ANC: Ministers won't have to pay
SPEEDING MINISTER GRAND PRIX: Current top offending ministers (from top left) - Susan Shabangu, Dipuo Peters, Jeff Radebe, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, Edna Molewa and Naledi Pandor.
South Africa's ANC ministers have come under fire for collectively racking up R207 740 in fines. The latest official to come under the spotlight was Jeff Radebe withf R34 600 in fines.
Unfortunately for taxpayers, Manyi says, government officials are protected by the National Road Traffic Act which means that provided they were following rules and conducting official business they could be exempt from paying fines. And, even worse, getting away with crimes - for that is what road traffic offences are.
According to a release by cabinet spokesperson Jimmy Manyi, the ANC has taken note of the recent media coverage on traffic fines regarding state vehicles and says that it "indicates a lack of understanding" of the National Road Traffic Act No. 93 of 1996.
PROTECTED BY THE ACT
Section 60 of the act provides exception of fines for officials, “The driver of a fire-fighting vehicle, a rescue vehicle or an ambulance who drives such vehicle in the carrying out of his or her duties, a traffic officer who drives a vehicle in the carrying out of his or her duties or any person driving a vehicle while engaged in civil protection…”
The act applies provided that the official drives the vehicle concerned "with due regard to the safety of other road users". Official vehicles must be fitted with a siren and operate it along with identification lights while speeding.
In response to the media reports, Manyi clarifies that ministers are driven by members of the Special Protection Unit while engaged in their duties of civil protection.
Manyi explains: "While on duty the members of the unit are protected by the legislative dispensation as outlined in Section 60 of the Act."
Wheels24 says: Short of a true emergency, involving threat to human life, and then only by emergency vehicles driven by properly trained people (which some of the current 'blue light' crew obviously are not), NOBODY should be above the laws of the road.
Some self-important panjandrum late for a meeting, some visiting ditto hastening from/to an airport, some over-sated state minister who overslept - even the many cops who use their lights to get to work on time - DO NOT have the right to endanger the lives and physical security of ordinary citizens. Ever.
Ask those permanently damaged by state officials' cars - such as the young but brain-damaged Pretoria motorcyclist hit by an official car whose occupant wanted to save seconds by running a red light.
Remember the 'Blue Light' petition?
Top traffic offending ministers 2012:
Mineral resources minister Susan Shabangu - R64 060
Minister of energy Dipuo Peters - R39 400
Justice minister Jeff Radebe - R34 600
Agriculture, forestry and fisheries minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson - R30 400.
Water and environmental affairs minister Edna Molewa - R12 625
Science and technology minister Naledi Pandor - R9800
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