Wheels24

Ministers to dodge R200k fines

2012-07-26 08:39

CAPE TOWN - Earlier in July, we reported on Dipou Peters racking up a staggering R40 000 in traffic fines, but shocked parties weren’t given much time to process the information as news of Susan Shabangu’s shocking unpaid R64 060 became public.

Now justice minister Jeff Radebe is the latest SA official to come under the spotlight of ignoring the law as he collected R34 600 in traffic fines.

The Democratic Alliance's Dene Smuts, shadow minister of justice and constitutional development, reported that Radebe raked in the hefty amount of traffic fines between 2010 - 2012.

MINISTERS WITH A NEED TO SPEED

Radebe joins the swelling ranks of national cabinet ministers who have racked up fines in excess of R30 000 between April 2009 and March 2012.

Full breakdown of Radebe's fines!

Smuts said: "As the custodian of our criminal justice system, we would expect Minister Radebe to show more respect for the law, and equality before the law, and for the potentially devastating impact of speeding and other traffic violations on the lives of others.

"If Minister Radebe's need for speed on the road was matched with a desire to speed up the wheels of justice, South Africa would be a better place."

In a reply to DA questioning, Radebe outlined his total fines showing that the minister recieved three fines to the value of R3000 between 2010 and 2011 along with a traffic violation to the value of R4500 in November 2011.

Smuts replied: "Where was he going in such a hurry on 16 July 2010, on 13 and 28 November 2011 and on 22 January 2012 – the days on which he got three fines of R3 000 each and one fine of R4 500? If he wasn’t in the (Mercedes-Benz) sedan, who was?"

The total tally of fines for national ministers now stands at R207 740 and sixteen ministers are yet to reply to questioning.

EXEMPT FROM PAYMENT

Unfortunately for tax payers, cabinet traffic offenders could avoid paying the R207 740 total in fines racked up by drivers of their official vehicles.

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development said that fines would be waived as drivers of ministerial vehicles were allowed to speed while on official business, provided the appropriate warning lights and sirens were switched on at the time.

The department's spokeswoman, Phumla Sekhonyane, said the National Road Traffic Act allowed for drivers in special categories to exceed the general speed limit.

Sekhonyane said: “If a minister's vehicle gets a speeding fine while being driven by a person conducting his or her civil protection duties, and after such a person has complied with the legislative requirements of exercising safety and using a siren, such a fine will be set aside.

“If, in the conduct of their duties, it is found that a person engaged in civil protection exceeds the speed limit without due course, such actions must be reported and shall be investigated,” she added.

Sekhonyane said that ministers driven by members of the special protection unit were exempt from paying fines.

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
  • Bradley Froud - 2012-07-26 09:32

    the filthy trash are all above the law. Or so they think. They must GO!!!!!

  • craig.bellwood - 2012-07-26 09:35

    Hurry up and wait! They speed to their appointments so that they can do things on "African time" !!!!! What is so urgent that they need to speed in the first place? Ban all blue light brigades!

  • robin.stobbs.9 - 2012-07-26 09:41

    "The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development said that fines would be waived as drivers of ministerial vehicles were allowed to speed while on official business, provided the appropriate warning lights and sirens were switched on at the time." I read this in in disbelief - ministers can speed whenever and wherever they please and are above the law. Absolute nonsense - they are SERVANTS of the people, not tin gods. Slap the bloody lot of them with their fines or lock them up; we don't need brainless idiots like these running (sic!) (read - RUINing) our lives.

  • Blackpoison - 2012-07-26 09:51

    If they don't pay their fines received while not on duty then I will not pay mine either, president set. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

  • Mark - 2012-07-26 10:20

    Yawn!

  • lerato.kay.3 - 2012-07-26 10:24

    The DA as a political party must acclimatise themselves with the law before crying foul, how they can behave like an ordinary individual in the streets. I for one had condemned the ministers as corrupt and lawlessness individuals for not honouring their fines, little did I know that fines would be waived as drivers of ministerial vehicles were allowed to speed while on official business, provided the appropriate warning lights and sirens were switched on at the time. It’s funny to know that DA as it is their job to know the law has never bothered to check this before going to press. SA is forever lost if we have weak opposition, majoring on sensation and ignoring real issues!

      sedick.gydien - 2012-07-26 11:03

      Lerato, "bending" the law to suit our politicians should not be condoned. They should be setting an example for the rest of us. I can think of only one reason for breaking the law, and that is if life is risk - and I do not recall this ever happening to any politician in SA lately. They seem to put the public and themselves at risk. How can the Justice Minister expect us to respect laws, if he sets the example that he does? Would our children behave respectfully, if we live without respect? If we bash our wives, would our children not do the same?

