In August 2020, police in Gauteng are investigating a case of dangerous and negligent driving in which former Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina is believed to have driven a state blue-light vehicle without authorisation and while under the influence of alcohol. "Police can confirm that the subject of your inquiry is a case of reckless and careless driving. Last week, Gauteng police spokeswoman Captain Kay Makhubela informed City Press that the incident was still under investigation.
Chief Superintendent Kelebogile Thepa, spokesman for the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department, refused to comment, stating that any remark in this respect might be damaging to justice or the public interest. We promise to provide sufficient feedback in response to information received from the judicial system or court.
The complaint was started on October 28 at the Germiston police station by a whistleblower who described the offense as "contrary to the interests of justice." According to the whistle-blower, local authorities covered up Masina's automobile accident last August on the N3-N12 motorway in order to shield him from culpability.
According to police documents obtained by City Press: The complainant said that in May 2021, he learnt of an occurrence involving a car collision on the N3-N12 highway; this information was relayed to him by personnel of the EMPD [Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department]. It comprised automobiles engaged in an accident and a prominent person from the municipality of Ekurhuleni. Additionally, there were claims of a potential cover-up, unlawful use of a municipal vehicle, and driving under the influence of booze.
EMPD had no remark other than to acknowledge the establishment of a case docket with the SAPS. Masina said last Friday, "I am not a drinker," indicating that the claim would not be verified. He said that he was authorized to drive the car due to its assignment to his workplace. He questioned why anybody would want a police investigation initiated against him in light of the fact that no one was wounded in the collision.
He also said that he was unaware of the investigation initiated at the Germiston police station, but suspected it was part of a smear effort aimed at undermining his re-election quest in November's municipal elections. According to AmaBhungane, the driver of the truck Masina collided with reportedly informed police that Masina was intoxicated, but the accident report file did not include a sworn declaration from Masina. Drunk driving was not suspected or investigated.
Additionally, the journal got a copy of Thepa's handwritten statement, in which she indicated that "when she discovered the mayor was driving an EMPD VIP car, she alerted the head of police and demanded his intervention." "He [the chief of police] sought a meeting with the mayor to discuss the EMPD's car policy procedures and to ascertain if the mayor was aware that an EMPD vehicle is operated with a valid driver's license."
"The mayor demonstrated a lack of familiarity with the EMPD's procedures and pledged never to utilize an EMPD-allocated vehicle, despite the fact that he is assigned policemen for security and transportation," Thepa said in the AmaBhungane report.
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