Picture: Jeffrey Abrahams.

Durban -

The KwaZulu-Natal premier's driver arrested for speeding and drunken driving, was also in possession of a firearm, the National Prosecuting Authority said on Thursday.

Maziwinkosi Petros Gwala appeared briefly in the Mtunzini Magistrate's Court on Wednesday morning on charges of speeding and driving under the influence. Gwala was released on R1000 bail.

NPA spokeswoman Natasha Ramkisson said on Thursday that he was also charged with being in possession of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol.

The 42-year-old was driving on the N2 at Fairbreeze, near Mtunzini on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast on Tuesday, when he was caught allegedly doing 183km/h in a 120km/h zone.

According to a report in the Witness newspaper on Wednesday, a breathalyser test showed he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.84g/100ml, several times over the legal limit of 0.05g/100ml.

However, Ramkisson said the case against Gwala was postponed to October 15 to await the outcome of blood tests taken after his arrest. These tests would reveal his blood alcohol level.

Provincial transport spokesman Kwanele Ncalane said the Mercedes-Benz driven by Gwala did not belong to the state. Premier Zweli Mkhize was not in the car at the time.

Road Traffic Inspectorate spokeswoman Zinhle Mngomezulu said on Wednesday that the man had been travelling from Pietermaritzburg to Mtunzini, 230km away.

Mkhize's spokesman Ndabezinhle Sibiya, said he could not comment on the incident as it “may be interpreted in some quarters as interfering with the work of law enforcement agencies”. - Sapa