Wheels24

ANC: Ministers won't have to pay

2012-07-27 12:20

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

Share your thoughts in our Readers' Comments section below.

Comments
  • nrgx.nrg - 2012-07-27 12:35

    "...provided they were following rules and conducting official business..." Speeding is BREAKING the RULES, end of story. They should pay!

      alan.jerrold - 2012-07-27 17:11

      Yep, absolute rubbish from Manyi and the ANC as usual. The only reason that our politicians are constantly breaking the speed limit is a)They operate on so-called 'African time' so are always late, and b)They have to show the peasants that they are important. That's it. Because the ANC achieves virtually nothing in terms of effective governance, why rush around? Rot starts at the top, a fact proven daily by the ANC.

  • johnathon.masters - 2012-07-27 12:49

    Due to their high standing and respected position in South African society, they must naturally be considered exempt from adhering to any of the laws applicable to the lowly public, who strangely enough, voted them into power originally, with the misplaced opinion, that they would then gratefully govern to the advantage of the people, and not accumulate and protect their wealth, with the ferocity of a wounded predator. Their extreme importance and value to the country, as well as their inordinately heavy schedule of effectively governing the country, also affords them the privilege of racing along our freeways with blue lights and sirens, at recklessly high speeds, close to 50% over the speed limit, and shooting to kill, any innocent motorist, also using the freeways that their tax money paid for. In the event of any fatal accidents, it is claimed that getting a politician to his important meeting on time, far outweighs the death of an insignificant motorist. Further, any motorist obstructing their headlong dash, was regarded as a serious safety risk to the life of the VIP in transit.

      logancyoung - 2012-07-27 16:17

      These people aren't saving lives. Even Ambulances aren't allowed actually allowed to run red lights or speed. There is nothing that ANY minister is responsible for that would justify any contravention of any of the road rules. People follow their example because they are leaders and by not holding them to a higher standard (indeed, to a lower standard currently) than that at which citizenry are held, makes for a pretty crappy example.

      hilton.carroll - 2012-07-27 17:16

      Very well put!

  • patrick.buckley.712 - 2012-07-27 12:49

    Fully agree with humble Jimmy! With the excellent service delivery we have in South Africa, no wonder our ministers are rushing about so frenetically!

  • joe.muhr.14 - 2012-07-27 13:35

    This is absolute bullsheet. I'm no lawyer, but surely it should be very easy to contest in a court that they were NOT in fact "engaged in civil protection" as provided by the act?

      Ecosse.Nkosi - 2012-07-27 19:27

      If it ever got to court

  • jim.dickson2 - 2012-07-27 13:35

    Manyi bends over to talk. Less said the better. If there is an acceptable legal reason let a magistrate preside over it at trial. If not, prosecute, prosecute, prosecute..........

  • gail.welman - 2012-07-27 14:10

    as the saying goes: We are all equal in the eyes of the law, but some are more equal. Well done again to our outstanding government and its exceptional officials and their phenomenal employees. I just won't elaborate in what areas they are outstanding, exeptional or phenomenal.

  • sikhumbuzok - 2012-07-27 14:14

    As far as i am aware Ministers dont drive themselves so why dont they hold the drivers concerned responsible. Ministers dont even drive the cars themselves. Even if the state pays it is still a journal entry. From one authority to another which wont result in cash being or changing hands.

  • sikhumbuzok - 2012-07-27 14:15

    In any event i thought this is a motoring site not a political site. Its best Wheels24 sticks to new tech, new cars and road tests and not get entangled in political issues. There are many motoring sites out there which dont dabble in politics

      mike.bundy.73 - 2012-07-27 14:58

      You don't see the connection between traffic fines and motoring?