      sedick.gydien - 2012-07-26 11:03

      Lerato, "bending" the law to suit our politicians should not be condoned. They should be setting an example for the rest of us. I can think of only one reason for breaking the law, and that is if life is risk - and I do not recall this ever happening to any politician in SA lately. They seem to put the public and themselves at risk. How can the Justice Minister expect us to respect laws, if he sets the example that he does? Would our children behave respectfully, if we live without respect? If we bash our wives, would our children not do the same?

      lerato.kay.3 - 2012-07-26 11:17

      Bashing your wife is illegal and you will rot in jail, however speeding provided the appropriate warning lights and sirens are switched on at the time its way within the law for these officials. My point is they are not breaking the law, DA as part of the law makers they must see to it that these laws are amended or scrapped; it’s of no use crying over something legitimate. Ok they have made some noise now what? The officials are not going to pay the fines and will continue to speed. DA as parliamentarians who are getting paid a basic salary of about R800kp.a must see to it that appropriate laws are in place because it’s of no use complaining about something that is legal.

      lerato.kay.3 - 2012-07-26 11:17

      Bashing your wife is illegal and you will rot in jail, however speeding provided the appropriate warning lights and sirens are switched on at the time its way within the law for these officials. My point is they are not breaking the law, DA as part of the law makers they must see to it that these laws are amended or scrapped; it’s of no use crying over something legitimate. Ok they have made some noise now what? The officials are not going to pay the fines and will continue to speed. DA as parliamentarians who are getting paid a basic salary of about R800kp.a must see to it that appropriate laws are in place because it’s of no use complaining about something that is legal.

      Cyrus - 2012-07-26 12:51

      I think the real issue is then, why the heck do we even have such a law. I for one believe speeding should only be allowed if life is at risk. Ask yourself this, is getting a minister to his important meeting more greater than the life of a fellow human being. Or have regressed so much as a society we are divided as peasants and royalty. Where the food and wine of the royalty is more important than 100 lives of ordinary people

      Cyrus - 2012-07-26 12:51

      I think the real issue is then, why the heck do we even have such a law. I for one believe speeding should only be allowed if life is at risk. Ask yourself this, is getting a minister to his important meeting more greater than the life of a fellow human being. Or have regressed so much as a society we are divided as peasants and royalty. Where the food and wine of the royalty is more important than 100 lives of ordinary people

      sedick.gydien - 2012-07-26 16:11

      Lerato, if one looks at the comments on this blog, it is obvious that we the people, who (some) voted into power these individuals, do not agree with the abuse of sections of the Road Traffic Act. The RTA also does not classify being late as a reason to put on the blue lights and speed. I would like to know what your reaction would be if one of these idiots, with or without blue lights, wiped out your loved ones....please then allow me to quote you at their graves.....

      sedick.gydien - 2012-07-26 16:11

      Lerato, if one looks at the comments on this blog, it is obvious that we the people, who (some) voted into power these individuals, do not agree with the abuse of sections of the Road Traffic Act. The RTA also does not classify being late as a reason to put on the blue lights and speed. I would like to know what your reaction would be if one of these idiots, with or without blue lights, wiped out your loved ones....please then allow me to quote you at their graves.....

  • harald.voney - 2012-07-26 10:31

    Anyone read "Animal Farm"? first amongst equals they are....

  • andre.mostert - 2012-07-26 10:32

    We pay you pay my friend!

  • johnathon.masters - 2012-07-26 10:39

    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.

  • magomarele - 2012-07-26 10:47

    And I'm supposed to pay mine while these idiots who abuse my taxes through corruption and huge salaries don't even pay their fines. If their fines can be scraped, why not scrap mine too?

  • dany.duprez.338 - 2012-07-26 10:51

    typical black african banana republic!

  • johnathon.masters - 2012-07-26 10:56

    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.

  • antoinette.jordaan - 2012-07-26 11:01

    Can they PROVE that they were actually on official business? Or were this just a rush to the hairdresser????

  • Sanele Kratos Fulele - 2012-07-26 12:33

    so what they're ministers. in most countries 1st and 3rd world that is standard so what's the big fuss really?!

      sedick.gydien - 2012-07-26 16:26

      Sanele, when one of the blue light brigades wipe out your loved ones, I will quote you at their graves......

      sedick.gydien - 2012-07-26 16:26

      Sanele, when one of the blue light brigades wipe out your loved ones, I will quote you at their graves......

  • martin.a.fairhurst - 2012-07-26 13:00

    This is normal - in the 80's as a motorcycle cop I escorted PW Botha and crew from an evening function in CT back to his residence in Newlands and we traveled around 160kph the whole way (Im sure we would have gone faster if the vehicles were up to it). No emergency but with blue lights and sirens!!! It really does not apply only to the ANC. Although I don't agree with it, this law which allows them to speed has just been taken over from the old National party. At least Mrs Zille has banned blue light brigades from CT now if only she could get more traffic police on the roads instead of behind speed cameras to tackle the real scourge of SA roads - the taxi's!!

      sedick.gydien - 2012-07-26 17:29

      And now PW and the Nats are no more.......we can only hope........

      sedick.gydien - 2012-07-26 17:29

      And now PW and the Nats are no more.......we can only hope........

