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FUEL WOES: BUY CASH CAR ROLLS WITH COP

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PIGG’S PEAK – A police officer and an employee of Buy Cash Hardware were injured when the vehicle they were travelling in veered off the road and overturned.


Buy Cash Hardware is owned by Minister of Agriculture Jabulani Mabuza, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Pigg’s Peak Constituency.


The accident is said to have happened on Tuesday evening while the police officer, as well as the employee, were heading to Pigg’s Peak from KaNcesi, where they collected cash from one of the minister’s shops.
It was gathered that it occurred at a sharp curve near the Maguga Dam.
The driver lost control of the vehicle, a Toyota Wish, which veered off the road.


Police


The vehicle was being driven by the employee while the police officer was a passenger.
This publication has gathered that despite the accident being near fatal, the money was still intact when the two were rescued.
The names of both the police officer and the driver are known but will not be mentioned for ethical reasons.


As of yesterday, the police officer was still admitted to the Pigg’s Peak Government Hospital while the driver was discharged.
Senzo Nhlabatsi, who is the manager at the Buy Cash Store in Pigg’s Peak, confirmed the accident and that the driver was discharged yesterday.
Nhlabatsi was also asked if there was a possibility that the vehicle was being pursued by unknown people since it was carrying cash.


He responded that this was not the case. Police officers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, blamed the accident on the lack of transport due to the shortage of fuel.
Due to an ongoing court case involving the Central Transport Administration (CTA), the depots and filling stations have remained closed resulting in government vehicles not being refuelled or serviced.
Some of the police vehicles are said to have been parked at the CTA depot after developing faults.


It is alleged most of the vehicle had worn-out brakes. The police officers said the shortage of fuel was making it impossible to attend to serious crimes including those which involved people who were in danger.
This, they said, had forced police officers to rely on members of the public for transport.  They said under normal circumstances, police officers did not board private vehicles when escorting vehicles carrying cash. 
Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Phindile Vilakati confirmed the accident. 

She confirmed that two people were admitted to the Pigg’s Peak Government Hospital after the vehicle they were travelling in overturned. Vilakati also revealed that the driver of the vehicle had been discharged but the passenger was still admitted.


When asked about concerns of the shortage of fuel forcing some of the police officers to use a private vehicle, Vilakati said she could not comment directly on the matter.
 However, she said police officers who had concerns knew which channels to follow.
In March this year, this publication reported an incident in which about E100 000 was stolen from an employee of Buy Cash aboard a minibus taxi.  This happened in March 2020.
It was alleged at the time that two men carried out the robbery. While one of the men snatched the bag which had the money from the employee, another wielded a knife and ordered the driver to stop the vehicle. When the vehicle stopped, the two men quickly jumped out with the cash and vanished.


Van


Meanwhile, a police van, which is said to have faulty brakes, is still being used and officers are not happy. Other motorists are also concerned about the danger posed by the police vehicle on the road.
This publication has gathered that a police-branded van which is said to be unroadworthy is still being used due to the shortage of vehicles as well as fuel.
The vehicle was previously reported to be used to transport suspects but this was no longer the case.


Concerned police officers also acknowledged that the van did have a faulty braking system and that it was being controlled to slow down using the clutch and changing to low gears.
Vilakati was asked about this but she stressed that officers knew which channels to follow if they had concerns.

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