'We're allowed to speed' - ministers

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IOL mot pic jul27 Nathi Mthethwa

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Former Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa is testifying at the Marikana Commission. Photo: Bongiwe Mchunu

Human settlements minister Tokyo Sexwale says he has had no traffic fines for an official vehicle since his appointment in 2009, as he does not have an official vehicle.

He is the latest cabinet minister to answer questions about traffic fines.

Some of his cabinet colleagues are refusing to say how many traffic fines they have racked up in their official vehicles, saying their drivers are allowed by law to speed.

Earlier this week, a flurry of parliamentary replies revealed cabinet ministers had a total of R207 740 in fines, which were waived.

Mineral resources minister Susan Shabangu topped the list with R64 060.

She was followed by energy minister Dipuo Peters, who had fines totalling R39 400. They were followed by justice minister Jeff Radebe, who had R34 600 in fines, and agriculture, forestry and fisheries minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, in fourth with R30 400 in fines.

Among the latest ministers to respond to parliamentary questions about traffic violations were minister of police Nathi Mthethwa and minister of women, children and people with disabilities Lulu Xingwana.

Both refused to say whether they had accumulated any fines, or for how much.

Instead they echoed a response from the justice department on Wednesday that under the Road Traffic Act drivers of VIP vehicles on official business were allowed to exceed the speed limit as long as they switched on their blue lights and sirens. - Cape Argus

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