  • enlightened.bowman - 2012-07-26 13:27

    I do not understand what everybody's problem is. This is now Africa. It is now run by black Aficans. It is now run the black African way. Am I am NOT a racist or am i just pointing a finger in a painful direction. And Margie.Rensburg. How can you be so ignorant. They are going to either do Laaaanch or make da sex, hence the hurry.

  • denny.cray - 2012-07-26 13:29

    "Do as we say and not as we do"

  • bryan.rothwell.39 - 2012-07-26 13:46

    What example are these people in power setting? Where is their dignity and honour? Obviously no where. We, the public are tired of the ruling party's corruption and inability to govern. Time is running out for them!

  • desmond.drake.1 - 2012-07-26 14:26

    Speed limits are there for safety. In other words dangerous driving is now approved of.

  • wayne.jones.1422 - 2012-07-26 14:57

    Great example guys... disobey, disrespectful, arrogant, defying, selfish,incompetent, leaderless, etc. No wonder the country is lawless. Our leaders are setting the greatest example for our youth! SIES!

  • lesirela.letsebe - 2012-07-26 15:40

    We are a society that is opportunistically self-contradictory. On the one hand,we demand that our ministers must accelerate service delivery, and on the strange other, we expect them to drive at our snail pace in their quest to fast deliver services. I am not part of the demand for snail pace ministerial movements, and at both ends. I consistently demand that the ministers must speed their cars to speed service delivery, if that can help. They have responsibilities to deliver on their mandate, and that require them to speed and move ahead of us, and without incuring a fine. Otherwise we don't want excuses over service delivery, which might turn to become "traffic cops are thwarding our movements on service delivery".

      sedick.gydien - 2012-07-26 16:24

      Lesirela, I try not to lose my cool on blogs, but your comments border, no is beyond idiotic. Private enterprise delivers services and goods without resorting to speeding. Their executives run multi-billion dollar companies without resorting to speeding. Their sales teams do not have to resort to speeding. So why should these idiots need to speed to provide us with acceptable service The RTA also does not classify being late/lazy/disrespectful as a reason to put on the blue lights and speed. I would like to know what your reaction would be if one of these idiots, with or without blue lights, wiped out your loved ones....please then allow me to quote you at their graves.....service delivery, at high speed…..

      sedick.gydien - 2012-07-26 16:24

      Lesirela, I try not to lose my cool on blogs, but your comments border, no is beyond idiotic. Private enterprise delivers services and goods without resorting to speeding. Their executives run multi-billion dollar companies without resorting to speeding. Their sales teams do not have to resort to speeding. So why should these idiots need to speed to provide us with acceptable service The RTA also does not classify being late/lazy/disrespectful as a reason to put on the blue lights and speed. I would like to know what your reaction would be if one of these idiots, with or without blue lights, wiped out your loved ones....please then allow me to quote you at their graves.....service delivery, at high speed…..

      Cyrus - 2012-07-26 16:26

      Lesirela......i really feel sorry for you.

      Cyrus - 2012-07-26 16:26

      Lesirela......i really feel sorry for you.

      shaine.gordon - 2012-07-27 13:15

      just because you use "car" terms (accelerate, fast) in regards to service "delivery", does not make them comparable. you are actually using typical deception tactics in wordplay used against ignorant people

  • Mandy Casey - 2012-07-26 22:07

    Although they are legally allowed to travel faster, there must still be a limit as to how far they exceed the speed limits. Surely it can't be a free for all? Go 300 kmph if you feel like it.

  • gwilym.howes - 2012-08-02 15:24

    What makes me sickest is the way everybody accepts that there is nothing that can be done because the law apparently allows 'official vehicles' to speed. If so, then the law needs to be changed. All laws were made by people, and can similarly be changed by people if they become blatantly wrong. Apartheid was once a law, but enough people decided to change it, and it WAS changed.

  • gwilym.howes - 2012-08-02 15:27

    One of the funniest things to me is that these 'ministers' are called 'The Honourable', when in fact they are anything but honourable. Whatever the law says, a diligent official would not speed. But our 'ministers' are not diligent, or sincere. They are there not to deliver, but to colect. It is all about what is in it for them. The cannot even spell altruism.

  • gwilym.howes - 2012-08-02 15:31

    But the sweet justice of it all, is that these speeding blue light thug officials are unwittingy labelling themselves and their country. By their actions, they are showing tin pot dictator tendencies in a banana republic. The world told South Africans i the past to be ashamed of Apartheid. Thanks to the ANC, we have lots of new reasons to be even more ashamed of our imploding country now.

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