Johannesburg - Areff Haffejee’s family and friends believe that there was never any dagga in his car and that the policeman who seated himself in the passenger seat of Haffejee’s Audi had done so for sinister reasons.
Haffajee and Constable Goodman Lusibi were killed instantly when, around 4am on Thursday, the businessman’s Audi R8 V10 hit a wall, a tree and a lamp-post, splitting the supercar into three parts in Rosebank.
Haffejee was pulled over by two officers who allegedly found drugs in his possession. According to police, Lusibi had approached the Audi while another officer remained in the police vehicle.
Colleague and friend Irfan Bux said he arrived at the horror scene in Rosebank around 6am.
He said he had asked the police officers on the scene more than once where the dagga was that they had apparently found.
“I saw them remove (Haffejee’s) belongings from the wreckage – his wallet, sunglasses, keys. There was never any weed.
“Surely if there was suspicion they would have told him to get out of the car so they could search it. The only logical conclusion that the family and friends can draw is that something untoward had happened.”
Bux’s suspicions was echoed by an eyewitness, identified only as Sly, who told The Star on Friday that he saw the incident and believed there may have been inappropriate behaviour by police.
“I don’t buy that story that this was a cop kidnapped by a drug dealer. I looked that guy in the eyes shortly before he died and he was very relaxed in the passenger seat.
“He had his elbow resting out the window, his seat was rolled back a bit and he was chilling.”
Sly said he and a friend were driving down Oxford Road about 4am after a night out. They stopped at a red light when the R8, which had been driving “really fast”, pulled up next to them.
“The light turned green, we all pulled off and a short while later a cop car came cruising along behind them,” Sly said, adding that the police vehicle appeared to be accompanying the Audi rather than chasing it because the flashing lights and siren were not activated.
For several kilometres along Oxford Road, the Audi would repeatedly speed up and then slow down as his car and the tailing police car caught up. During one of the incidents of sudden acceleration, the driver of the Audi lost control and crashed.
Viewing CCTV footage from a business on Oxford Road at the intersection with Corlett Drive, the police van does not appear to have turned on its flashing blue lights and the vehicles do not appear to be involved in a high-speed chase.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said investigators were aware that there were many allegations “flying around” and added that investigations were still ongoing.
Haffejee leaves behind his wife of two years. Lusibi also leaves behind his wife.