Hlanganani Nxumalo, former kwaZulu-Natal social development MEC Meshack Radebe's then bodyguard, has been fined R12 000, along with a four-year suspended sentence, for illegally discharging his firearm. His colleague Caiphus Ndlela, charged with negligent driving, has been fined R3 000. The charges are related to an accident in which six people were injured on the N3 near Durban in November 2008.CONFLICTING OPINIONSDuring his trial Nxumalo claimed he fired warning shots in the air because the driver in front of him had applied his brakes but the prosecution disagreed, claiming Nxumalo's decision to fire caused Anuvasen Moodley, the driver of the other vehicle, to lose control and veer across the highway into oncoming traffic. His car collided with a bakkie. Nxumalo and his co-accused insisted the accident was caused by Moodley's refusal to give way to their vehicle.Nxumalo was given a four-year suspended sentence in addition to the R12 000 fine (or four years in jail). Ndlele was fined R3 000 (or two years in jail) and given a two-year jail term, suspended for two years.Magistrate Chris van Vuuren said this was “bullying”, saying “get out of the way of blue-light escorts”. He said he was aware of the public’s anger over blue-light escort cars but would not be persuaded by public opinion and punish Nxumalo and Ndlela for what their colleagues had done.