South Africa, Cape Town – A police constable from Khayelitsha, Cape Town has gone viral on social media for being under the influence of alcohol when he allegedly drove his police van into the back of a taxi on Wednesday.
In the video recorded by a passenger, the police officer can be seen walking over to the taxi driver and hitting him.
The taxi driver gets out and walks over to the police officer while a woman dressed in civilian clothes climbs out of the police van and walks over to the pair.
Words are exchanged and then the taxi driver head-butts the officer.
The pair start brawling on the road as traffic flows past. The taxi driver beats up the officer and even spits in his face.
However, in a statement released on Thursday, provincial police spokesperson, Brigadier Novela Potelwa confirmed the officer has been charged with driving under the influence and reckless and negligent driving.
She said police management in the province were shocked when they learned of the videos and recordings making the rounds on social media of one of their officials involved in a vehicle accident and a fight with a taxi driver from Khayelitsha.
“On Wednesday afternoon, December 23, 2020, police officials from Lingelethu West police station who were busy with a vehicle checkpoint on Spine Road were alerted to two vehicles that were involved in an accident in Ilitha Park (not far from where the members were) that led to an altercation between the two drivers.
“The report indicated that one of the vehicles was a marked police van. Upon arrival, they found the two vehicles with damages and a SAPS member in uniform who appeared unsteady on his feet.
“The Lingelethu West police officials took him for testing. He was subsequently charged for driving under the influence of alcohol as well as reckless and negligent driving,” Potelwa said.
She said the 33-year-old constable is a member of the Crime Prevention Unit (CPU) and stationed at the Khayelitsha Site B police station.
Potelwa said an internal disciplinary investigation has been initiated and the taxi driver, whose identity is known, will be interviewed as part of the ongoing investigation.
She said SAPS management condemned the unbecoming conduct of its police officers and will ensure there will be consequences for his actions.
“In the same breath, the conduct of the taxi driver is the subject of the police investigation.
“Police officials are reminded to uphold the name of the SAPS at all times in the manner they carry themselves,” Potelwa added.
African News Agency/ANA