Prisoner transport crash in Fish Hoek 'unacceptable and deeply disappointing'
Cape Town - DA Constituency head for the Deep South Mireille Wenger called on the police to explain before Parliament the circumstances of the crash involving a police vehicle transporting prisoners to Simon’s Town Magistrate’s Court.
Two police officers and six prisoners were taken to hospital for treatment and observation after an Ocean View police vehicle transporting prisoners collided with two vehicles in Fish Hoek.
Police spokesperson André Traut said the circumstances of the crash, which occurred in Main Road, Fish Hoek at about 8.35am on Monday, were being investigated.
Wenger said witnesses reported that the police vehicle was travelling at high speed and did not stop at a red traffic light.
She said it was reported that all the prisoners were injured, one pedestrian was in a critical condition, and road work contractors were injured.
Wenger said that despite promises by the police to reign in reckless prisoner transportation, the incident made it clear that much more needed to be done and action taken immediately, not only against the drivers but against reckless driving by the police in general.
“The police national instructions 4 of 2011 state that if an employee drove a state vehicle unnecessarily fast or in a reckless, negligent or inconsiderate manner, his or her authorisation to drive state vehicles may be suspended or terminated by a delegated official,” she said.
Wenger said the police’s own instructions required drivers of state vehicles to exercise care and not drive negligently or unnecessarily fast.
“We wish all victims of this horror crash a full and speedy recovery. This event however is totally unacceptable and deeply disappointing because prisoner transport has been a long-standing issue in this constituency,” she said.
South African Sentenced and Awaiting Trial Prisoners Organisation chairperson Phindile Zweni called on the family members of the prisoners to contact the organisation on 079 062 4008 to institute legal proceedings against the police.