  • barry.mocke - 2012-07-27 15:43

    Chapter IX : Road traffic signs and general speed limit 60. Certain drivers may exceed general speed limit 1) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 59, the driver of a fire-fighting vehicle, a fire-fighting response vehicle, a rescue vehicle, an emergency medical response vehicle or an ambulance who drives such vehicle in the carrying out of his or her duties, a traffic officer or a person appointed in terms of the South African Police Service Act, 1995 (Act No. 68 of 1995) who drives a vehicle in the carrying out of his or her duties or any person issued with the necessary authorization and driving a vehicle, may exceed the applicable general speed limit: Provided that - a) he or she shall drive the vehicle concerned with due regard to the safety of other traffic; and b) in the case of any such fire-fighting vehicle, fire-fighting response vehicle, rescue vehicle, emergency medical response vehicle, ambulance or any vehicle driven by a person issued with the necessary authorisation, such vehicle shall be fitted with a device capable of emitting a prescribed sound and with an identification lamp, as prescribed, and such device shall be so sounded and such lamp shall be in operation while the vehicle is driven in excess of the applicable general speed limit.

  • barry.mocke - 2012-07-27 15:48

    Chapter IX : Road traffic signs and general speed limit 60. Certain drivers may exceed general speed limit 1) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 59, the driver of a fire-fighting vehicle, a fire-fighting response vehicle, a rescue vehicle, an emergency medical response vehicle or an ambulance who drives such vehicle in the carrying out of his or her duties, a traffic officer or a person appointed in terms of the South African Police Service Act, 1995 (Act No. 68 of 1995) who drives a vehicle in the carrying out of his or her duties or any person issued with the necessary authorization and driving a vehicle, may exceed the applicable general speed limit: Provided that - a) he or she shall drive the vehicle concerned with due regard to the safety of other traffic; and b) in the case of any such fire-fighting vehicle, fire-fighting response vehicle, rescue vehicle, emergency medical response vehicle, ambulance or any vehicle driven by a person issued with the necessary authorisation, such vehicle shall be fitted with a device capable of emitting a prescribed sound and with an identification lamp, as prescribed, and such device shall be so sounded and such lamp shall be in operation while the vehicle is driven in excess of the applicable general speed limit.

      barry.mocke - 2012-07-27 16:06

      The quote in the article relates to "Warning Devices" See full text: 201. Warning devices 1) Provided that the provisions of paragraph (c) and (d) shall not apply to a motor vehicle to which an anti theft device which incorporates a siren if fitted, or to a fire-fighting vehicle, a fire fighting response vehicle, a rescue vehicle, a emergency medical vehicle, ambulance or vehicle driven by a traffic officer in the carrying out of his or her duties, or a to a vehicle driven by a person driven by traffic officer in the carrying out of his or her duties, orto a vehicle driven by a person while engaged in civil protection as contemplated in section 3 of the Civil Protection Act, 1977 (Act No. 67 o 1977).

  • nbasson - 2012-07-27 15:56

    Just one of the reasons why there is anarchy on SA's roads, no one have respect for the rules of the road. Way to set an example corrupt government officials.

  • emmanuel.sodubo - 2012-07-27 16:02

    all animals are equal but some are more equal than others.

  • roger.verrall - 2012-07-27 16:33

    "Blue light" drivers should be trained to advanced driving level. Going beyond the law should be for "emergency" only. (Life threatening or similar, late for meeting doesn't count.) Improper use of "blue light" privilege should be a very serious offence.

  • dylan.smit.92 - 2012-07-27 17:01

    Each and every story like this just makes me sick! I've been setting up a non-profit charity for the last 3 weeks where children who are in need will hopefully benefit. I haven't been able to get ONE cent of help from major company and businesses, yet the above people will waste R200k of our tax money because they think they are special. It pains me to say this but our country has become a joke! However one day all of us will stand before the big man and to all those ministers above, section 60 ain't going to help you; not one bit!

  • john.knipe.10 - 2012-07-27 19:34

    Al the more reason to be in the government. The ANC and their cronies totally disregard any regulation. It's like the stealing they do from the public. Even if they are guilty they refuse to comply.

