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A HIGH-ranking police officer was arrested in connection with drunk driving after he crashed into another vehicle on Saturday night.
Brigadier Moses Memela, cluster commander of the Brackenfell, Kraaifontein and Durbanville police stations, was arrested after colliding with another car in Khayelitsha.
Without naming the suspect, police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk confirmed the incident yesterday and said it had happened at 7.30pm on Saturday on the N2 turn-off between Mew Way and Spine Road in the direction of Cape Town.
Referring to the incident, deputy metro police chief Yolandi Faro said a metro police officer had been taking the details of the drivers involved in the collision when he noticed that the driver of the Mercedes Benz sedan (Memela) was not stable on his feet.
She said the officer had enquired from the driver if he had consumed any alcohol and he admitted to having only “a few glasses”.
The officer also noticed that the other motorist could have been under the influence of alcohol.
Faro said the officer had taken both drivers for an alcohol test at the Shadow testing centre in Athlone and arrested both on drunk driving charges. She confirmed that one of the drivers was a high-ranking senior police official.
Van Wyk said Khayelitsha police had released both drivers with a warning yesterday morning and said they were due to appear in the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court today.
Western Cape police commissioner Lieutenant General Arno Lamoer said yesterday: “The law must take its course. We will do an internal investigation into what happened.”
He said Memela was expected at work after his court appearance today.
The city’s mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said the arrests showed that the metro police’s “no fear, no favours” approach was showing results.
Smith said: “Whether it’s one of our own staff members or a DA electoral candidate or an ANC national spokesperson, it doesn’t matter who it is, we will arrest them.
“You will not be treated differently,” said Smith.
Transport and Public Works MEC Robin Carlisle said: “The police are supposed to set the example.
“For a policeman to be driving drunk is totally unacceptable. I will personally follow up on the matter to make sure that proper procedures are followed.”