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Pretoria - A Jaguar XF that smashed into a Centurion home at the weekend, driven by a man who fled the scene, is believed to be owned by a government employee who works in intelligence.
The crash in the early hours of Sunday morning caused extensive damage to the home in Lyttelton.
The driver fled the scene, leaving behind the car and a government employee ID tag in the name of LN Makamu. An empty bottle of Jameson whiskey and several beer bottles were found in the car.
The car was apparently driven for about 12km with one tyre shredded to the rim.
On Monday, police ducked and dived when asked the identity of the owner of the blue Jaguar, but the Pretoria News established that the car is owned by Ntanganedzeni Lennon Makamu, 39, of Pretoria. It is still being paid off.
Makamu has previously listed his employers as, among others, the SA Secret Services and the Department of International Relations.
On Monday night, Makamu wasn’t saying anything. “What do you want to know? I’m not commenting,” he said.
Ministry of State Security spokesman Brian Dube said he was not aware of the incident or of anyone in the department driving a Jaguar.
“Police have access to eNatis and can easily identify the owner and trace him or her. Police should follow investigation procedures and bring the perpetrator to book,” Dube said.
Police were on Monday evasive about the owner’s identity. When asked if the owner - and thus possibly the driver - had been traced, they simply responded that all leads were being investigated.
Police spokeswoman for the Lyttelton cluster, Annabelle Middelton, said a case of malicious damage to property had been opened.
Lyttelton police station spokes-man Warrant Officer Hero Gumbu said he had personally booked the car into the pound and was aware of the identity tag, but “the driver has not been identified and police are following all leads”.
A resident of the house, Zee Pieterse, said the driver must have been travelling at a very high speed. “There were no brake marks anywhere,” she said.
Pieterse said they had yet to estimate the damage caused by the accident, and an assessor would be visiting the property on Tuesday.
She said the impact of the crash into the gate was so severe that it had pushed both the cars parked in front of the gate into the garage wall.
Pieterse said she and her parents were “deep in sleep” on Sunday morning when she heard a loud bang.
“I got such a fright. At first I thought a tree had fallen onto the house.
“As I walked out, I saw what had happened and thought to myself that the driver must be dead,” she said.
The door of the car was open and the airbag was busy deflating.
“When I looked into the car it was empty.
It was such a mess and it was really difficult to move the cars,” she said.
“We noticed that the car was missing a front left tyre. The rim of the car had left a very distinctive mark on the road, and we decided to follow those marks later in the day.
“We followed the markings on the road for about 12km and we found the tyre on Nellmapius Road near the Olievenhoutbosch crossing,” said Pieterse.
She said they had come to the conclusion that the driver had been driving all the way without noticing that he had lost a tyre.