Only the top half of a Range Rover can be seen in the water off a Richards Bay beach, after the driver showboated in front of beachgoers. Picture: Facebook
Only the top half of a Range Rover can be seen in the water off a Richards Bay beach, after the driver showboated in front of beachgoers. Picture: Facebook

Driver who showboated with his Range Rover off a Richards Bay beach eventually arrested

By Thobeka Ngema Time of article published Jan 13, 2022

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DURBAN - The driver who allegedly used his Range Rover to showboat off the shoreline at a Richards Bay beach and left it semi-submerged in the water, was arrested four days after the incident and has already appeared in court.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Nqobile Gwala confirmed the arrest and said the suspect was expected to make his second court appearance on February 10.

“On January 4, 2022, a 31-year-old suspect was brought to Richards Bay SAPS, where he was arrested and charged with using a vehicle in a coastal area without permission,” Gwala said.

“The suspect appeared in the Richards Bay Magistrate’s Court on January 5, 2022, and his case was remanded until February 10, 2022.”

Gwala said an investigation to locate the suspect led police to acquiring information about the owner of the vehicle.

His arrest came after police officers received a complaint stemming from a video that was circulating on social media, of a man seen driving through the Bay Hall coastal zone on January 1, 2022.

On the New Year’s Day weekend, at least three video clips of the showboating incident went viral on social media.

One of videos was of a driver showboating along the shoreline with two passengers with their heads and arms out of the sunroof; a second video was of the semi-submerged vehicle, and a third video was of the recovery of the vehicle.

One of the people who shared the videos on Facebook asked whether the people of Richards Bay were “swimming with cars”.

In the first video, before the car takes off, someone is heard telling people to move out of the way.

After the vehicle takes off, crowds of people in the water and on the shore are seen watching the vehicle drift along the shoreline, with two passengers sticking their heads out the sunroof and waving their hands.

The crowds cheered and whistled.

In the second video, a woman is heard saying “yeah, let’s just swim with our cars”.

On the day of the suspect’s arrest, the Daily News had reported that the driver of the vehicle had not been arrested. A news report published on Monday last week indicated that the driver had been arrested.

Then, police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele had said Richards Bay police were aware of the incident, but confirmed that no one had been arrested. The suspect was still being sought by the police, he said.

uMhlathuze Municipality spokesperson Mdu Ncalane said he had heard that the driver had been arrested, but he had no updated information, and said only the SAPS could help.

Following both responses, the Daily News spoke to police officers from police stations within uMhlathuze Municipality.

An officer from Richards Bay SAPS confirmed that a case had been opened, but there had not been an arrest at the police station as yet.

Daily News

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