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Johannesburg - The police watchdog has confirmed that it will investigate the suspicious supercar crash in Parkwood last week that left two men dead and the high-performance vehicle smashed to pieces.
On Thursday at about 4.15am, Areff Haffejee was killed when his Audi R8 supercar smashed into a wall along Oxford Road after he apparently lost control of the vehicle.
Questions have surrounded the crash as an on-duty policeman, Constable Goodman Lubisi, was also killed while sitting in the passenger seat of the car.
A police investigation was launched immediately and now the police watchdog, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), is also investigating the incident.
Police have since claimed that Lubisi and another unnamed officer pulled Areff over at the corner of Grayston Drive and Rivonia Road in Sandton and searched his vehicle, where they found “a small amount of dagga”.
Gauteng SAPS spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said Areff had then sped off while Lubisi was searching in the vehicle and that the second officer gave chase in his police van. The distance between where the car was pulled over and where it eventually crashed spans 7.2km.
Along this route, The Star found CCTV footage which seemed to show that the police van did not have its blue lights on and that both the van and the R8 appeared to be travelling at normal speeds.
It is unclear why the officer in the Audi did not use his firearm to stop the driver if the police’s version of events is to be believed.
It also goes against police protocol for the driver of the vehicle to be allowed to remain behind the wheel while his car was searched.
“I can confirm that the IPID has launched an investigation into the involvement of the police officers in the accident,” said IPID spokesman Moses Dlamini.
He said the investigation was “in its early stages”. They were still looking for witnesses and urged people with information to come forward.
Dlamini said he could not provide statistics for how many cases the IPID is investigating at the Sandton police station.
“In general, we don’t get a lot of these cases,” said Dlamini, who was specifically referring to officers sitting in a car while a “suspect” drove.
Areff’s wife, Carine Conradie-Haffejee, said she was still devastated by the crash. “I don’t even know what day of the week it is.”
Meanwhile, a Joburg man has approached The Star about a similar situation that happened at about 11pm on December 15.
He said he had been pulled over by police officers at the corner of Oxford Road and Glenhove Road in Rosebank – a suburb that adjoins Parkwood – and an officer had accused him of being drunk and picking up a prostitute.
The officer then allegedly got into the passenger seat and told him to drive to the Rosebank police station before he took his driving licence. He said he was then told to drive to the nearest ATM and withdraw R1 500.