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Johannesburg - The officer who supposedly chased the supercar that crashed and splintered into pieces - killing the driver and another policeman who was in the passenger seat - has not been suspended from duty. Now it has emerged that a third officer may have been involved too.
Questions have surrounded the incident since the police claimed the officer in the passenger seat, Constable Goodman Lubisi, was kidnapped by the driver of the Audi R8 during a police search at the corner of Rivonia Road and Grayston Drive.
They said this led to a high-speed chase through the northern suburbs before the devastating accident on Oxford Road, outside the Mozambican Consulate.
However, police have not been able to explain why the driver was still behind the wheel if police believed he was guilty of a crime, why the officer did not use his firearm to stop the driver, or allegations that there was no high-speed chase.
The police watchdog, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), confirmed on Monday that it would be investigating the conduct of the officers involved.
A source told The Star that the IPID does not yet have the investigation file.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said the officer who was following in the van behind would not be suspended until the outcome of the IPID investigation.
Dlamini also refused to name this officer. “He is not an accused, therefore, his particulars may not be exposed as his rights would be violated,” he said.
However, CCTV footage and a witness account seem to dispute what the police have said previously.
The witness, who wanted to be identified only as Sly for fear of police harassment, said she saw the car travelling at a normal speed before it accelerated quickly and crashed. CCTV footage from a business on Oxford Road also appears to show the vehicles travelling at normal speeds, and the police van does not have its blue lights on.
Sly said both the driver and the policeman in the passenger seat looked “relaxed”, and she thought they were friends, judging by their demeanour.
She said she was driving from Illovo to Observatory when she saw the car at the corner of Glenhove and Oxford roads.
“He had his elbow out the window; he was chilling,” she said of the policeman.
The police van, which was following the Audi, was also not travelling at a high speed and did not have its blue lights or siren on, according to Sly.
After the crash, she said two policemen got out of the van that was following the R8, put their hands on their heads and started talking to each other.
The police have not mentioned that there was a second officer in the van that was following the R8.
Sly said she did not know what happened next as she “freaked out” and drove away.
However, she said she was willing to help the family with an investigation if they asked. “I would gladly do so,” Sly said.
Police were not available for comment on the allegations that a third officer was present.