Durban - An inspector of schools who allegedly attacked a junior colleague for refusing to hand over the keys to his “favourite” state vehicle - a 4x4 double cab - had acted like a “raging bull”, witnesses said.
uMlazi police are investigating a complaint of common assault and malicious damage to property against the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education official, who had allegedly delivered a barrage of body blows to the woman who ended up in tears and her clothes in tatters.
The drama unfolded at the department’s uMlazi circuit office on Tuesday morning.
Provincial police spokesman, Colonel Jay Naicker, said the two had had an argument, which culminated in the alleged assault.
The names of those involved are known to the Daily News, but are being withheld because neither is authorised to speak to the media.
An employee at the office said the woman was in charge of the vehicle pool. Some of the vehicles are shared by officials for long-distance travelling.
“Our vehicles are for different terrains, so they are shared as and when the need arises. There are vehicles that cannot be used for long-distance travelling because of their condition or the terrain,” the employee said.
“This inspector always wants to use one particular vehicle even when he works locally. The rule is that officials get the all-terrain vehicles if they have long distances to travel.”
The vehicle that has caused all the drama is an Isuzu double cab 4x4 bakkie.
The employee added: “How do people work if there are individuals who feel entitled to state vehicles? This needs to be addressed because it doesn’t go down well with other employees who are forced to use vehicles that are unsuitable for their travelling needs.”
Insiders claimed that the official had often refused to release the vehicle for others to use.
They said that two weeks ago, he was reluctant to release it to subject advisers who had to travel to Ugu District Municipality.
A witness to on Tuesday’s alleged attack said he saw the woman doing a pre-test on another vehicle, which was to be used by another official.
The double cab was behind the pre-tested vehicle.
“The inspector came and brought the engine of the double cab to life and I saw him walking away. When the woman had finished pre-testing the other vehicle, she switched the engine off and then went to the double cab and switched that off.
“After a while, the inspector returned demanding the keys to the vehicle, but the woman refused.
“He grabbed her and because they were close to each other, I could not see any punches. But when the woman pulled away, she was screaming. That’s when I saw him punching her,” the witness said.
The woman was screaming hysterically and the witness said he could not count the punches because everything happened “so fast”.
When contacted for comment, the official said he was not in a position to do so.
“The matter is dealt with internally. I cannot comment, but I did not assault the woman. I just tried to grab the car keys,” he said.
The tearful and traumatised woman said that she would be going to a doctor and then to a counsellor.
Department spokesman, Sihle Mlotshwa, said he was unaware of the incident, but that it would be investigated.