Anthony Benadie MPL
DA Provincial Leader
Mpumalanga Premier, DD Mabuza, Safety and Security MEC, Vusi Shongwe and Provincial SAPS Commissioner, Thulani Ntobela must launch and urgent and immediate investigations into the incident at the horrific N4 multi-vehicle accident outside Middelburg, after it emerged that a Blue Light Brigade blocked emergency services and ambulances from reaching the accident scene to assist critically injured patients.
In a video clip recorded at the scene, and posted on the website of local community newspaper ‘The Middelburg Observer’, severe traffic congestion occurred on the N4 surrounding the accident scene. In the clip, motorists can be seen driving on the wrong side of the road while emergency service personnel can be heard pleading with motorists to get out of the way. Seconds later sirens are heard and a black Toyota Lexus is seen driving on the wrong side of the road, being escorted by a SAPS vehicle, trying to bypass still standing traffic. The Blue Light Brigade comes head to head with an on-coming ambulance and a female voice – presumably an emergency service member is clearly heard stating that the Blue Light Brigade is blocking the access of the Ambulances.
The graphic video clip, which will be provided to the Premier, the MEC and the Commissioner, can be seen by clicking here: http://mobserver.co.za/17541/video-five-burn-death
The accident which occurred on the N4 outside Middelburg yesterday claimed the lives of at least five passengers who burnt to death when the colliding vehicles burst into flames.
It is not comprehensible how any individual can be so filled with self-importance, so as to use their status or position of power with the assistance of the SAPS to by-pass a severe accident scene, drive on the wrong side of the road, block emergency service access to critically injured patients and simply not care about the consequences of their actions.
The DA will urgently write to Premier Mabuza, MEC Shongwe and SAPS Commissioner Lt Gen Ntobela and request them to urgently investigate:
- Who was the self-obsessed individual or ‘VIP’ in the black Lexus that deemed their importance superior to that of the injured patients,
- The Commissioner must investigate who was driving the SAPS vehicle that escorted the Lexus past still standing traffic in an attempt to by-pass through the accident scene, and
- The MEC must investigate the conduct and performance of Mpumalanga Traffic Officers at the scene who allowed the traffic control situation to get out of hand resulting in the ensuing chaos.
No individual, no matter who they are or what position they hold can be deemed more important than accident victims requiring emergency support. The DA, will not rest until the identity of those responsible for potentially compromising the survival of the accident victims is revealed and that they face the consequences of their irresponsible actions.
We express our sincere condolences to the family who lost their loved ones in this terrible accident, as well as our gratitude to all emergency personnel, traffic officers, and SAPS members and civilians who tried their best to assist the injured patients.