Anthony Benadie MPL
Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga
The DA takes note of reports that former MEC for human settlements Siphosezwe Masango and two of his bodyguards will be prosecuted on charges of assault, following a “blue light bully” incident at the Nkomazi toll gate a year ago.
It is alleged that on 19 July 2012, former MEC Masango’s convoy travelled at high speed along the N4 while recklessly and unlawfully overtaking fellow road users. One motorist, Mr Gert van der Merwe, expressed his dissatisfaction by blowing on his hooter, and was allegedly assaulted by the MEC’s “blue light bullies”. Two security guards working at the toll gate were also assaulted when they tried to intervene.
While the DA welcomes Mr Masango’s impending appearance on 2 October, we hope that his subsequent removal from office will not give him the opportunity to escape accountability for his behaviour while in cabinet.
Every day innocent Mpumalanga motorists’ lives are put at risk through the reckless and lawless behaviour of blue light bullies and the so-called VIPs they carry in their vehicles. The National Road Traffic Act clearly states that blue flashing lights and sirens may only be used by law enforcement authorities when reacting to emergencies. Members of cabinet are ordinary citizens, voted into positions of power to serve the needs of the people, and should not be causing citizens any harm.
The DA believes that this case is precedent-setting and calls on premier David Mabuza to ban the use of blue lights by himself and members of his cabinet outside genuine emergency situations.