Johannesburg - A crime intelligence officer at Randburg police station has been accused of driving drunk – and being spirited away by fellow officers after a car accident.
Katrina Miller was driving up Main Avenue on Tuesday afternoon, passing through the robot intersection at the corner of Oxford Street in Ferndale, Randburg.
On the opposite side, about three cars behind the intersection, an officer driving a white, unmarked vehicle allegedly pulled out into the road in what was thought to be an illegal U-turn. Miller’s car smacked into the vehicle, sending both cars spinning into the middle of the road.
She said a passing ambulance stopped to assist her, as damage to her driver’s side door made it impossible for her to get out of her car. But what shocked the Randburg mother was that the man in the other car refused to speak to her or paramedics. He eventually made a call on his cellphone and, a short while later, a dozen or so officers swarmed the scene.
When she realised she was mostly uninjured from the crash, Miller called her boyfriend to come to the scene while police cordoned off the area and began their investigation.
She said one of the “leaders” of the investigation, a Captain Mabunda, told her that the man involved in the crash was from crime intelligence.
When Miller’s boyfriend, Gino MacRitchie, a former police officer, arrived on the scene, he noted that the state vehicle’s licence disc was out of date.
And when he looked in the window of the car, he said he saw a plastic bag with empty glass bottles being shoved under the passenger seat by officers
MacRitchie said he asked Mabunda to breathalyse the officer, and informed him of the out-of-date licence disc. The captain allegedly brushed him off, saying it was up to another department to conduct a test and to fine for the disc.
MacRitchie and Miller continued to try to get the details of the driver, but to no avail. Mabunda allegedly insisted that Miller not go to the police station to give a verbal statement until he had contacted her at a later date.
“This case is different. This is a state case,” Mabunda allegedly said.
But the final straw for the couple was when MacRitchie spotted the officer being placed in a police car and being driven away by his colleagues, while the couple were asked to stay on the scene until the investigation was complete.
“I was so angry, I didn’t want to keep quiet. I would have been thrown in jail for drinking and driving, or my car taken if I had an expired licence disc,” said Miller.
Randburg police spokesman Warrant Officer Johannes Maja confirmed the man was an officer from crime intelligence but denied that the officer was taken from the scene.
“No one was taken away. He was on the scene until the end,” said Maja.
He said a case of reckless and negligent driving had been opened “and the investigation continues, including the allegations being made”.