  • stanton.clarke - 2012-07-28 00:22

    Cant believe this rubbish. What more do these scoundrels want. The ANC can go and F themselves.

      stanton.clarke - 2012-07-28 00:28

      On average 35 people die in a day on SA roads, these idiots are supposed to set an example to all. Can they not do something right for a change so we can all cheer and be pleased with them.

  • wally.williams.148 - 2012-07-28 00:42

    Sorry, Mr Manyi, the RTA is conveniently abused by you in this regard. It is NOT that the people do not understand the RTA. It applies even to a Minister. The relevant provisions cater for the "life-and-death" situations we have in our communities daily. A police car's driver does not of right acquire the exemption - although many think they do, with respect - it is qualified. Plz do not hide behind your offices. Pay your fines as diligent citizens, leaders of society, should do. Do it in public and set the example. Why are these fines outstanding for so long? What happened to the Warrants of Arrest? Come on - we need responsible acts to educate the ppl.

  • husaberg.twostroke - 2012-07-28 05:36

    Its called ride the ANC gravy train till nothing is left over of the National resources. CORRUPT CORRUPT CORRUPT.

  • Mandy Casey - 2012-07-28 18:01

    Only way to make a politician pay is at the voting booth.

  • graham.greeff - 2012-07-28 20:50

    OMG Yet another story about these corruopt arrogant Snoebab! Urghhhhhhhhhh

  • jason.marriott.75 - 2012-07-28 22:35

    Well you know what I've had some emergency's and I don't get out of traffic fines. If you have a urgent meeting leave and give yourself enough time to get that meeting.. This is just a loop hole in the system they exploiting and will probably only be addressed when they kill someone.

  • Johan Welgemoed - 2012-07-29 07:23

    Kyk hoe lekker lag hulle vir ons gewone mense..

  • derek.smith.12177276 - 2012-07-29 10:31

    cANCer has the ability to destroy its host and then lastly itself...luckily I am only a spectator to this...enjoying a front seat....

  • KCorsar - 2012-07-29 16:37

    Absolute rubbish - blue light and now the 'free for all' amnesty from traffic offences. Such indemnity should be limited to daily working hours ONLY, which is even a step too far. How often are offences incurred due to bad planning and plain laziness knowing that 'well we just speed at 200 and still get there!'

  • heinrich.etsebeth - 2012-07-30 07:29

    A fine is a fine and it stands untill the person issued the fine can provide reasons to a magistrate as to why he should not be given the fine in the first place. Same for every other person in this country. Let them go and plead in front of a magistrate and in so doing take more time away from them than they tried to save by speeding in the first place.

  • johnathon.masters - 2012-07-30 14:20

    I fully agree with the recent article by the DA, that councillors are not above the law. By speeding they endanger the lives of all innocent road users. Speed limits were introduced to reduce accidents, and every citizen of the country must comply. The provincial authorities take speeding so seriously, as to have a speed cop hiding behind every bridge, and putting branches over their heads and hiding in grass heaps to catch speeding motorists. Speed is so important to them that they rarely show any interest in taxi’s going through red robots, driving on the pavement, or going the wrong way up public roads. Further, with regards to the blue light thugs, the public should protest en mass, until Blue Lights and high speeds on public highways are completely banned. They were never necessary in previous Government, and are not necessary now. A Neanderthal and primitive practise followed by Africa's dictators. Who politicians think they are. Why endanger the public’s life for such a bunch of useless ignoramuses. They believe getting to an appointment on time warrants shooting to kill, driving innocent drivers off the road, and basically murdering motorists. Those that cause accidents should be charged with murder, and serve life sentences like the rest of the armed criminals operating in SA. If you are travelling 71 kms in a 60 km zone, you a fined R1000 fine. Someone driving at 180 kms on a public freeway, should be locked up and the cell keys thrown away.

  • pages:
  • 1