since Tshabalala apparently issued an ‘internal directive' to his officers, requesting that they obey police regulations.
As a further sign that Tshabalala has no control over his officers, and that measures such as the internal directive are mere window dressing, union members of the VIP Protection Unit are currently threatening to embark on illegal strike action if he is not dismissed. Clearly, the situation has become untenable, and Mr Tshabalala must go.
At least five major incidents have taken place in the space of three weeks - making a mockery of the police's claims that everything is now back in order:
- On Tuesday 24 February, Attorney Kim Lovegrove reported an incident to the Democratic Alliance (DA) in which she was almost pushed into a concrete barrier by VIP Unit officers. They subsequently rolled down the window of their vehicle and screamed profanities at her.
- On the same day, another similar incident took place - reportedly involving a black VIP Unit Hummer being driven at excessive speed on the N2 near Cape Town. The individual submitting the complaint to the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD), via the DA, said he was dangerously pushed off the road by the vehicles.
- On Wednesday, 25 February, the DA received another report of a VIP unit driver in a black Audi A3 causing mayhem on the N3 Durban-bound. The report claimed that the driver was exceeding the speed limit and swerving between lanes - including the emergency lane.
- On Thursday, 26 February, listeners bombarded East Coast Radio in KwaZulu-Natal with warnings about a VIP unit moving at excessive speeds in a southerly direction on the N2. Judging from the time of the listeners' calls, the cavalcade managed to travel from Durban North (the Nandi Drive exit halfway between the KwaMashu turnoff and the Umgeni river) to Pietermaritzburg (Liberty Mall) in half an hour during peak morning rush-hour (between 07h10 - 07h40).
- Then on Wednesday, 4 March, the DA was informed of a collision which reportedly took place on the N3 involving a luxury vehicle transporting KwaZulu-Natal Agriculture MEC Mtholepi Mthimkhulu. Allegedly, abusive language and insults were used by the VIP Unit officers involved, following the incident.